Children’s theater in the middle of the rubble.

By January 16, 2020 Stories From Idlib

Since I was a child, my passion was to stand on the theater stage in front of the audience. I used to imagine myself on that huge stage facing the massive lights and the audience in front of me clapping at the end of the play.

In 2008, I stood on the theater stage for the first time, and after three years I won the first-place in theatrical acting in Idlib. However, because of the circumstances that we lived in the past years; I could not continue my education and study in the Highest Institute for Theatrical Arts.

I was about to give up and let go my dream, but I defied myself and took a personal decision that I will carry on and never give up, it was at the same time when I joined a group of young people who were working on a children-theater initiative in 2013, we called it “The Magical Caravan.”

My work developed and I, later on, established a puppet and shadow theater and started doing weekly plays for children in different places.

Since then, I started working to improve my skills and plays. My plays are principally based on high-moral values of human being in a pleasurable and lovable method for children, aiming to draw their attention away from war and bring the smile back on their faces so that we inspire those children and instill in them peace, hope and learning principles, because I believe in a quote from my imagination that says, “Assad destroy houses and theater builds brains”.

Children in plays are not only audience. I try to engage them with the plays itself to increase their self-confidence and raise their awareness concerning the importance of theater in life. Perhaps one day I can help one of the children to enhance his or her skills and s/he becomes an international theater actor! 

It happens a lot that young girls and boys talk to me from different villages and nearby cities in Idlib to go and do theater plays in their areas to spread the theater culture more and more.

Some children who attended my plays, started themselves doing similar plays among their friends, such a sweet thing to hear, isn’t it?!

Despite their displacement, many artists such as Fares Al-Helu, Nawar Bolbol, and Amal Omran maintained their faith in the Syrian cause, and are upholding and supporting amateur actors like me, I would not have been able to improve my skills without their help.

The situation in Idlib now is getting worse than ever before. I am writing now and the warplanes are flying over where I am, even if they do not strike, the feeling that warplanes are flying over gives a terrible frightening feeling.

The civilians’ situation is indescribable! They had to, under death danger, to pack their belongings and leave their homes while they are exposed to death anytime because even the roads are being attacked by the Assad regime while people are passing through them to reach a safe shelter, not even knowing if they will be able to go back homes once again or not!

Sometimes I go to the displacement camps and do theater plays for children, it may not help decreasing their anguish and suffering, but this is the only thing I can do…

Having to continue working until now might reflect how strong and resilient person I am, but I am psychologically exhausted; tiredness, anxiety, depression and long nights without sleeping while warplanes are intensely flying over the city’s sky, fearing that they might bomb and kill me anytime.
What is the civilians fault to suffer all this? What is the children fault??
Why is the world not moving to protect the civilians and stop once and for all Assad and Russia? I have no idea!