Disabled whirling dervishes awe audience with their performances
ANKARA - Anadolu AgencyThe performance of a group of 12 Whirling Dervishes formed of students with autism, Down’s syndrome, mental and physical disabilities has fascinated audiences with their performance at a show in Ankara.
The group’s classes are run by Ülkü Bayram, the mentor of the group, who trains the students in a public education center in Ankara’s Sincan district. She said her students were developing self-confidence. They take stage in many other special events and occasions.
The students also received education on the teachings of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, internationally known as Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi mystic, poet, jurist, Islamic scholar and theologian.
“We performed at a number of places and the audiences loved it. Our 12-member group is made up of students with disabilities. But I do not want to refer to them as ‘disabled.’ I think they are very special people, they vary from others a little,” she said.
One of the students, Levent Metin, said people started perceiving them differently after watching their shows and that the students were pleased to see people applauding their performances.
“People who are becoming more aware thanks to the students were all interested in meeting the students after the shows. They [students] are becoming more assertive. In fact, one of my students, Fatih is trying to make it to news channels and statesmen,” she added.
The Mevlevi Order is a Sufi order founded by the followers of Rumi in 1273 in Konya. They are known as the whirling dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of Allah). Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi Path.