Dancing dabke helped me channel my inner Lebanese

By the end of Joey and Maria’s layliah I had established myself in the dabke whenever it materialised on the dance floor. For my family, like many other Lebs, the dance is an expression of connection to one another. I joined hands with my cousin on one side, my mother on the other, and performed the steps nearly in time with the music, no longer spectating a dance made to be performed, but holding onto the tradition that holds me.

| SBS Voices

The dabkeh jumps may have originated in ancient Canaanite fertility rituals related to agriculture, chasing off evil spirits and protecting young plants. According to Lebanese historian Youssef Ibrahim Yazbec, the dabke descends from Phoenician dances thousands of years old. More at Wikipedia.

The Girls