Yaffa Festival for Contemporary Arab Culture

MAY, 10-12, 2018 
In the last years there is an unprecedented flourishing of Arabic culture that the Israeli public is rarely exposed to. The theatre in Egypt, Lebanon and even in Syria and Iraq is popular and thriving. The Egyptian cinema that in its framework operates as one of the world's first academies offers fresh works.  The Palestinian society in Israel creates fascinating works in theater, cinema and poetry. Indeed, it is sad that against the backdrop of this success, the fact that this rich and varied work in all fields of cultural and artistic activity is almost not available to Jewish audiences.
Jaffa Theatre – The Center for Arab Hebrew Culture and the Arab Theatre Al Saraya in Yaffo joined in an exceptional event exposing contemporary Arab culture unfamiliar to the Israeli public at a three-day festival of contemporary Arab culture, now in its third year in the shared theater building of the two organizations. Believing in the power of culture to shape the individual, the two unique institutions decided to open a window to the Israeli public to this wondrous world, in order to expose them to the reality of the people in the Arab world and to become familiar with their pain, dreams, humor and creativity.
This joint festival of the two theaters will continue to be the highlight of this year's activity under one roof now for 20 years, that encourages mutual understanding and bringing together Hebrew, Arab and Middle Eastern cultures. Within this framework, in recent years the Jaffa Theater has produced " Farid El Wahid," a musical theatre on the famous Egyptian singer Farid El Atrash, starring Ziv Yechezkel,  "Oum Kalthoum" a musical theatre about the life of the legendary Egyptian singer, starring Galit Giat, "Eyes" a theatrical performance on the life and poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, starring Mira Awad and many more plays among them " A Thousand and One Nights," Sa'adun Al Majnoon," "Freicha A Beautiful Name" and "Papagina" that deals with  Mizrachi women's identity.  As well as producing poetry and literary evenings, art exhibitions and musical evenings all of them dealing with Middle Eastern culture.

The 3rd Yaffa Festival is supported by The Beracha Foundation, The Culture Division of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, The Mishlama and The Society for the Development of Old Jaffa.

Artistic Committee:  Mahmoud Abu Arisha, Chaled Jabarin, Igal Ezraty, Gaby Eldor
Al Saraya Theatre Tel: 03-5187539; allsaraya@gmail.com
Jaffa Theatre, Tel: 03-5185563; info@jaffatheatre.org.il
Address: 10 Mifratz Shlomo Promenade, Old Jaffa

Thursday, May 10, at 21
Participating artists: Ziv Yechzkel, Hiba Batchish
Musicians: Amin Sayeg, Zivar Bahalul, with musicians of the Nazareth Orchestra
Performing works of the famous songwriter and composer Balia Hamdi
Free Entrance
Friday, May 11
18:00 - Panel discussion: "The Broken Dream" Arab intellectuals following the events of the Arab Spring.
Participants: Dr. Honeida An'am, Marzuk Halabi, Rabia Eid, Chaled Jabarin. 
In Arabic, simultaneous translation in Hebrew.
 19:00 -  "Churiya" reading of stories and impressions of creators following the Arab Spring.
Participants: Raja Natour, Dr. Alon Pregman, Hazar Yosef, Gabi Aldor.
The compilation of "Churiya" (freedom), which contains stories and writings by writers from around the Arab world following the Arab Spring, reflects a feminist poetic spring to which women from all over the world are joining in the struggle for freedom in its broadest sense.
Editor & translator: Alon Pregman
20:30 "Habakcha" Play reading of a play by Lamis Amar
Miriam a journalist from an Acre family returns to her hometown to work in the local newspaper. Her research on the personality of Therez Halsa a veteran resident, a Palestinian liberation fighter, reveals the post-traumatic situation of the local Arabs. During her investigation an odd and strange man intervenes, disrupting and undermining the historical narrative and exposing the unconscious.
 The story moves between love, passion and hatred between Miriam and the stranger who tears the heroes between the current reality and the Bakchut reality of between the desire for life and the urge to die.
Cast: Ib'aa Mundir, Subchi Chusri, Tarek Shakour, Shimon Mimran
Mentor and Artistic Consultant: Udi Aloni,
Dramaturgy Consultant: Chalifa Natour
Translator and subtitles: Orna Akad
Saturday, May 12
14:00, 21:00 -    ”The Labor of Life" A play by Hanoch Levin,
Al Saraya Theatre presents the Premier in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles.
Adaptation and translation: Imad Jabarin
Cast: Raida Adon, Musa Zachalka, Zivaar Bahalul
Music: Ala Abu Amara; Costumes: Sandra Sakran; Set: Ahmad Assad; Assistant director: Lois Daniel; Lighting: Dolev Zigel
The play is about Hamam Pupuch he wakes up beside his wife Leviva one night and decides he is fed up with his life. He pushes his wife out of her bed abuses her and threatens to leave her thinking that there is a better life elsewhere. When his friend Crash comes to visit Hamam he finds out there are people in a worse situation than his but continues to complain about his bitter fate while holding on to nostalgic childhood memories.
Tsinat El-Chiya" is an adaptation in Arabic of Hanoch Levin's work"
The Labor of Life" it deals with the depths of human existence. "
 19:00   Reading performance based on the poems from the well-known Syrian poet Nizar Kabani.
Participants:  Author and educator Obeida Balcha; Singer  Asaraa Abu Chabish and musician Andrea Jobran.
20:00   Theatrical event at the Theatre Square "Haschacha"
Adaptation of the short story "Mitachat LaSchacha" (under the awning) by the Egyptian author Nagib Mahfouz.
An outdoor performance combining theatre, video art, movement and sound.
" Everything grows and reaches its climax - the death and the dance, the love, the death, the thunder and the rain."
Rain falls. A group of people gather under the station roof. The street is filled with violent and alienated events. Is it possible that all this is really happening? A parable on a society watching from the side in a bleeding reality that leads to an abyss.
Adaptation and directing: Noga Elkin-Efrat; Video Art: Erez Miller, Music: Uri Efrat.
Participants: Anat Hadid, Regine Shoshan,Nir Frenkel, Alina Fishzon, Dan Kuperman.
Photography Exhibition:   "Yaffo in the Eyes of Yaffo residents"
In the Theatre Foyer
Photographers: Omer Samir, Aya Fachir, Ruan Sechsich, Otman Dessuki, Amal Salem, Amir Stel, Sacham Suchri, Nassrin Eluchidi, Stephanie Churi, Ibrahim Shami
Ticket Prices:
Opening Free Entrance
Festival performances: single performance NIS 35    
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