Any mention of Gaza almost immediately triggers images of suffering and hardship. Images of poor and overcrowded neighborhoods, militia violence, Israeli soldiers sniping protesters, or crushing economic injustice do accurately illustrate many truths about Gaza life. However, there is another side of life for Gazan youth. Despite the injustice, there is a vitality, and a desire for expression etc
The past two decades of media coverage have largely distorted perceptions of Gaza, reducing it to a squalid image that depicts it only as a hotbed of extremism, and its youth as foot soldiers of either Hamas or rival group Fath’s militias.
The truth about Gaza is that despite the siege and the poverty, it is a broader, richer place. Gazan youth who have come of age in the past decade have a resilient mindset. They are connected and hungry to develop and have insane potential to unlock. They just need the opportunities, and the engagement.
What is Wallrunners?
Wallrunners is a project that attempts to align with enormous social and political realities with the positivity, immersion, and diversion of sports. Parkour is young, dynamic, and subversive. A sport that is perhaps custom fit for places like Gaza, and the energy, creativity, and resilience of its youth.
Wallrunners is opening Gaza Parkour, the first Parkour Academy in Palestine’s only free enclave. Gaza may be under siege, but it is technically free of occupation, and its youth have a dignity and determination to find ways to assert themselves beyond the overtly and strictly political.
Gaza City’s rough urbanity, patchwork of walls destroyed by war, and rebuilt by the grit of its people make it a magnetic location for a fast, flexible sport like parkour.
We’ve secured the space. A perfect sized family-owned warehouse in Gaza. We have the coaches -Ahmed, Abdallah, and Jehad who are between Gaza and Sweden and together combine 20 years of experience in freerunning and parkour. Project Lead Tom Vaillant brought on board major sports brand DECATHALON to partner up with us, and Gaza Operations lead Majd Mashharawi has acquired the space for the first phase of the academy.
With roughly $15,000 US left to raise, we are hoping to secure public donations because it is important that this initiative remain independent of a politicized agenda. Wallrunners believes in creating as many partnerships as possible from across the world to help bring life to the project as it grows. To remain independent is not easy, but we are determined to change the narrative with our own hands.
Power in numbers
There is power in numbers and power in partnerships. The battle to do something even as small as a parkour academy—a sport that requires little equipment beyond a concrete floor— is about to begin. As we launch Wallrunners Gaza Parkour Academy, we invite you to be part of this adventure, and help reintroduce Palestine and its youth, to the world in a completely new and unique light
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