My life and Capoeira

by Ramzy W. Natsheh and Mohammed H. Zughaiar

My name is Ramzy W. Natsheh. This is a story about my life, and how capoeira affects me in a good way. I have to introduce you to my cousin Mohammed H. Zughair. He is my cousin, but more like my twin because we do everything together.

When I was 7 years old I witnessed the intifada. My school was in Jerusalem, but I lived in a small town next to Ramallah, which is under the Israeli authority. It meant that I had to cross the Qalandia checkpoint every day not only to go to school, but also to reach Mohammed’s house.

During the intifada I witnessed so many bad scenes. I saw people shot, and other awful things. I was seven years old, so I had to take therapy to be a normal human being again. It took me four years to be normal.


Ramzy running the wall near Bethlehem during the CFCP tour in 2013.

Mohammed had his school almost near his house, so he didn’t have those kinds of troubles. However, he was still living near Qalandia checkpoint  – on the other side – so he had no neighbors. The army was all the time in front of his house, so we couldn’t meet. It was so bad to not see your best friend / twin for almost two years.

Later, Mohammed’s father bought a house in my neighborhood so we got united after many years. We were very much into sport and movement. We heard about capoeira classes in Jerusalem. We had to go right after school to capoeira and get back at midnight. In terms of distance, it wasn’t far away, but because of the many checkpoints on the way, and the different transports between the Palestinian side of Jerusalem and the Israeli side – East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem – it took a long time. All of the classes were in West Jerusalem, and it took four transports to get to the class, and four more to get back home. We did it all for the love of capoeira!

After a couple of years we formed new classes in Jerusalem on the East side, in the old city, but it was in an area that was under threat to be taken by the Israelis. In order to maintain our capoeira space we had to fill it up with classes, so that it would always be busy and full of people. Israeli capoeira groups led all of the classes that we organized in the space. In these groups we didn’t feel very comfortable. To train with someone who one day might take your house, or if not him, then perhaps his father, or his grandfather took the house that they live in now, is very difficult. Even if it wasn’t him individually, he is still benefiting from what his parents, or grandparents stole, so there is some hate that we have toward him. Mohammad and I felt sure that it was a mutual feeling – they hated us and we hated them. The proof was there inside the rodas: always the Israelis cheer for their guy, and we cheered for our guy. It was so challenging, and so rough. Because it was Cordão de Ouro, that means regional, many flips and acrobatics were taught in the classes. You could always sense the racism inside the acrobatic class–like the Israeli teacher used to explain the movement to us in 5 minutes or less, and he would explain it to the Israelis students for half an hour. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we were better than them–of course we were–but still we also needed the deep details of the movement also.

This situation went on until one day we found a social capoeira class that was provided by Bidna Capoeira. We went, and there we met many great people like Goia, Peruca, Khaled, Arame and Karam. Together we had very nice classes, and after classes it was always a nice gathering with nice people.  This made us want to learn more about capoeira, and the best we could learn was from Goia. He was more than a teacher, he was also a friend. We used to go to his house for play musical instruments and sing. He was a great teacher! After that Jorge left, and Bidna Capoeira closed the office, so Peruca started to offer classes under his group, which was Dendê do Recife. For two years we had classes with Peruca.  We launched the Capoeira Freedom Collective in 2013 after a long talk, and during that first year we had a big tour hosted by us, Goia and Toca. It was so great! So many great people came from different nations! We toured all around the West Bank, and that same year we started the 29th of November Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People Roda. Many rodas in many countries all having Palestine flags in the background …


From left to right (back): Peruca, Ramzy, Toca, Mohammad. Front: Goia

In 2014 there were rodas in 17 different countries around the world.  It felt really great to see that people knew our story and our struggle all these years. For people like Mohammed and I it was the best way to show support for our people – we are not the type of people that could hold a rifle and fight. We have so much to lose if we resisted that way. So in order to send our message internationally we chose the game that we love the most, which is capoeira because of its deep history of resistance to oppression.

