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Chinese disabled artists touches Israelis, Palestinians
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With tears in her eyes, Amal, a 30- year-old Palestinian woman who works at Jerusalem Princess Basma Center, said that the performances of Chinese disabled artists were "very, very touching."

This was the second time Amal has watched the performance in two days. Amal told Xinhua: "I hope that disabled people in Israel and the Palestinians can have opportunities to do what they want to, and to practice their hobbies as I saw the disabled Chinese people do."

The Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital of Norway chaired a four-day annual international network seminar on rehabilitation in the West Bank city of Bethlehem and invited artists from the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe. They performed in Bethlehem on Friday evening and in Jerusalem on Saturday evening.

The three Chinese performers sang in Hebrew the song: You and Me Will Change the World, in Bethlehem with Palestinian boys and girls.

Ofer Keren, director of the Rehabilitation Department of Alyn Hospital, said that this was the first time that a song in Hebrew was sung there and that it delivered a message of peace.

Additionally, three blind Chinese artists sang and played the piano. The troupe also showed a film to the audience, titled My Dream. It was a documentary about these hard-working disabled performers, combining their performances on stage, which is the basis for accomplishing their dreams, with how they were trained behind the curtain.

"There are 600 million disabled people in the world. In their own way, they give expression to dignity and value, making life joyful, making the world friendlier and happier," said Wang Yuan, counselor of the China's most famous disabled artist troupe.

Established in 1987, the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe is referred to as "Messenger of Beauty and Humanity," "Image Ambassador for People with Disabilities" and designated as "UNESCO Artists for Peace." The troupe has given performances in more than 50 countries.

Waddah Malhis, medical director of Jerusalem Princess Basma Center, said that there were many physically disabled and hearing-impaired people in their center. The performance of these Chinese disabled artists made them realize that it was possible for the disabled to do a lot of things.

He said he hoped to establish a training program with the troupe and with the China Rehabilitation Research Center so that they could exchange ideas about how to improve disabled people's spiritual lives.

Sarah Elbaz, a musician from Israel Conservatory of Music who also performed during the ceremony, said that the Chinese performance was beautiful and touching, a wonderful experience for everyone.
(Xinhua News Agency October 21, 2007)

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