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Run away with the Palestine!

Circus2Iraq | 20.10.2005 22:07 | Culture | Repression


We’re looking to take a smallish group – no more than 6 people at a time. The tour will last about 3 months, starting in January, but people needn’t necessarily go for the entire trip.

Circus2Iraq in Baghdad
Circus2Iraq in Baghdad

We’re looking for people with solid circus skills, ideally able to teach the kids a few things as well. As much as I’d love us to be travelling with a full trapeze rig, it’s not possible – shows are usually on a dusty bit of ground, whatever’s available, without much time to set things up, bar a few minutes to get costumes and face paint on. In Iraq we used magic, juggling, clowning and stilts, as well as parachute games – you can learn the games when you get there, if you don’t know any. Obviously the shows also used very little language, although odd bits of Arabic got incorporated as we learnt them.

But at least as important is a sense of humour and the ability to deal with living with others, sharing rooms, working hard, sometimes seeing extreme poverty and violence. I don’t want to patronise anyone, but before deciding whether you want to come, it’s important to think about how you’d deal with all that and whether you’re someone who does deal with stuff. Peat was once involved with a project where someone couldn't cope and jumped out of a window. We’d hate to lose anyone that way…

Palestine and Israel are certainly safer than Iraq but clearly there are still bombings, gun battles and so on. Again, without wanting to patronise anyone, the safety aspect has to be considered carefully. It’s a bit less of an unknown situation than Iraq, in that quite a lot of foreigners have been to Palestine doing solidarity work of various kinds and it’s only been in quite extreme circumstances that anyone’s been seriously hurt, eg, trying to prevent house demolitions or rescue kids from gunfire.

Having said that, I can’t tell you it’s safe – you only have to read the mainstream media. We’re not setting rules about who can and can’t come, but anyone with dependent children, etc, ought to think especially long and hard.

You’d be responsible for arranging your own medical / travel insurance and we’d ask you to sign a disclaimer in case of anything bad happening to you. Boomchucka isn’t an organisation which is sending you on the trip; Boomchucka is you and whoever else goes on the trip.


I’ve focussed on the negatives so far, because they’re important, but I should also say, it’ll be an incredible experience. In Iraq the kids had never seen anything like us. The girls, especially, were amazed to see a 9-foot-tall multi-coloured woman. It brought out the clown in them again when a lot of them had forgotten how to be children.

People told us the kids hadn't laughed like that since before the war. Sometimes you felt high on the sound of them all laughing, on seeing the weight visibly lift off their parents’ shoulders. No matter how bad we felt when we got out of bed and we were tired and a bit burnt out, the first “Boomchucka” of the morning, yelled back at us by dozens or hundreds of little voices picked us up.

I confess I had doubts when I got back to Iraq after the invasion and saw the material desperation – not enough blankets, medicine, food, but a lot of organisations were doing those kinds of things and that wasn’t something we could realistically offer, but play and laughter, so desperately needed, were things the Iraqis themselves weren’t well able to provide. As well, people in Palestine, as in Iraq, are isolated, and it’s important for them to meet people from outside, share laughter and tell their stories, which we can bring back to our own world.

We’ve created an application form this time – it seems a bit formal, but it’s the best way to cover all considerations. Just copy and paste it into an email and fill it out and send it to us! If you’re interested but would like to know more or discuss something, email

Application Form

Boomchucka Circus – Palestine Trip 2006






General health / any regular medication (this wouldn’t count against you, just useful to know):

Please tell us about your circus skills:

Please tell us about any circus teaching skills or experience:

Please tell us about travelling experience, especially any in dangerous areas:

How do you deal with stress and fear?

How will you fundraise?

What languages can you speak?

Finally, most importantly, why?

Please feel free to add more if you want to.

- e-mail:
- Homepage:


Display the following 2 comments

  1. While you are out there... — ...
  2. A word of warning — Harlequin