Friday, March 13, 2015

Skateboarding in Palestine
a short doc.

Another testament to how skateboarding is fucking awesome.

from Shorts:
Journey to the Middle East with the inspirational SkatePal team

Over the past two years SkatePal, a Scotland-based charity, has built three parks across Palestine to help nurture a local skate community by teaching young kids the joy of skateboarding. Photographer and filmmaker Sirus F Gahan traveled to Gaza with fellow skaters and volunteers Luke Murphy, Martin O’Grady, Harry Gerrard and Sam Dearden to document SkatePal’s admirable work.

“As far as I have heard they were the first skaters in the country”

"We only met a handful of skaters on our first trip and they had just started skating about six months before," says Charlie Davis, who founded the charity after volunteering as a teacher in Jenin, in the northern West Bank, and later this year will build a skatepark in Asira ash-Shamaliya. "As far as I have seen and heard they were the first skaters in the country. Probably the most important part of what SkatePal does is publicize the skating scene in Palestine, so that people hear about it and go across to check it out."

What inspires you about SkatePal?
Sirus F Gahan:
The idea of it being a completely new ground in Palestine really excited me. Being able to help bring over an activity to a troubled land, which has transformed and directed the lives of so many people that I know, then seeing the effect it has over there.

How were the reactions to you shooting a skate film in Palestine?
The actual act of skating is made so much easier by the fact that almost everyone you come across is super hyped on seeing you fly around on a piece of wood with wheels. The people are very kind and hospitable, so you'll often be offered food, water or sweet coffee whilst sessioning outside somebody's house. Pretty unimaginable concept in the Western skate world.

What were the skate spots like?
There are incredible hills, with which the asphalt has been fairly well maintained, so hill bombing is a pretty non-stop activity. There are spots all over the place as long as you have the right eyes to see them.

Click to donate and to support SkatePal

Charity Number: SC044815

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