Ahmad Joudeh

Dance or Die

Ahmad Joudeh

Dance or Die

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Ahmad Joudeh is a dancer and a choreographer.

He was born and raised in Syria as a stateless refugee.

In 2016, he moved to Amsterdam with the help of the Dutch National Ballet. Since 2017, he has been internationally active as a freelance artist. In 2019, he was appointed as an International Friend by SOS Children's Villages International. 

In 2021, he obtained Dutch nationality, and a non-profit organisation Dance or Die Foundation was established with Ahmad Joudeh as the Artistic Director,

For more about Ahmad Joudeh:

Story in brief

Documentary and Reportage by Roozbeh Kaboly

DK    HU    IT    JP(日)    NO    SE

Tatoo "Dance or Die"

Under the civil war in Syria, Ahmad Joudeh received constant threats from extremists because of his dance activities.

As a response, he had the words “Dance or Die” tattooed on the back of his neck, the spot where a blade would fall in decapitation. For Ahmad Joudeh, to dance is to exist. To give up dancing was not an option.

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You can support Ahmad Joudeh
with your donation to

Dance or Die Foundation

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The foundation was established in 2021 as a non-profit organisation with Ahmad Joudeh as the Artistic Director.

Memoir “Dance or Die"

English version of the memoir of Ahmad Joudeh "Dance or Die" was published on 21 September 2021 by Imagine Books, a client publisher of Penguin Random House

See the announcement by Penguin Random House (with free teaser chapters)

The Italian version “DANZA O MUORI” was published by DeA Planeta Libri on 6 November 2018.

For more, see Book "Dance Or Die"

Dancing for his Life

Portrait of Ahmad Joudeh by Great Big Story (April, 2019)

Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Ahmad Joudeh performed at the Second Semi-Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2021 on 20 May 2021.

My Word Is Free

UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony, Geneva, 1 October 2018

International Friend of SOS Children's Villages International

Contacts for business and projects

Please send your mail to

contact@ahmadjoudeh.com