April 18, 2017

Hanna Tams

Young man stands in front of microphone talkingAt a young age, Hanna Tams set himself apart as a leader in youth engagement when in 2012 he established the Douban Dance Company in Jerusalem. Through his dance company, Hanna serves Palestinian youth who are at significantly higher risk of destructive behaviors than their peers in Israel and the West Bank. Young Palestinians involved in Hanna’s dance company have transformed their lives by countering the predominant pressures of violence, drug use, and school dropout rates among at-risk Palestinian youth. Hanna is a leader in using art for social change. He takes his dance company into schools, after school clubs, and other educational institutes. Today, more than 600 young Palestinians participate in Hanna’s dance program. Through dance, he has opened the Palestinian public to the prospect of credible social alternatives to violence, and he also has changed attitudes of parents towards the value of arts education for their children. Hanna Tams is a social activist in Jerusalem and an honor student in business at Birzeit University.

Young man in high jump with legs extended wide

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