Tarek “Laranja” Alsaleh was the first practitioner to introduce Caopeira in Syria. Different from many enthralled young teachers who chose to ‘train just for fun’, Tarek believes that helping children and youth to find joy in their lives is no longer a choice, but an obligation. He coordinates various different projects utilising Capoeira as a socio-educative instrument in different locations. Through CapoeirArab, he launched the “Free for Kids project”, a programme assisting over 500 Iraqi/Palestinian refugees and children in areas of extreme social conditions. Currently Tarek is working to launch ‘Bidna Capoeira’ a NGO that aims ‘to bring capoeira to people in difficult situations around the world’, as he puts it. This is the first part of my interview with Tarek.
After writing about the Volta Por Cima and the Brazil Sweden Cultural Exchange projects I received a few e-mails from people interested in this sort of social initiative in Capoeira. These new contacts made me think about the 4 Capoeira Thoughts proposal.