So at the end capoeira did so much to affect me in the best way. I became more social with many, many friends, both local and international. Capoeira community is my life, and my best friends are my capoeira friends. It just feels amazing after a long day, and many checkpoints and soldiers and cops checking me in Jerusalem on every corner to go and play capoeira in a good class with good people. Please believe it helps so much to relieve negative energy, and I think it’s the only reason why I am still alive now.




Article by Jabr abu Jordan. Re-posted from

I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”

― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Muhammad Abu Thahr and Nadim Nuwara were shot down on May 15th of this year. Muhammad was 15 – Nadim was 17. Snipers of the Israeli Defense Forces assassinated them for protesting the military occupation of their country. Another 15-year-old child was shot in the left lung – inches from his heart – but survived the attempt on his life. His name is Mohammad Azzeh. I know him. He and his family lived just around the corner from me in Al-Bireh. He is a member of the Palestinian Circus School at Birzeit University, and had been preparing for an upcoming tour in Germany. I would sometimes see him outside his house, and he would flash a bright smile. He expressed an interest to learn Capoeira. I ate spaghetti with yogurt and drank mint tea at his house, talked with his father about calligraphy, got lost twice with his sister and friends on the way to performances of their dance troupe El Funoun in Jenin and Beit Umar, and had a beer with his cousin at a café in Ramallah. I met another cousin of his here in Washington, DC just after being detained and deported by the Israeli’s in November of last year.

The morning of May 16th I was looking at a picture of Hamoudeh – Mohammad Azzehs’ nickname – being carried to a waiting ambulance. He was bleeding profusely, and in obvious pain. A co-worker asked about the picture, and I told her that my friend was shot the day before protesting against the Israeli occupation. He is only 15 years old, and we don’t know if he’ll live or die, I told her. Apparently blind to the wounded, bleeding 15-year-old child in the picture, she replied coolly, “Yeah, but was it a peaceful protest?”

Mohammad Azzeh copy

Her response is an example of the casually, yet deeply held assumptions of most Americans regarding Palestine. Despite the grossly uneven contest between flak-jacketed, helmeted Israeli soldiers armed with an array of fully automatic weapons, small arms, tanks, armored vehicles, and sniper rifles, and the unprotected, unarmed teenaged children waving Palestinian flags and throwing stones with sling-shots, Palestinians are held guilty for any and all violence. Americans are conditioned to not see Palestinians, to not see Palestine. The only Palestine on Facebook is in Texas, the AAA will not issue an international drivers license for Palestine, and one cannot place a call to Palestine via Skype. Mention Palestine to most Americans, and they will think that you meant to say Pakistan. Palestine has been rendered invisible. How else is it possible for someone to look at that picture and not see a child in excruciating pain? How is it possible to not think about the agony that his mother, father, sisters and brothers are experiencing at that moment? How else is it possible to ask such a question with an air of cool scornfulness?

In Zora Neale Hurston’s’ novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie tells her friend Pheoby,

“… yuh got tuh go there tuh know there. Yo’ papa and yo’ mama and nobody else can’t tell yuh and show yuh. Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God and they got tuh find out about livin fuh theyselves.”

 When I read that novel, I took this statement to heart. Zora Neale Hurston was telling me to not be satisfied with comfortable, received opinions. I heard the voice of my father telling me that heaven has no open door, no easy ‘Jesus-died-for-me’ way in. I wanted to go to Palestine and see for myself. I wanted to learn, and, perhaps naively, to help in some way. I applied to a London based charity to teach Capoeira in Ramallah was hired and spent 9 months teaching Capoeira in the West Bank.

I worked mainly in three refugee camps: Al Jalazone, Al Amari and Shu’fat. We also did classes and workshops all over Ramallah and Al Quds (Jerusalem in Arabic) including in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. We worked with volunteers at the Palestine Red Crescent, and I took part in rodas in the Old City of Jerusalem, Ramallah and in Haifa. Capoeira has a strong presence in Israel, Jerusalem and, sadly, in the Israeli settlements all over the West Bank. You will find Capoeira in Ramallah, Kafr ‘Aqab and Qalandya, but not many other places behind the Apartheid Wall. In Ramallah
there is the Freedom Capoeira Collective
and Bidna Capoeira, Roda in East Jerusalemand in Kafr “Aqab and Qalandya there are some people who train with Menino Bom, and others who are training acrobatics with “Coach.”

