Gaza man masters rare skill of balancing art

Whenever Mohammed al-Shenbari sees a new object, he quickly tries to uncover its “balancing point” and make it stand in a way that appears to defy the law of gravity

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip -- Whenever Mohammed al-Shenbari sees a new object, he quickly tries to find its “balancing point” and make it stand in a way that appears to defy the law of gravity.

The 24-year-old self-taught Palestinian artist says he can balance almost any object, using what he calls a mix of mind and body.

This has made him a popular entertainer and frequent participant in psychological support sessions that are common in conflict-ridden, poverty-stricken Gaza.

A year ago, al-Shenbari came across a YouTube video by a Korean balance artist, Nam Seok Byun, and was fascinated by the way the artist delicately arranged rocks atop round pebbles.

Al-Shenbari’s dream is to compete on reality TV shows and travel to Asia, where he says the art of balancing is practiced, to improve his skills.