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Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] UNESCO performance showcases talents of special-needs students

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  • dottie zold
    Dear Serena, thank you so much for sharing this with us. Last weekend I attended a Saint John Festival up in Santa Cruz. It was a wonderful experience and
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 27, 2006
      Dear Serena, thank you so much for sharing this with
      us. Last weekend I attended a Saint John Festival up
      in Santa Cruz. It was a wonderful experience and
      called to mind my early teen years wherein I
      interacted and was befriended by special needs adults.

      What I really found wonderful is the way in which
      these special needs friends are treated as one of us
      as that is exactly what they are. They partipicated in
      the play, the preparing of the food, the cleaning up
      afterwards, the salsa dancing parterning and so much
      more. The idea of feeling sorry for any of them would
      just be so non understanding of the gift we give to
      one another.

      Thanks Serena,

      --- SerenaBlaue@... wrote:

      > UNESCO performance showcases talents of
      > special-needs students
      > 3427_
      > By Kristen Trotter
      > Special to The Daily Star
      > Saturday, June 24, 2006
      > _BEIRUT_
      > : It may have been a cast of students who brought
      > the
      > performance "Tears and Laughter" to the UNESCO
      > Palace stage early this week, but
      > the production was anything but a typical school
      > play. Based on a _novel_
      > by Gibran Khalil Gibran, "Tears and Laughter"
      > featured _poetry_
      > ,
      > singing and dancing. The performers, from the Rudolf
      > Steiner School for
      > children with learning disabilities, understood the
      > themes perhaps better than
      > anyone else in the room.
      > The school in Jal al-Dib is run by the First Step
      > Together Association (or
      > FISTA). It follows the pedagogy of Austrian
      > philosopher and educator Rudolf
      > Steiner and includes a _kindergarten_
      > , summer camp and vocational and
      > _diagnostic_
      > centers.
      > The school runs programs designed to prepare
      > students with special needs to
      > lead independent, rewarding lives. The students,
      > aged 6-30, currently number
      > 110. They suffer from a range of _disabilities_
      > , including mental
      > disability, communication disorders, psychomotor
      > problems, slow learning,
      > physical disabilities and behavioral disorders.
      > All 110 students participated in "Tears and
      > Laughter," which portrays the
      > rich and poor and the conflict between the two.
      > Dancing played a major role in
      > the performance. The students moved with fluid,
      > rhythmic motions, recreating
      > the movements that figure highly into their
      > learning at school.
      > "It's not just the movement physically, it's the
      > movement also by mind, soul
      > and body," says Allnut Gulba, a curative eurythmist
      > from Germany who came to
      > Beirut to work on the choreography for the
      > performance. ("Eurythmist" comes
      > from the word "eurythmy," a kind of performing art
      > that Steiner invented and
      > used as a form of therapy for children. The workd
      > stems from Greek, for
      > beautiful or harmonious rhythm). "At the end I think
      > the teachers and the students
      > will learn new movements and new ways of expressing
      > themselves," adds Gulba.
      > http://www.dailystar.com.lb
      > While some members of the audience may have come to
      > the show expecting to
      > feel sorry for the children, that was not at all
      > the intention, says Reem
      > Mouawad, the school's director.
      > "Our aim is that they see something really nice,
      > that the students can
      > really do something and give a message to other
      > people in a very enjoyable way,"
      > she says. "We don't want people to come and pity
      > the students."
      > The performance also doubled as a commencement
      > ceremony for the students who
      > are graduating from the school.
      > "When you get the special-needs students' message,
      > you can really understand
      > them and touch them, and they speak to you more
      > than you speak to them,"
      > says Mouawad. "And this is very important because
      > they are there in all
      > societies and we have to learn to accept them."
      > In her 14 years of working with FISTA, Mouawad says
      > she has learned much
      > from her students, including patience and the
      > ability to accept differences.
      > "I think for the Lebanese people it will be good
      > that they realize students
      > with special needs can do something beautiful."
      > Despite a few minor hitches, such as one student
      > who forgot his lines and
      > another who had stage fright, the performance was a
      > success.
      > "I would not _exchange_
      > the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of
      > the multitudes," Gibran wrote in "A Tear and a
      > Smile," and these students
      > conveyed his message perfectly.

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