Musicians and other entertainers have found it hard to make a name and living for themselves in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip as they struggle to find venues and instruments, let alone get permission to play.AFP/SARA BENHAIDA
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Khamiss Abu Shaban's band would love to wow the kinds of crowds seen elsewhere, but in Hamas-run Gaza they struggle to find venues and instruments, let alone get permission to play.That's a paradox of Gaza, a fact not lost on advertisers who seek to woo young break-dancers and devotees of parkour – the sport combining running, acrobatics and gymnastics.Gaza is a narrow strip of land, wedged between Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, into which 1.8 million Palestinians are jammed.Even at the height of the grueling summer 2014 war, Watar Band and Gaza rap pioneer Ayman Mghamess posted songs and videos shot in the ruins of bombed-out buildings because they believed people needed to hear music.Egypt has largely kept its border with Gaza closed since 2013 and has destroyed Palestinian tunnels under the frontier used for smuggling.The crew made do with the house of the father of three members who all fled Gaza for the United States and Europe.In the Gaza Strip, battered by three wars with Israel since 2008, electricity flows for just eight hours each day.
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