Must watch: A dancer keeps up classes in war-torn Syria

Must watch: A dancer keeps up classes in war-torn Syria


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2016

Dutch National TV’s Nieuwsuur has followed dancer Ahmad Joudeh, 26, as he searches for safe places to practice and dance in the thick of his country’s horrendous war.

ahmad joudeh2


Apart from worrying about getting maimed or killed, he also fears getting drafted into the military.

There is an extraordinary scene where he comforts a bereaved child, and another where he visits his mother’s ruined town of Palmyra.

Take some time and watch this brave, positive young man.
ahmad joudeh


  • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

    Football teams practice; dancers rehearse.

    • Beate Herbig says:

      That is definitely the most silly comment on this documentary!
      I agree that proper use of language is very important – but hey- aren’t there other things to mention when watching this young man?

    • Yvonne says:

      I dance. I practise *and* rehearse. Two different things. (I’m also a musician. Same story: there’s a distinction between practising and rehearsing.)

  • Nicolas Mansfield says:

    Thank you for posting this, Norman. It is a truly inspiring story.

  • Fred says:

    moving and soooo sad…………BUT couldn’t they have brought him over to holland instead of all these fucking terrorists or IS crazies????

    • Neil van der Linden says:

      I can imagine that for this person a solution will come up. Problem will be how to leave the country. Not across the official road out from Damascus, to Lebanon, as he still has to do military service. And that was the way the camera crew came in.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Good point. My heart goes out to this man and that photograph tells a lot. They would be desperately short of males suitable for military service (they’re all in Europe), so I dread the fate of this young man.