Lindy Express! Hooray!!!

Walla! We made it to Ireland!!! And the Lindy Express festival is just around the corner. We are so excited. We had the most lovely welcome in Dublin by our wonderful host Fede. He not only makes us feel home in his house but also showed us around in and around Dublin. Last night we went to our first swing party in an Irish pub and we had crazy fun and met such nice people. Tomorrow, inshallah, we are off to Cork to the festival… 🙂
By the way, we still don’t have all of the costs covered for this trip. So we are selling shirts and traditional olive wood ornament with swing design in order to make even. We brought them here to Ireland but we also sell them online. This is the campaign and we are happy for any support. Shoukran 🙂
Yours, swing in Palestine



T-shirt fundraiser

We got invited to our first international swing dance festival by the wonderful organizors of ‘Lindy Express’ in Cork (Ireland) for February 2015. Through our crowfunding campaign and with the help of the Frankie Manning Foundation, we got quite a bit of money to cover travel costs (visa, journey to Amman, flights). However, we are lacking around 700 Euros in order to send everyone of the group to the festival. Thus, we are having a t-shirt fundraiser. The shirts will be ready in around 2 weeks.

Each shirt will cost 20 Euros (not including shipping). It costs us 11 Euros to make a shirt. Whats left will go to our trip budget. And, all the shirts are produced here in Bethlehem, so you are also supporting the local economy.

Stay tuned for more information in the next 1-2 weeks ….


About the cork jazz festival // An Invitation from the Edge of Europe

Words from the organizers of Cork Lindy Express:

The love of music or all types runs in the Irish blood, and Cork has been a cradle for Jazz and Blues for a long time. Cork feels welcoming- it’s not very big- and Cork people are good natured, friendly, curious, and proud. A dance that has sharing and fun at its core is at home here.

In 2013 we decided to do something beyond just dancing to great music. The situation in Syria was steadily degrading, and we organised a night of the Exchange to raise funds for the education of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Prizes were donated by many generous teachers and special team members joined to make the night a success. Global Swing Broadcast came from Istanbul to transmit the performance live to an audience around the world. Social media went nuts. While we had all this fun, we raised enough to run a school for refugees for almost a month. The spirit of Lindy Hop and the energy of Jazz made this possible.

We believe that music and dancing are bridges that help us all to overcome prejudice. We want to welcome the Palestinian dancers to Cork for Cork Jazz Dance Exchange.

Here’s a link for some great photos taken at last year festival. All pics by Andrew miller

And here is a link to our campaign:

Words from george

swing dance is fun. i never thought i will like it that much!
i met Birte on the beach and we talked about it . she asked me
and i answered
why not . and i was right. it’s  a nice experience and its good way to meet new people and make friends for life.
 swing dance is fun. i never thought i will like it that much!


I have heard about swing Dancing from a friend, and when I got to know what’s swing dancing,it motivated me to follow the training each week and love to dance more and meet new friends,both Palestinians and a Palestinians, we have made swing dancing to be a Dance for Exchange a Dance for Peace and Justice, and what motivated me more is that the Israeli participants are understanding and confess that Palestinians should live Free with Security and Freedom as well as Palestinians confess. Swing dancing became as a small tool for seeking Peace in the Holy Land.

Words from Birte

My name is Birte, but people call me Bibi here because it is easier. And it sounds like Habibi – my friend. I live in Tel Aviv, working for a human rights organization.

I have started to dance swing 7 years ago in Berlin. My friend Gunnar taught me the first steps and got me in to it. Now I am addicted to swing dancing.

When I met Henry, a German teacher living in Beit Jalla, at a swing event in Tel Aviv I was partly joking when I said: so lets do swing dancing in Beit Jalla. But then we had a coffee with his friend Andrea, a German teacher in Bethlehem, and she really loved the idea.

It took us a while to get the first lesson started. First we did not find enough people, then Henry wanted to go on holiday, then we did not find a place– but eventually we did. I had some much fun teaching them. And every time I do, I enjoy it more. The students are wonderful and the lessons are so much fun; very relaxed and our emphasis is on having a good time. I can’t get enough seeing the group dance by now. And the best time is after the lesson, when we all sit together, eat the amazing food of Hosh Yasmin and drink home made Arak or Taybeh beer from the region.

Last week, we even got to dance a bit to live music as Henry and some friends did a jam session at the Hosh.

Now I just wish I could have the group feel more what the spirit of swing dancing is like: swing parties with social dancing, going out for a swing night, international dance festivals and meeting people from all around the world. Well, in Palestine there is no such event. But we are hoping that one day we can bring the group to a real swing dance festival abroad!

Yours, BB.


During the last Gaza war, otherwise known as ‘Operation Protective Edge’, things became pretty intense, well, everywhere –  but we kept our classes going as usual. At one of those classes, we had a big surprise.


This letter was sent to us by the people of the Israeli swing community, as a message of support from one group of dancers to another. You can read more about it here:
Subscribe to our blog, and keep yourself updated about an upcoming collaboration between us and the Israeli swing community, as well as many other big surprises!