Fall 2006 Vol. V, No. 1
Creating Laughter Under the Bombs
Sharif Abdunnurs theater production, Laughter Under the Bombs,
not only brought joy to the hearts of dozens of children displaced by
Israels vicious war on Lebanon, but more importantly it also helped
them deal with the trauma of losing their homes and sometimes even a close
family member in the destruction and violence. Abdunnur wrote and directed
an interactive theatrical piece performed at Beiruts Masrah Al Madina
(The city theater) in early August. The production featured adult professional
actors as well as children whose families had fled the bombing in the
south to seek refuge in the relative safety of Ras Beirut. It was
a good opportunity to watch people from different communities sit together
and laugh together despite all the terrible things that were going on
at the time, says Abdunnur.
Immediately following the ceasefire, Abdunnur took part in a variety of workshops organized by Al Jana that included trainers and teachers from NGOs and schools from around the country as well as from outside Lebanon. Conducting drama therapy workshops five hours a day for 10 days, Abdunnur demonstrated the importance of drama as a means of communicating with children who are struggling to deal with difficult circumstances such as war or abuse. Abdunnur is currently conducting drama and creative arts workshops in southern Lebanon for trainers who will continue working with children where they live. He is also hoping to produce a play that will be performed in villages in the south that will deal with the very serious problem of the thousands of mines the Israelis planted in the region just before the ceasefire took effect. A number of children have already been killed and injured by these bombs.
Another one of Abdunnurs projects involves working with children and their teachers in the south to create giant street puppets and to use them to promote childrens rights. Aware that a great deal more needs to be done to ensure that vulnerable children, not just in the south but all over the country, are emotionally equipped to deal with the uncertainty and turmoil in their lives, Abdunnur is anxious to continue the work that was begun during the war. So much is being done to deal with the material damage the country suffered during the bombing, but very few people are working with these children who have been badly traumatized and who already had problems to begin with.
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