I can tell you that there is a lot of enthusiasm, desire and talent for Capoeira in Palestine. In Jalazone, there are some fearless children who fling themselves around with such abandon, that it makes you cringe in anticipation of them breaking some part of themselves. In the girl’s class, Aseel picked up percussion so quickly, that if she left the atabaque to go play in the roda the wheels would fall off of the rhythm. I would look at her pleadingly to get back on the atabaque. Fatia and Razan in Al Amari were natural talents at anything that involved standing on their hands, Kholud just had to have all eyes on her at all times, and Arwa is a natural polyglot. Her favorite song at the time was, “Sou Angoleiro, que vem de Angola”! I never taught that song in class, but she heard me singing it at a roda and picked it up on the spot.

I was invited to a roda in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem, and the kid on pandeiro started a corrido that I didn’t know. A 9-year-old child sitting next to me recognized the confused look on my face, and passed me the corrido. He gave me the thumbs up to make sure that I got the lyrics straight, then ran to other side of the roda so he could play me in the next game. At a roda in Beit Safafa, a game I was playing with a young girl developed into ‘who can be more creative with a head spin’. After one particularly amazing headspin of hers, I looked at the girls mother with the ‘damn, did she really just do that?” face, and her mother, smiling, simply shrugged and said, “Binti hek yani.” (My little girl is just like that).

Bota fogo na Qalandya

Despite the hard work of a very few dedicated people in Palestine, Capoeira there is suffering from a lack of attention. Many experienced Angoleiro’s and Regionalista’s regularly make trips to workshops and roda’s in Tel Aviv, Holon and Haifa. Some even go to teach in the settlements. But not many have ventured to East Jerusalem, and fewer still have dared to cross the Apartheid Wall. The Capoeira Freedom Collective hosted a weeklong tour of the West Bank to educate Capoeiristas about Palestine, her land, her culture and the effects of the ongoing military and economic occupation of this country that does not officially exist. Capoeiristas from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the United States and Brazil were in attendance, and traveled to Jenin, Al-Khalil (Hebron), Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. There was a beautiful roda in Jalazone camp. One of the subjects discussed was a possible BDS style boycott of Capoeira in the settlements and Israel. Those few capoeiristas in attendance have continued to support Palestine back in their own countries, but we have yet to see the BDS movement take root in the wider Capoeira community.

Why won’t more Capoeiristas travel to Palestine? Why won’t more Capoeiristas go to East Jerusalem, to Ramallah, to Jenin? Why won’t more of us take the time to learn about the thousands of years of Palestinian history, and the 66-year-old creation of the State of Israel? Why do so many people express an interest to know “both sides” of the conflict, but never actually read anything written by a Palestinian author, let alone talk to anyone from Palestine or the Palestinian Diaspora? How can we study and take to heart the narrative of Capoeira and its resistance to slavery and colonialism, yet turn a blind eye in support of Israeli settler-colonialism? What does it mean when it is possible to go to a roda in Israel, hear an Israeli group singing “Bota fogo no canavial / quero ver o patrão de raiva se queimar”, and know that some, if not all, of those singing this song have served, are serving in, or in one way or another support an army that violates the human rights of Palestinians everyday, protects those settlers who steal the homes of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, and incarcerates, tortures and kills defenseless Palestinian children?

Karam and Khaled - Freedom Capoeira Collective
Karam and Khaled – Freedom Capoeira Collective

We are facing difficult questions. We must begin asking them of ourselves, or risk complicity in the oppression of Palestine. We risk becoming that which we rail against in corrido after corrido. And the argument for being apolitical, or neutral, is not valid. There is no neutral position – not when more U.S. tax dollars are spent in support of the Israeli military than are spent on public education in this country. In one way or another, we have all been made complicit in this tragedy, either by paying our taxes, buying a coffee at Starbucks or getting that new Sodastream carbonator. And now, even our beloved art is being compromised. Que vai fazer?

