RIDE FAST... RIDE FREE
Abdullah, 18 years old, was born in Qalqilya on the first of february 2000 ...
In the middle of the second intifadah.
Abduallah is Palestinian ...
Abdullah is a skateboarder, one of the most talented skateboarder in Palestine.
Qalqilya is a small city of the West Bank. Located one hour north west of Ramallah, right on the Israeli/ Palestinian border, surrounded by the apartheid wall on one side and illegal settlements on the other. Israeli military occupation there is heavy.
Added to this Qalqilya is a relatively conservative muslim town.
We met each other there in 2015 while I was taking part as a volunteer in a project called Skatepal, which aims to introduce skateboarding to the children of the West Bank, by building skateparks, offering skateboards and teaching skateboarding.
One of the main thing about skateboarding is that it brings people together, and that's what happened with Abdullah, Charlie Davis (Skatepal's founder) and all the people that came to volunteer for Skatepal.
« Here we have no freedom of movement ... no opportunity to play, study, or work ...
skateboard help me clear my mind, and it's pretty much all we can do »
The occupation forces opperate all over the West Bank and Palestinians confront it in their every day life, there are physical violent confrontations but there is also a strong psycholigical aspect from being occupied.
In a place like Qalqilya, surrounded by the wall, it is a everyday face to face to the apartheid politic of Israel, bringing very complex issues as well as basic human rights privation.
In this situation skateboard for Abdullah has become a tool for self developement, self confidence, perseverance, giving him the chance to reclaim his own urban space, looking at his surrounding with a new perspective, turning it into a playground.
« skateboarding here is a message to say that no matter what they do,
no matter what walls they put, we are gonna keep having fun, we are gonna keep skating,
we are gonna ... we are gonna ... we are gonna Live. »