Belly dancers put skills toward a good cause in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Professional belly dancers from around New England were shimmying at the First Church in Northampton, to help provide refugees with shelter, medical care and clean water.

Belly dancers in more than 25 cities around the world held events to raise money for Syrian refugees. The event is part of a global initiative called “Global Hafla for Humanity.” Hafla means “party” in Arabic.

The show featured professional belly dancers from all over New England.

Event organizer Eliza Luminara told 22News, “We wanted to be sure that they were able to go where they needed to go. Out of war zones and conflict zones and be safe with the women, the children, the families, to all be able to be in a safe place.”

One woman told 22News there’s more to Middle Eastern culture than violence.

“There’s just a lot of misconceptions of middle eastern culture because of modern events,” said Victoria Chapman of Northboro. “And I’d like people to know there’s more to it than violence we’ve seen in recent years.”

Event organizer and belly dancer Sahina Sadai said, “I just want them to feel a sense of community and a sense that we’re all coming together to do something great.”

More than 12-million refugees have fled their homes because of conflict.

All the proceeds from Sunday’s event will be given to the International Rescue Committee.

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