In Memoria

Nadim Nuwara
Nadim Nuwara
Mohammad Azzeh
Mohammad Azzeh

 Original article:


Jabr abu Jordan

Jabr A. JordanA student of languages, literatures and histories with an interest in displacement, diaspora, émigrés and exile. A deep fear of paralysis, with an overriding passion for movement – likely born of a family fractured in early childhood – led to an interest in music, dance and martial arts. For me, as for many, many others, Capoeira Angola is as necessary as breathing.

Hold a capoeira roda in solidarity with the Palestinian People! / Realize uma roda de capoeira em solidariedade com o Povo Palestino!

Freedom of Movement… Expression of Solidarity!


Hold a Capoeira roda on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – 29th November.

The Capoeira Freedom Collective – Palestine (CFCP) – is calling capoeiristas around the world to host solidarity rodas on the 29th of November – the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Events are already planned in London, Paris, Hamburg, and Ramallah to make noise against injustice in Palestine.

Capoeira brings people together, creating communities and spaces of respect, learning and celebration. Capoeira “deu a volta ao mundo” – it has spread around the world – and with the globalisation of its values we see a responsibility to take a stand against injustice and to channel its positive energy. To play capoeira is to identify with a philosophy of freedom from oppression. That struggle for freedom is at the core of our practice.

On the other side of the Israeli apartheid wall, capoeira is hugely popular. Every year Mestres visit groups in Israel and many Israelis travel to Brazil to learn and play. Yet West Bank Palestinians are not able to participate in any activities on the other side of the wall, and their opportunities for travel are very restricted. They remain isolated, their right to freedom of movement denied.

Recently new capoeira groups have sprung up throughout illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These settler-colonies and the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are in violation of human rights and international law. We see the existence of capoeira in this context as highly problematic, as it contributes to the viability and naturalization of Israel’s colonial enterprise.

Many Palestinians live in refugee camps that have existed since they were driven off their lands in 1948. Many have family members imprisoned without trial. Many live in fear of attacks and everyday humiliation from Israeli military and settlers. Yet they affirm their dignity and do not lose hope for their right to return. To exist here is to resist.

As capoeiristas we can highlight these issues by joining the international movement to end Israeli apartheid.

What can you do on or around the 29th November

Hold a roda and…
• Create a Palestine-themed song – ladainha or corrido
• Make a photo exhibition
• Put up the Palestinian flag
• Discuss the role of capoeira in the Palestine context
• Invite a speaker
• Show a film
• Raise funds to support the Capoeira Freedom Collective – Palestine
• Publicise your event – invite media and decision makers
• Don’t forget to send us your photos!

Let’s use the power of capoeira to kick out racism and oppression!


Liberdade de Movimento… Expressão de Solidariedade!

Realize uma roda de capoeira no Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino – 29 de Novembro.

O Coletivo Capoeira Liberdade – Palestina (CFCP, em inglês) – convida capoeiristas de todo o mundo a organizarem rodas de solidariedade no dia 29 de Novembro – o Dia Internacional de Solidariedade com o Povo Palestino. Eventos já estão sendo planejados em Londres, Paris, Hamburgo e Ramala para levantar nossas vozes contra a injustiça na Palestina.

A capoeira ajuda a integrar pessoas, criando comunidades e espaços de respeito, aprendizado e celebração. A capoeira deu a volta ao mundo e com a gloabalização dos seus valores, temos a responsabilidade de tomar uma posição contra a injustiça e canalizar sua energia positiva. Jogar capoeira é se identificar com uma filosofia de liberdade contra qualquer forma de opressão. Lutar pela liberdade está na essência da nossa prática.

Do outro lado do Muro do Apartheid de Israel, capoeira é um sucesso popular. Todo ano mestres visitam grupos em Israel e muitos israelenses viajam para o Brasil para aprender e jogar. No entanto, os palestinos da Cisjordânia não podem participar de qualquer atividade do outro lado do Muro, e oportunidades de viajar para fora são muito restritas. Eles permanecem isolados, seus direitos de ir e vir negados, sem liberdade de movimento.

Nos últimos anos, grupos de capoeira tem se espalhado nas colônias ilegais de israelenses na Cisjordânia. Estas colônias de povoamento e a ocupação militar da Cisjordânia e da Faixa de Gaza são violações dos direitos humanos e das leis internacionais. Nós vemos a existência da capoeira neste contexto como altamente problemática, porque contribue com a viabilidade e a naturalização da empreitada colonial de Israel.

