Syrian Children’s Play: Romeo & Juliet Separated by War – by Hazami Barmada

Article  •  Publié sur Souria Houria le 11 février 2015

A creative art therapy project for Syrian children. Romeo & Juliet are lovers separated by war. Romeo in Jordan & Juliet in Syria.

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About this project

We need your help to fund this Syrian children’s play! My dear friend, Nawar Bulbul, is a Syrian actor and humanitarian. In 2014, Nawar worked with Syrian children displaced by conflict in the Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan to put on ‘Shakespeare in Zaatari’. Nawar has one objective: To humanize and inspire the children through art. To use art as an outlet for their anger, sorrow, and pain. Acting becomes a place to create meaning and inspiration through creative expression (read about the impact Shakespeare had on their lives).

He’s at it again with ROMEO & JULIET WITH A UNIQUE TWIST! Seeing the impact and joy that the play brought the Syrian children, Nawar is creating Syrian Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet are lovers. However, they are separated. Romeo lives in Amman Jordan, and his lover—Juliet—lives in a city inside Syria.

The young boy who plays Romeo is an orphaned war amputee having lost his legs before fleeing Syria to seek safety in Amman, Jordan. Juliet is a young girl trapped in a besieged city in Syria cut off from resources, humanitarian support, and her extended family.

This is their story of love, longing and childhood. Please help us make this a reality and help us share the beautiful stories of Syrian children with the world.

Please note the fundraising goal is $7,000, however I set it at $4,000 as we will not get funding unless we meet the goal.

THE BACKGROUND STORY: RESTORING CHILDHOOD THROUGH THE ARTS

In 2014, Syrian Actor Nawar Bulbul (famous for his role in the popular show Bab Al-Hara) worked with Syrian children displaced by conflict in the Zaatari Refugee camp in Jordan to put on ‘Shakespeare in Zaatari’ [Read more about the production in the New York Times].

The production took many months to curate and featured 100 children in the cast, handmade costumes, and a narrative of tragedy all too familiar to these war affected children..

Teaching the children about theatre

Teaching the children about theatre
Rehearsals in the refugee camp

Rehearsals in the refugee camp
Play time in Amman, Jordan Ampitheatre

Play time in Amman, Jordan Ampitheatre
A full house watching Shakespeare in Zaatari!

A full house watching Shakespeare in Zaatari!

Bulbul says that psychologically and morally, theater is a way “to bring back laughter, joy, and humanity.” And despite extremely limited resources, he has helped eighty small and dedicated performers and singers find a public voice and platform from which to speak to the world.

Nawar’s objective is simple: To humanize and inspire the children through art. Arts became an outlet for their anger, sorrow, and pain. Acting became a place to create meaning and inspiration through creative expression. Through acting, the children were able to create a new reality—they were now actors, not merely ‘refugees’.The creative space brought the children over the course of months, creating a community to express their childhood and move away from politics and hurt.

The performance debuted in the refugee camp to parents, guests and other children. A public performance was later held in the old amphitheatre in Jordan’s capital, Amman.

ROMEO & JULIET WITH A TWIST

Seeing the impact and joy that the play brought the Syrian children, Nawar Bulbul, has decided to now create Romeo and Juliet. This play has a unique twist!

Romeo and Juliet are lovers. However, in the Syrian rendition, they are separated. Romeo lives in Amman Jordan, and his lover—Juliet—lives in a city inside Syria (location will not be revealed to protect the security of those involved).

The young boy who plays Romeo is an orphaned war amputee having lost his legs before fleeing Syria to seek safety in Amman, Jordan. Juliet is a young girl trapped in a besieged city in Syria cut off from resources, humanitarian support, and her extended family.

To emphasis the separation, anxiety and pain a lot of children face from being separated from their childhood memories, families and their county, the play will use Skype and online tools as the main means of communication between Romeo and Juliet. Using technology and skype is a creative way to also illustrate separation of many children from thier families. Skype is integrated fully into the play as they speak to each other and express their love through cameras.

It is a story of love. Of passion. Of separation. And of longing. Romeo cannot wait to return to his loves, Juliet and Syria.

The play will be streamed to audiences online and via video.

The play will debut on March 27, 2015 — World Theater Day.

Rehearsals have begun!

Rehearsals have begun!

HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN:

We are trying to raise $7,000 USD to pay for the following:

  • Internet
  • Computer equipment & Basic technology tools (Skype subscriptions)
  • Transportation for production team
  • Videography and video editing
  • Photography
  • Toys and gifts for children and the families involved

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

This is a grassroots project and is tied to no political, religious or social groups. The entire initiative is currently self funded by Nawar with in-kind support from friends and family.

I personally met Nawar (the director and brain behind the whole thing) on a recent trip Amman, Jordan on my way to visit Zaatari Refugee camp for a project I was working on. We since became close friends and I am now helping serve as a partner to him to help get him, his projects, and the beautiful children of Syria get the funding and visibility they deserve. Arts and cultural engagement is important not only for the morale of the children, but also to help highlight the humanity of innocent children impacted by war, with hopes to get more funding to support their mental health and education.

PLEASE DONATE WHAT YOU CAN. SHARE THE LINK AND STORY WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. HELP NAWAR NOT ONLY INSPIRE THESE CHILDREN, BUT ALSO HELP THEM EXPERIENCE THE JOYS OF THEATRE AND ACTING. THEY DESERVE THEIR CHILDHOOD.

Please note, I set the fundraising goal much lower as Kickstarter does not give you money if you fall short of your goal. Kindly help us reach our $7,000 goal.

THANK YOU!

Risks and challenges

The potential risks involved include security of children and ability to have reliable internet connection.

Nawar and the entire support team are very sensitive to these issues and have very strong knowledge of all the related potential issues and how to overcome them.

As for reliability of internet, we are working to purchase internet air time, and will also use an updated computer and camera to ensure quality.

 

source : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/331042491/syrian-children-play-romeo-and-juliet-separated-by

date : 02/2015