Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Young Syrian refugees bring King Lear to life in the desert  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 25/03/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Under a huge white tent in the desert dust of Jordan, 100 Syrian refugee children, their own lives blighted, rehearse King Lear, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies.They form a circle around Syrian actor-turned-director Nawwar Bulbul, who has worked with them for more than two months at Zaatari refugee camp in the hope of drawing attention to their plight."I seek to revive laughter and joy among children to help them express themselves," said Bulbul, who was in several hit soap operas at home before falling foul of President Bashar al-Assad's regime and fleeing into exile."I seek to reproduce their childhood, which has been destroyed by war."Jordan currently hosts more than 500,000 Syrian refugees including 100,000 in Zaatari -- more than half of them children.Laughter, joy and childhood innocence are not commonly associated with the story of Lear, an ageing monarch who decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters.

Because of a misunderstanding, he disinherits the only one who truly loves him. The others betray Lear, destroying not only his family but also his kingdom.The king goes mad, raging against his misfortune."Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!" he rails in a storm, calling on the sky to send down "sulphurous and thought-executing fires" to "singe my white head!"Majd Ammari, a green-eyed 13-year-old from conflict hotspot Daraa, is entranced by his role as Lear.- Shakespeare in classical Arabic -He will of course not utter those thundering lines in the Bard's English, but in classical Arabic."This makes me happy. I really want to become an actor when I grow up," said Majd, who fled to Jordan with his 10-member family last year.

Bulbul has adapted and modified the play to make it more suitable for the children, and says it "has nothing to do with politics and the Syrian uprising"."I only took the roots of the story -- that there is a dying king who wants to divide his realm among his three daughters. Two of them are liars and the third is honest."I focused on the comparison between lying and telling the truth," said the actor from the Syrian city of Homs."I focused on what is interesting for children. All children like acting. A boy likes to play the role of king, prince, knight, while a girl wants to become a princess."Bulbul said he chose Lear because he feared "a play about the bombs that fell on people's heads in Syria would not interest" children who have become jaded by the death and destruction they have seen.The actor, who left Syria after being blacklisted for joining anti-regime protests, said he gets little support in Zaatari.He depended on friends to buy the tent and help gather equipment and props.- 'Children pay the price' -Boys line up to the right and girls, most wearing headscarves, to the left as Lear stands in the centre holding a wooden sceptre, listening to his daughters pitch their expressions of loyalty.

All of the children are under 15, and most come from Daraa and the Damascus area."We want to tell the West: 'Leave the children out of this dirty game of war.' They have nothing to do with war, but they always pay the price," Bulbul said."Children should be playing with toys and learning science, arts and music."When I first came here, children were using the language of war... tanks, bullets and bombs. But that has changed now. To me, this is an achievement."Bulbul plans to stage the play at Zaatari on March 27, World Theatre Day.Written invitations have been arranged for UN chief Ban Ki-moon, actress and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie and French football legend Zinedine Zidane."To me, the children are the real revolutionaries. Performing Shakespeare's play in the heart of Zaatari is a different kind of a revolution against politics and society," Bulbul said.Bushra Nasr, 13, plays eldest daughter Goneril, while Weam Ammari, 12, is Cordelia, the one who is wronged."The play brought joy to all of us. We needed that," said Nasr, who fled to Jordan with her five sisters and two brothers a year ago.Ammari, who has five sisters and a brother, said she has finally found something to entertain her."My role was not easy at first because I had to speak classical Arabic. But now, everything is smooth and I have a lot of friends. It makes me feel much better."I do not feel lonely any more in this place."

 






  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 1 2014 - Power oil & gas sectors account for 60 of SR84.9bn contractsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia recorded a significant upswing in the value of awarded contracts during the second quarter of 2014 as it reached SR84.9 billion. It marked a strong rebound from the ...

 Sep 1 2014 - TADAWUL: Insurance Energy sectors surge over 2Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia's benchmark the Tadawul All-Share Index (TASI) closed at 11112.12 and ended its Sunday's trading up over seventy points or 0.63 percent. Its year-to-date return ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Basketball: US Spain move to 2-0 Senegal picks up historic winArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SEVILLE Spain: United States and Spain both collected their second straight win at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sunday while Croatia fought off tough Argentina and ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Gilas Pilipinas under pressure after 2nd defeat by GreeceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SEVILLE Spain: Gilas Pilipinas ran into a solid Greek wall on Sunday night and was driven on cliff's edge in the Fiba World Cup.Greece used its huge advantage in size and heft to ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Saudi - Labor law violation: 18773 companies face actionArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The Labor Ministry has slapped fines worth more than SR10 million on companies after its inspectors found 62762 labor rule violations during raids carried out over the past nine ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Salman-Hollande talks to focus on Mideast turmoilArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Turmoil across the Middle East which has led to the death and displacement of millions of innocent people will top the agenda of talks between Crown Prince Salman deputy premier ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Pakistani Army vows to protect democracyArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) ISLAMABAD: The much-vaunted Pakistan Army declared on Sunday that it was committed to protecting democracy in the wake of anti-government protests.According to media reports ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Breakthrough in GCC-Qatar rowArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia and other GCC states have reached a breakthrough toward ending their dispute with Qatar having agreed on principles to overcome differences leaders of thesix-member ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Cyberspace turning into battlefieldArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The US has launched a social media offensive against the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda setting out to win the war of ideas by ridiculing the militants with a mixture of blunt ...

 Sep 1 2014 - Japan France share spoils in team eventArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) CHELYABINSK Russia: Japan and France took home the gold medals in the team competition on the final day of the judo World Championships in Chelyabinsk on Sunday.Japan recovered ...

more...


 






Google

menafn.com

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help