Muitos palestinos vivem em campos de refugiados que têm existido desde que foram expulsos de suas terras em 1948. Muitos têm familiares presos sem julgamento. Muitos vivem com medo cotidiano de ataques e humilhiações por parte de militares e colonos israelenses. E mesmo assim, eles afirmam suas dignidades e não perdem a esperança do direito de retornar. Para existir aqui é preciso resistir.

Como capoeiristas, nós podemos chamar atenção para estas questões nos juntando ao movimento internacional para acabar com o Apartheid de Israel.

O que você pode fazer no dia 29 de Novembro
Realize uma roda e…
• Use a Palestina como tema de uma ladainha ou num corridor
• Faça uma exposição fotográfica
• Coloque uma bandeira da Palestina
• Discuta o papel da capoeira no contexto da Palestina
• Convide um palestrante
• Mostre um filme
• Arrecade doações para apoiar o Coletivo Capoeira Liberdade – Palestina
• Divulgue seu evento – convide media e formadores de opinião
• Não se esqueça de mandar suas fotos!

Vamos usar o poder da capoeira para acabar com o racismo e a opressão!

Capoeira and Yoga as Resistance – AIC


What have a Brazilian dance and yoga sport to do with Palestinian resistance? “A lot”, say the Capoeira Freedom Collective and the Palestine Yoga Movement. The AICafe invited the two groups to speak about their creative arts and the connection to the Palestinian cause.


“The depth of yoga is often ignored”, says Bex Tyrer from the Palestine Yoga Movement (PYM), a group of international yoga teachers that is currently on a visit to Palestine for work with women and children on their body consciousness. The teachers are providing yoga and Acroyoga (a combination of acrobatics and yoga) classes throughout the West Bank. The meaning of yoga is “union” and relates to the connection of body and mind. “We consider yoga as political, because when you do yoga you care more about what happens around you”, Tyrer explains.

Yoga is a way to fully exist, and to exist is to resist! Photo/Roberto Kriemer, AICYoga is a way to fully exist, and to exist is to resist! Photo/Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Yoga is used to calm down and to exist fully, she adds. “And as we all know: To exist means to resist”. To understand better what yoga and Acroyoga are, Tyrer gave a short presentation to participants at the AICafe.

Capoeria practitioners watch the yoga demonstration/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICCapoeria practitioners watch the yoga demonstration/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Quite the opposite of the rather silent yoga is the vivid and powerful capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, fight and resistance music. It has its origins in the struggle of Africans against slavery in Brazil in the 18th century. “Capoeira was invented in the favelas of Brazil and for a long time it was illegal there. Only in the last 75 years has it gained acceptance and spread throughout the world”, relates Jorge Goia from the Capoeira Freedom Collective (CFC).

Capoeira and yoga practitioners sharing/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICCapoeira and yoga practitioners sharing/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

Because of this history of resistance, the CFC wants to bring this form of resistance to Palestine.“For me, playing capoeira here in Palestine is like bringing it back to its roots”, Goia says. Back to its political meaning, the idea of liberation that the black movement in Brazil once had.” “With capoeira”, he continues, “one can empower the people. Even if it’s only for one hour, but afterwards they can go out and face life in a different, maybe stronger, way.”

Audience members listen and participate in this singular event last week at the AICafe/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICAudience members listen and participate in this singular event last week at the AICafe/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC

The CFC is the first international capoeira group that ever visited Palestine. During their two weeks stay, the capoeiristas visited refugee camps, cities and villages in the West Bank to teach children and young adults this form of resistance. Furthermore, their Palestinian branch (CFCP) gives capoeira lessons in Ramallah every Sunday and Tuesday. Although the songs are in Portuguese, Brazilian capoeira fits well into Palestine, Toca Feliciano from the CFC says. “The message of capoeira is to resist. And hey: If Israel builds another settlement, let’s make another group of capoeira.”

