Shakespeare in Syria – Through Courageous Eyes

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Courageous-Eyes-WebBanner-2Today, I’m sharing a video featuring twelve-year-old Wiam Yousef Al-Ammari, a budding actress who was introduced to Shakespeare’s King Lear at Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. This video was produced by Joslyn Massad, a contributor to the Tracks collection of stories of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). To watch the video and read the full story, please continue to the Tracks site

The Through Courageous Eyes blog series features migrant and refugee artists and is curated by Cecilia Pessoa, LIRS Communications Associate.

UNHCR/J.Massad
Wiam played the role of Cordelia, the king’s youngest daughter, who is banished from the kingdom.
UNHCR/J.Massad

Massad writes:

Twelve-year-old Wiam Yousef Al-Ammari has not been to school since her family fled Syria in January 2013. But that hasn’t stopped her from studying Shakespeare. She was one of 80 young refugees who recently staged King Lear at Za’atari camp in Jordan, exploring all-too-familiar themes of exile, bitter rivalry and human cruelty. Wiam played Cordelia, the king’s youngest daughter, who pays a steep price for daring to tell him the truth.

The production was directed by Nawar Bulbul, a Syrian actor who fled to Jordan in 2011. Best known for his roles in the historical television drama “Bab al-Hara,” Bulbul had visited Za’atari to help deliver assistance and decided to stage a play after learning that over half of the Syrian refugee children in Jordan were not attending school.

Wiam and others acting in Za'atari's production of Shakespeare's King Lear. UNHCR/J.Kohler
Wiam and others acting in Za’atari’s production of Shakespeare’s King Lear.
UNHCR/J.Kohler

To read the full story and watch the video, please continue to the UNHCR Tracks site.

Find all the previous posts in the Through Courageous Eyes series.

Through Courageous Eyes features the artistic work of refugees and migrants. If you would like to showcase your artwork as part of the Through Courageous Eyes series, please contact Cecilia Pessoa at cpessoa@lirs.org.

Banner photo credit: Johanan Ottensooser

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