“My name is Mohammad Taqatqa. I am from Illar, north of Tulkarem. I am 33 years old. I finished elementary and secondary school in my hometown in Illar. I moved to Tulkarem Industrial School when I reached 11th grade to study “refrigeration & air conditioning” but unfortunately, I was arrested. I spent one full year in Israeli prisons. But I did not give up. I got my tawjihi degree while I was in prison.
As soon as I was released, I wanted to leave the country to study abroad, but the fact that I was imprisoned before got on my way. That’s when I decided to enrol at Al Quds Open University to study telecommunication. But again, I had to drop out due to financial difficulties. I had to work.
Working in the Palestinian market was very challenging, the salary I was taking was not enough to pay for the university. That’s when I decided to start working in the Israeli market. It was a very difficult time for me. Having to work without a permit forced me to sleep in a cemetery for two years. After two years of suffering, I have appointed a lawyer to be able to work legally there and luckily, I have started working in an electric company.
I got married and now I have two beautiful babies.
I am ambitious and I refuse to do something I am not convinced with. When I was in secondary school, I got introduced and started volunteering at Dar Qindeel Culture and Arts. At Dar Qindeel, I found my passion which is circus.”
Mohammad was part of a training of trainers since 2019. He is now one of the circus trainings in the new circus club we opened in 2020. Mohammad was invited by PCS to take part in the mental health workshop organized by PCS as part of a project funded by MAP-UK
“In 2020, Covid-19 pandemic started forcing us to delay our dream to establish a circus school in Tulkarem but we have started a group with 30 students taking into account all safety measures.
I was invited by PCS to take part in the mental health workshop. I was very enthusiastic about the training, especially during lockdown and cancellation of many events. The workshop will give me tools on how to deal with children in general including my own children and the students I teach in particular.
As a new trainer, I want to develop my knowledge on how to deal with children. I want to become a professional trainer with high competences in training and orientation.
Thanks to the workshop, I have gained lots of information and knowledge on basic mental health issues.
During the workshop I got infected with Covid-19 with two more trainers and the consultant who has given us the workshop. But we have all recovered.
My moto in life is to never give up”
“We all know what does “people with disabilities” mean, but we rarely think about what’s in their hearts. To them we are also different. Disability is not a matter of choice; it is simply a will of God. It could have been me, you or anyone else. I, for example, in the 16 years I have lived, have never dealt with them directly. I only knew that they are in need of our attention and support to be able to do all the things we can.
To be honest, I was very eager to take part in this production to prove to the world that we are all the same and together we can make the impossible possible. The first training reminded me of the innocence and kindness that I thought had disappeared from our world. I had no idea how the training will go but I was sure we would laugh a lot, have fun together, and share unforgettable experiences. The first training was filled with unimaginable joy and positivity. It is impossible to be upset or sad while training. For me I forget everything the moment I enter the training. By end of each training, I look forward to the next to see them, deal with them and get to know them better. I can’t wait to show the world how “able” they are. I saw something different than what I used to hear. Everyone should see who they really are. We should all have the awareness that there are no real differences and that we are all able to achieve great things. Through our love and cooperation, we will surprise the world. My name is Dana Joudeh, from Gaza. I have joined the circus school 4 years ago and I am very excited about this project”