Monster Children: The Mini Ramp in the Zoo
When I was a young teen, skateboarding taught me the values of challenging the status quo. And in the era I discovered it, it allowed me to flow just outside the fringe of social norms; its teachings were always about pursuing passions and never giving up on dreams. For the 22 children in Palestine who come to the small zoo in Qalqilya a few days a week—who found skateboarding by fate and came to SkateQilya for some refuge from the world—I can only hope they continue to have access to this means of respite, and even a measure of hope. Freedom in the West Bank is a change that will take strength beyond my understanding. For now though, this small oasis from turmoil, the mini ramp in a forgotten old zoo, is a place where the larger barriers in life recede into the distance, where these kids come together as a community with purpose beyond mere subsistence. The skatepark is not just a means of escape in this setting, but a place to feel alive, free, and fully human.