What is Hafla for Humanity?

Hafla for Humanity is a global project of bellydancers fundraising for organizations that are working to provide aid to people — particularly women and children — in Arab and Middle Eastern countries.

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This is our way of recognizing that our beloved art form is a gift from the MENAHT (Middle East, North Africa, Hellenistic &Turkey) countries. We are grateful for the art, music, dance, and culture that these countries have shared with us and we want to give back.

It’s also an opportunity to band together with our fellow dancers around the globe and share our art in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude. Together, we are powerful.

  • In 2015, H4H organizers in more than 30 cities around the world raised over $22,000 for the International Rescue Committee‘s work with Syrian refugees.
  • In 2016, we raised more than $8700 for the Amar Foundation‘s work with Yazidi women and girls escaping ISIS.

Local events in 2020 will take place before May 31 and will help provide humanitarian aid to the people of Yemen via the International Rescue Committee.

Global Hafla for Humanity is a BellydanceU project, founded by Lauren Zehara Haas.

Get Involved


any time before March 1, 2020. Your event can take place any time before May 31 of 2020. 

A Hafla for Humanity event doesn’t need to be a big, city-wide hafla. It can be 5 troupemates gathering in your living room to watch dance videos and pass a collection basket. It could be a class, a workshop, a potluck party at the studio or a teacher’s home… we welcome all events, large or small.

And we’re here to support your event any way we can — check out our resources for event organizers regularly to see what we’ve added. 

Looking for local H4H events to attend?  Sign up for our e-mail list and  stay tuned on Facebook for more details.

Donate an item

We’ll be having a silent auction in the United States this year, too. To keep the auction manageable, we’ll restrict the listings to large-ticket items of interest to the entire United States: gently used costumes, festival packages, video classes, or bundles of smaller items would be perfect.

Message lauren@haflaforhumanity.com to discuss your donation.

This Year’s Charity

This year, Hafla for Humanity will be supporting the International Rescue Committee’s aid to Yemen

Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. Two-thirds of the population in Yemen is at risk for starvation. The Yemeni people are under siege by war, famine, cholera, and displacement.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has been working in Yemen since 2012, and it is one of the few organizations that’s able to get aid into the war-torn country. The IRC is providing clean water, medicine, nutrition services and other urgent aid to as many Yemeni people as they can reach.

The organization spends a whopping 87% of its revenues on programming and is ranked in the top 1% of efficient and trustworthy charities by Charity Navigator. 

2020 Haflas

Watch this space for an event near you — or a Hafla for Humanity in your community!


Hobart, Tasmania

Sponsored by Irissa Dances. Details to be confirmed.


Kingston, Ontario

February 22, 2020
Location: 206 Consession St. Kingston, ON
Kingston Egyptian Raqs will be hosting a casual Hafla with music, snacks, photo and sewing areas and costume swap tables. Stop by to say hello or stay for the whole time, a casual gathering for a good cause. Check out the event on facebook or email Haleemaraks@gmail.com if you’d like to participate!

Montreal, Quebec

March 22, 2020
Location: TBA
Join Aziza and Florence Leclerc for a community hafla featuring live music, shisha, and shenanigans in support of Global Hafla for Humanity. E-mail info@florencedanse.com for more info.


Brussels, Belgium

April 19, 2020
Location: Salle Dublin
Watch for more details or contact Eszter Hámori for information.

Tallinn, Estonia

February 22, 2020
Location: Mystika Dance Studio
Berit Vill and Mystika Dance Studio will be sponsoring our first-ever Hafla for Humanity in Estonia! Mark your calendar, details to follow. E-mail Mystika if you’d like to participate!

United States


Auburn, AL

May 30, 2020
Location: TBA
Firefly Nights Belly Dance is proud to partner with Global Hafla for Humanity for our semi-annual hafla! This event will include performances from a wide range of dancers, from student through professional, as we help raise funds for the International Rescue Committee’s efforts in Yemen. While the event is free to attend, all tips/donations will be provided to IRC.


Orange County, CA

May 31, 2020
Venue: Moongoat Coffee Roasters, 1985 Placentia Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA
Chani Rhinehart will host a show that includes live music for the second set of dancers, a silent auction, and vendor sales, with a percentage of those sales being donated along with 100% of ticket sales after expenses. Email Chani if you’d like to be part of this local event.

Sacramento, CA

Date TBA
Details of this event to follow


Panama City

May 30, 2020
Location: Capstone House
Join Gypsy Parvana for an afternoon of world-class belly dance and fusion dance performances to benefit the International Rescue Committee efforts in Yemen. 100% of profits will be donated specifically to this cause in conjunction with an international effort to raise funds by connecting the belly dance community to this deserving charity.
$10 suggested donation at the door. See the Facebook events for details
Dancers, please contact the page to claim a performance spot.


Honolulu, HI

May 2, 2020
Location: Hawaiian Brian’s
Save the date for this event sponsored by Medah. Details coming soon. E-mail for details.


Carbondale, IL

Date TBA
Nile Breeze Dance Collective will be sponsoring an event, with details to be announced. This is likely to be an informal style event featuring music, dance, and refreshments. Contact Tedi Thomas for details if you’d like to participate, or keep an eye on the Facebook event at this link.

