Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Syrian Women Turn to Belly Dancing for Exercise

Belly dancing has long been an important cultural tradition in the Middle East but still is largely stigmatised as something seedy or to be seen mostly in films or on the stage.

In recent times many Syrian women are turning to belly dancing for its physical and psychological benefits. Still, when dancing becomes a profession, conservative Syrian society expresses its disapproval.

Now, some people are trying to shake this negative image. Many housewives and working women are learning the dance as this IWPR video shows.

This multimedia piece was produced during an IWPR workshop for young Syrian journalists held in Beirut, October 2009.

Trainer: Don Duncan
Editor: Raed Rafei
Project manager: Susanne Fischer

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