The Gazan parkour team, which somersaults up and down the rubble in the Strip, has come out with a tongue-in-cheek video in answer to the would-be encouraging one released late last month from Gaza by famed graffiti artist Banksy.
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The new video, posted on theguardian.com, opens with the Gazan boys flying around a vast empty lot as a huge explosion goes off in the background. "Yes, Banksy come discover my state of Gaza. Nearly 50 percent of us are unemployed and we are very available to show you around," says the group's leader Abdalah al-Qassab to a sound track by Palestinian hip hop star Shadia Mansour.
Banksy went to Gaza last month and stenciled a crying woman, children playing in an amusement park, and a white cat with a pink bow on buildings bombed to ruins by Israel last summer. He titled the video "Make this the Year YOU Discover a New Destination." The flying boys of Gaza were not amused.
Addressing Banksy, Qassab says, "I'm sure we can find you a place to stay, but there are around 12,000 people here in Gaza needing homes and needing houses, but with no construction materials coming in here in Gaza we can't rebuild.
"We can offer you bread and water, but actually most of the water here isn't drinkable, and bottled water is too, too expensive. But we are happy to share with you," he says.
The clip ends with the parkour team at the beach and Qassab saying how they want to see the world, or at least something beyond Gaza, but they are blockaded in. (Neither Israel nor Egypt, which are both blockading the Strip, are mentioned.)
"We want to do a lot of things and we dream a lot," says Qassab. "In spite of all this happening in Gaza, we are here and alive and our spirit is very strong. So come and discover us and make Gaza your destiniation." The clip ends with the boys somersaulting in the vacant lot again as a second, fiery explosion goes off in the distance.