Chicago, IL

February 14, 2020
Raks Geek
What’s better than nerd love? Geek out with us for Valentine’s Day! (Single? The Wookiee is happy to be your valentine this year!)
Hang with the bellydancing Wookiee, firespinning superheroes, and sword-wielding villains for a brand-new production of fire, nerdery, and wonder every other month – we’ll pay tribute to everything from the X-Men to Star Wars, Doctor Who to Silent Hill, Super Mario Bros to Sandman. It’s a veritable cornucopia of nerdy delights. (But not the kind you have to fight to the death for.)
So grab a Romulan Ale, help raise money for local non-profit orgs, and geek out – don’t miss one of the most unique experiences in the Alpha Quadrant!
February: We’re coordinating with the Global Hafla for Humanity to donate 10% of proceeds from the show to the International Rescue Mission. E-mail Raks Geek for more information.


Lawrence, Kansas

May 9
Location: Douglas County Fairgrounds
This is a belly dance garage sale event with a hafla style (casual) performance. 10a-6p Folks can attend the hafla only for 1/2 price after 2pm.

Visit the Facebook event for more info, or contact the event sponsor, Jo Anne Zingo a//k/a Zada Al Gaziyeh, at 785-842-3010


Murray, Kentucky

Axis Tribal Bellydance will host an event with a portion of proceeds benefitting Hafla for Humanity, not only to fundraise but to bring the joy of dance to the community. E-mail for more information or to join the event.


Baltimore, Maryland

March 7, 2020
Location: 13.5% Wine Bar

The All Seasons Hafla is a quarterly belly dance show hosted by Aliceanna and Mariza. We don’t sell tickets to our event, but plan to have a donation box for the audience to contribute to. Contact Aliceanna or visit the Facebook event for more info.

Severna Park, Maryland

February 8, 2020
Location: Latifa’s School of Middle Eastern Dance (This is a private event in Latifa’s home)

This event will be a Dance Salon (by definition, an event intended to please and educate) Since we’re dancers, a dance-oriented salon could include attendees showing off their works in progress, either just to get some practice performing in front of a small audience, or to seek feedback from those attending. We could share things we’ve learned, work on costumes (especially if you need help fitting), listen to new songs, etc. There will be a donation bucket for Hafla for Humanity.

This is a private, in-home event for Latifa’s students and colleagues. If you know Latifa and would like to be invited, send her an e-mail.



Date, venue and details are still to be announced for this event. Contact Mary Embree for details.



March 7, 2020
Location: B Side of Benson Theater
Sponsored by BellyOmaha.com / Magdalena Christina. “Casbah on the Prairie” is a show of Midwest meets Middle East. We will donate a portion of the proceeds, 10% with a minimum of $50. E-mail bellyomaha@gmail.com for details.

New York

Buffalo, NY

February 22, 2020
Location: House of Hips
Hayatidance and House of Hips will host Vintage Vibe Drum Solo workshop with Maia Alexandra (Feb 8th) and So you Want to be a Showgirl performance intensive with Jo Boring from the Lunachix (Feb 22) in preparation for the Love will Find A Way – Global Hafla for Humanity performance event. All levels are welcome to the intensives, no prior dance experience required. All proceeds from the show will benefit the IRC. Please contact hayatidance@yahoo.com if you are interested in performing, attending or helping these efforts in any way. See link for additional details



May 2, 2020
Location: Mississippi Pizza Music Room – 3552 N Mississippi Ave
This year’s Raqs Ayana student hafla is pleased to join the Hafla for Humanity cause. From 6 to 8 p.m. at the lovely Mississippi Pizza Music room, this year’s showcase will feature student solos as well as small groups, and performances by members of Raqs Ayana Dance Collective. For more info, visit the website, call 503-380-6720 or e-mail  info@henndaances.com.


Salt Lake City, UT

February 29, 2020
Location: Om Wellness
Come enjoy wonderful performances at Om Wellness as we fundraise for both the International Rescue Aid for Yemen and a local Utah non-profit. Doors open 8pm. Show starts 8:30pm promptly. Open dancing at end of show.
Suggested donation of $5 at the door. Vending, raffles and light fare will be for sale as part of the fundraiser. All proceeds after expenses will go toward both charities. If you’d like to participate, contact Aaliyah Jenny, 845-590-5645 or  aaliyahdance18@gmail.com


Madison, WI

February 23, 2020
Location: Dance Life Studio and Fitness, 6725 Seybold Rd, Madison, WI 53719

Dance Life Studio and Fitness will be hosting our World Dance Hafla and joining the fundraising project for International Rescue Committee aid to Yemen (IRC).

The show starts at 5:00 p.m. Donations for IRC will be collected by passing a basket during the show. Donations for our school will be collected at the front desk. The show is followed by a potluck dinner and live music with the Oudist Colony. This is a family-friendly, all-ages event. All styles of dancers are welcome to perform. Sign up to dance. Bring family and friends. Share this event.

Dancers should confirm their interest ASAP with Hallie at h.a.segelhorstATgmail.com by Feb. 17, 2020