Demonstration of capoeira moves/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AICDemonstration of capoeira moves/Photo: Roberto Kriemer, AIC



Palestine Yoga Movement: Read an interview with Bex Tyrer on


Facebook page of PYM:

Al-Jazeera Coverage – ‘Freedom of movement: Capoeira in Palestine’


“Ramallah, occupied Palestinian territories – When 50-year-old Jorge Goia first came to the West Bank, he immediately realised that there were deep-rooted links between the historical origins of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art to which he is deeply devoted, and its potential uses here in the occupied territories.

“This was really bringing capoeira back to its roots, supporting and preparing people who were under oppression to resist,” he told Al Jazeera.

When African slaves arrived in Brazil during its colonial rule by Portugal, their new owners would immediately break up families and communities, a strategy designed to reduce the risk of revolt. For the same reason, self-defence and fitness training was also prohibited.

But slaves found creative ways to resist, developing a martial art practiced to the sound of African music and disguised as a form of traditional dance. Capoeira was born.

Goia, a Brazilian based in the UK who has studied capoeira for many years, first came to the West Bank to work with an international NGO running capoeira workshops in refugee camps. As the NGO’s funding dried up, he and a fellow Canadian capoeirista known as Peruca launched the Capoeira Freedom Collective-Palestine, which from August 2013 has been running regular workshops in Ramallah introducing the martial art to a new Palestinian audience.

There was no capoeira in the West Bank, and we wanted our own Palestinian group to represent us.Mohammed Zugheir, Palestinian capoeirista

This was not the first grassroots Palestinian capoeira group. Mohammad Zugheir has been practicing capoeira for four years, at first with Israelis in Jerusalem because there were no Palestinian groups. “But then we left and started our own group in the Old City,” he said. “There was no capoeira in the West Bank, and we wanted our own Palestinian group to represent us.”

qalOne of the initial projects of the Capoeira Freedom Collective was to coordinate a tour, bringing capoeiristas from around the world to the Palestinian territories. The aim was to raise the profile of the sport through workshops and performances in various cities, as well as showing the capoeiristas the political realities faced by Palestinians.

Mariam Dagher from Ramallah had never done capoeira before, but joined one of the tour’s collective workshops in the city’s Orthodox Club. “I am interested because it seems a wonderful sport and dance, and in some ways I am linked to Latin America. I have an aunt in Brazil, and I would like to go there and carry a Brazilian dance with me.”

Having read about the history of the sport, Dagher also sees the links to the Palestinian political environment but is unsure how useful capoeira could be as a tool of resistance today. “Here in Palestine, we are struggling against all kinds of Israeli oppression, so it’s similar in some ways to capoeira’s history,” she said. “As a form of resistance it could be useful for us, but I don’t think it would be as strong as it was before.”

While enthusiastic and dedicated, Mohammad believes that as a martial art form, capoeira would face very different challenges in Palestine today from those it faced in Brazil hundreds of years ago. “Now is not like before, because the slaves were struggling against knives and sticks – but now we are struggling against Israeli bombs and guns.”

African slaves prepared themselves for escape attempts with capoeira. They trained vigorously, confident in the knowledge that if they had to defend themselves they would have the skills with which to do so. For many Palestinians today, resistance is the goal – not escape. Could capoeira have applications more relevant to this struggle?


Goia says capoeira as originally practiced in Brazil was not only focused on self-defence: “They did not just use capoeira to fight; they used capoeira to bring people together and prepare them to change the social environment where they lived in order to develop the community. People here often talk about the next intifada… but when the real fighting begins there must be a strong community behind it.”

Interestingly, capoeira has a large following within Israeli settlements as well as within Israel itself. The Capoiera Freedom Collective sees this issue as part of a wider discussion that must be opened up. Peruca explained: “One of the aims of the tour was to bring the capoeira world into the discussion about Palestine. The tour was a starting point and now we can begin to discuss how the politics of capoeira relate to the issues of Israeli settlements and Israeli apartheid. We didn’t want to impose our personal views on tour participants but we introduced them to Palestinian activists, took them to see the situation here, and gave them the space to discuss and think amongst themselves about what this meant in terms of capoeira.”

