Arab Theater Festival Kicks Off at Opera

By: Nour ElHoda Fouad, Yassmine ElSayed

CAIRO, Jan 10. (SEE) – Theaters all over Egypt are preparing to host the 11th edition of the Arab Theater Festival, as the opening took place today at the Main Hall of the Opera House.
The festival is organized by the Ministry of Culture with the Arab Theater Authority, and attended by 650 Arab artists and writers, displaying, over a week, 27 shows in addition to dozens of art seminars and joint workshops assembling various Arab delegations.
A total of AED 100 thousand was allocated for ‘Sheikh Al Qasimi Award’, to be distributed among the winning works at the closing ceremony of the festival. This ceremony will be attended by 9 competents; The “AlRahma – Mercy” (Kuwait), “Altooq wal eswera – The Ring and the Bangle” (Egypt), “Almagnoon – The insane” (UAE), “Alnafeza – The Window” (Jordan), “Zakera qaseera – Short memory” (Tunisia), “Shabka – net” (Morocco) “Abath – Mess” (morocco) and “Nesaa bela malameh – women without features” (Jordan).

The event set to honor a number of theater pioneers, whose names were announced at a press conference: Ashraf Abdel Ghafour, Amal Bakir, Jalal El Sharkawy, Rashwan Tawfiq, Sameha Ayoub, Sameer Ahmed, Samir Al-Asfoury, Samira Abdel-Aziz, Samir Ghanem, Sana Shafei, Suheir Al-Morshedi, Abdul Rahman Abu Zahra, Ezzat Al-Alaili, Fahmi Al-Khouli, Kamal Eid, Lenin Al-Ramli, Mahmoud Al-Hedaini, Mahmoud Yassin, Nabil Al-Halafawi, Nabil Munib, Najat Ali, Naima Ajami, Huda Wasfi, Yousry Al-Jundi, Yahya Al-Fakharani.

On other hand, Dr. Enas Abdel Dayem, minister of Culture, expressed her pride for hosting the festival, and stressed that all the departments of the ministry are alert to serve at events and make it success.
She also hailed the efforts of the Arab Theater Organization, which were implemented under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates.

On his part, Playwrighter Ismail Abdullah said that the jury of the competition includes: Omar Fatmoush (Algeria) as president, and members; Dr. Jabbar Khumat (Iraq), and Dr. Othman Badawi (Sudan), Dr. Alia Khalidi (Lebanon) and Fahd Rida Al-Harthy (Saudi Arabia).
On his part, Director Ghanam Ghanam, who is also responsible for the media committee said that the Arab artists “need the help of Egypt and the support of its great audience and its positive energy, but also to benefit from Egypt’s cultural and artistic heritage in the region and the expertise of its artists and opinions”. He also noted that the Arab Theater Authority. published 11 books on the Egyptian theater.

On other hand, Director Khaled Galal, president of the the festival’s high committee and head of Egyptian cultural production sector, said that Egypt has been hosting Arab festivals for more than 25 years, such as the Experimental Festival and the Arab Theater Festival.
He noted that the participating works were selected as the best works from each country, a diversity that imposes different cultures on the Egyptian public, who used to accept difference.

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