Quotes: 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."

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Aug 28 2015 - UAE's DP World profits logs 22 percent growth in H1MENAFN
(MENAFN) Global marine terminal operator DP World declared a surge of 22 percent in its net profit in the first six months, recording USD405 million compared to USD322 million in 2014, plus total ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Oman's fiscal deficit to expand at 12 percent of GDPMENAFN
(MENAFN) Oman's very high economic dependence on gas sector is going to add pressure to the public finance in 2015-16, although it has an ongoing solid economic growth.Meanwhile, the country's fiscal ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Saudi's foreign reserves shrink down 0.5 percent in JulyMENAFN
(MENAFN) The world's largest oil exporter has begun issuing domestic debt aiming at covering part of a budget deficit cause by low oil prices, and the result was that the speed of deterioration in ...

 Aug 28 2015 - UAE cuts September petrol prices as global oil fallsGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) The UAE cut petrol and diesel prices by between 8% and 9% for September, the second month during which the Middle Eastern country, Opec's fifth-largest oil producer, removed ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Algeria targets hidden $40bn amid ignored oil-price pleasGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Day and night, trucks trundle the 10 miles from Algiers port to the suburb of Semmar, where workers unload and stack goods that will feed into a vast black market.Merchants pack ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Egypt power choices appease public, but squeeze industryGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Far fewer Egyptians are complaining about the kind of power cuts that fuelled unrest in the past but government energy policies apparently focused on appeasing the public are ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Saudis seek guidance on economy as stocks gyrateGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Saudi plastic surgeon and stock-market investor Sami al-Harki is looking for help.Al-Harki already lost 40% on his shares, but doesn't want to sell before the Saudi government ...

 Aug 28 2015 - US- Short-handed Giants beat CubsGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Joe Bochy, a San Francisco Giants scout, is in town to help evaluate the club on this homestand. Maybe he can turn in a report on his kid brother, Bruce.When you win with a ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Jordan- Rania: Muslims must do more to counter ISGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Queen Rania of Jordan said yesterday that moderate Muslims were not doing enough to fight against IS militants and their "diabolical ideology". Speaking at a major French ...

 Aug 28 2015 - Abbas heats up Palestinian politics in PLO reshuffle bidGulf Times
(MENAFN - Gulf Times) President Mahmoud Abbas is acting to shake up Palestinian politics, with peace talks with Israel in deep freeze and unity efforts with Hamas Islamists who run the Gaza Strip ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

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

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

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
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


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


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help