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Feature: Performance of Chinese disabled artists touches Israelis, Palestinians
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09:50, October 21, 2007

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Tears in her eyes, Amal, a 30- year-old Palestinian woman, who works at Jerusalem Princess Basma Center, said the performance of Chinese disabled artists were " very very touching."

This was the second time for Amal to watch the performance in two days. Amal told Xinhua that "I hope that disabled people in Israel and the Palestinians can take their opportunities to do what they want to, and to practice their hobbies as I saw the disabled Chinese people do."

Invited by Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital of Norway which chaired a four-day annual international network seminar on rehabilitation in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, artists from China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe performed in Bethlehem on Friday evening and in Jerusalem on Saturday evening.

The three Chinese performers sang a Hebrew song "You and Me Will Change the World" in Bethlehem with Palestinian boys and girls.

Ofer Keren, director of Rehabilitation Department of Alyn Hospital, said that this was the first time that a song in Hebrew was sung there and it delivered a message of peace.

In addition to that three blind Chinese artists sang and played piano, the troupe also showed a film to the audience, named My Dream. It was a documentary about these hard-working disabled performers, combining their performance on the stage, which is the basis for accomplishing their dreams, with how they were trained behind the curtain.

"There are 600 million disabled people in the world. In their own way, they give expression to dignity and value, making life joyful, making the world friendlier and happier," said Wang Yuan, counselor of the troupe, which is China's most famous one formed by disabled artists.

Established in 1987, the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe is referred as "Messenger of Beauty and Humanity," "Image Ambassador for People with Disabilities" and designated as "UNESCO Artists for Peace." The troupe has been given performance in more than 50 countries.

Waddah Malhis, medical director of Jerusalem Princess Basma Center, said that there were many physical disabled and hearing impaired person in their center. The performance of these Chinese disabled artists makes them realize it was possible for the disabled to do a lot of things.

He said he hoped to establish a training program with the troupe and China Rehabilitation Research Center so that they can exchange ideas about how to improve the disabled people's spiritual life.

Sarah Elbaz, a musician from Israel Conservatory of Music who also performed during the ceremony, said that Chinese artists' performance was beautiful and touching, and it is a wonderful experience for all of the people.

Source: Xinhua

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