Many tour participants were deeply moved by what they learned and shared in Palestine. Ideas for international capoeira dances, known as “rodas”, in solidarity with Palestine were suggested, and the traditional chants to which the sport is performed were adapted to include chants of Palestinian solidarity. Could this work lead towards a more concrete political position from the capoeira community?


Peruca believes there is much work yet to be done as the sport has such a huge following in Israel, yet is still largely unknown in the Palestinian territories. “This is a starting point, and there’s lots of work to be done, but I hope that maybe one day we could take up a similar position to the cultural boycott campaign.”

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is based on a set of principles established in 2004 that calls for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law regarding the Palestinian territories.

While Goia says it is too early for a collective position to be adopted on the issue, he is clear on where he stands: “If there are people oppressing other people, there comes a time when you must take a stand. You must jump to one side, and I believe that the capoeira community must jump to the Palestinian side. I know the realities here, and because of that I would not play capoeira in Israel now. Others do, but maybe they don’t know the realities yet, or don’t want to know.”

Rich Wiles, Al-Jazeera

Capoeira Freedom Collective Launches Resistance Tour in Palestine / جماعة كابويرا الحرية تطلق جولة من المقاومة في فلسطين

يتبع باللغة العربية

handala lolFor Palestinians living under military occupation, capoeira’s history of resistance sings a special tune.

At its core, capoeira is about resistance to oppression. It is an art form, a martial art, hidden in dance and expressed through music and revolutionary song. Developed hundreds of years ago by African slaves resisting slavery in Brazil, capoeira has since spread throughout the region and across oceans.

The Capoeira Freedom Collective is hosting the first international capoeira tour-event on the Palestinian side of the wall. The event will go from October 24 to November 1 and will include workshops, rodas (capoeira games), organized discussions, and tours throughout the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The event hopes to provide capoeiristas from abroad and Palestine a rare chance to meet and interact. It also hopes to spark critical discussion in the capoeira world regarding the contradictions of capoeira’s expansion to Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Please join us for the launch of the tour this Thursday, October 24, at 5:30pm at the Ramallah Orthodox club.

The evening will include introductory speeches by Palestinian and international capoeiristas, a Debbkeh performance, and a roda.

For more information, visit the CFCP blog: []

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بالنسبة للفلسطينيين تhandala lolحت الاحتلال العسكري ، تغني الكابويرا لحناً خاصاً من تاريخ مقاومة الظلم. تتمحور الكابويرا في عمقها حول مقاومة اللإتهاض. هي فن قتال مخبئ في الرقص، و تقدم مع الموسيقى و الأغاني الثورية. طور هذا الفن قبل مئات السنين من قبل العبيد الأفارقة المقاومين للعبودية في البرازيل، و من وقتها انتشرت الكابويرا في تلك المناطق و عبر البحار.

تقيم جماعة كابويرا الحرية أول جولة كابويرا دولية في الجانب الفلسطيني من جدار الفصل العنصري. ستبدأ الجولة في الرابع و العشرين من اكتوبر و حتى الأول من نوفمبر ٢٠١٣، و التي ستضم ورشات عمل، رودا (قتال الكابويرا)، جلسات حوار و جولة في الضفة الغربية الخاضعة للإحتلال الإسرائيلي.

تحاول هذه الجولة تقديم فرصة نادرة للاعبين الكابويرا الفلسطينين و القادمين من الخارج للإلتقاء ببعض. و اثارة نقاش حساس في عالم الكابويرا حول انتشار الكابويرا في إسرائيل و خاصة المستوطنات المنتشرة في الضفة الغربية.

نرجو حضوركم حفل الأفتتاحية لجولة المقاومة هذا الخميس، الموافق ٢٤ من اوكتوبر، الساعة ٥:٣٠ مساءً في النادي الأرثدوكسي ـ رام الله.

سيتضمن الحفل خطاب للاعبين الكابويرا الفلسطينين و الدوليين، عرض دبكة، و رودا افتتاحية.

لمزيد من المعلومات يرجى زيارة موقع جماعة كابويرا الحرية:


يمكن التواصل معنا على الموقع:


و متابعتنا على موقع الفيسبوك الخاص:


يتم تنظيم الجولة بدعم من  – الشعار