Published: 2 Jan 2015/ Updated: 10 Jan 2016
Contrary to many people’s new year resolutions, Nawar Bulbul, Syrian actor and activist, has decided to take some young Syrian refugees from Zaatari Camp in Jordan to cross the Mediterranean with his #LoveBoat.
I have known Nawar since I was a kid my self. He starred in many Syrian series, but after 2011, another face of the famous and cool actor emerged. Like many Syrians Nawar today is a dedicated activist. His belief in Art as a driver for change is eloquently articulated in his artistic works with Syrian refugee children, mostly in Jordan’s camps of refuge.
Shakespeare was brought to life in 2014 by Nawar and the kids of the infamous Syrian refugees camp in Jordon; Zaatari through a live theatrical performance called: Shakespeare In Zaatari. The performance was a great success. The Economist wrote about how Nawar motivated his little and young actors: “He would only let them act if they promised to return to education”
“He would only let them act if they promised to return to education” the Economist wrote in 2014 about how Bulboul recruited purposefully for Shakespeare In Zaatari.
After the massive success of the first play, it was the time for Romeo and Juliette to be brought to life by another batch of Syrian refugee kids. However, the Syrian Romeo was never reunited with his Juliette but over Skype. By incarnating the conditions of the Syrian tragedy, Nawar adapted the masterpiece to speak for the current state of Syria and Syrians. While Romeo was brought to Jordan as a war survival, Juliette remained somewhere in Homs, central Syria, living under a siege, by the Syrian regime, that claimed the lives of tens.
“Ibraheem, the Syrian Romeo, is 12 years old. In 2014, he lost his mother and three of his brothers and sisters due to Syrian regime bombardment. His right leg escaped amputation after three surgeies and two more to go” Writes Al-Arab leading london-based paper.
But How Can Nawar Make Kids Cross the Med, Wont they drown?
He thought of it all. Love Boat is a theatrical crossing of the Mediterranean. It is “a comedy of the tragedies, the hope for freedom of many tens of thousands of Syrians”
So Nawar is planning to produce a new play. This play speaks for the risky hope of many Syrians to reach Europe by sea. The total budget amounts to 22.000$ so far around 4,500$ are raised.
Wait … But What Will Nawar Do With My Contribution?
Oh many things. For instance: the hard working kids will need to have some juice during the rehearsals. No body wants the actors angry or thirsty !! But also:
- financial compensation for actor refugees who are investing emotionally and personally in the projct
- Give a financial compensation to the team of three young volunteers who will assist the actors, some of whom have severe disabilities, all through the project.
- Print posters, flyers and brochures.
- They need to build a ship that mimics the boats people use to cross towards Europe. You can check here more details about where every penny is spent.
Ok, but Why to Support Nawar’s project and not the other 100 projects I heard of?
Do you want the simple answer? He makes kids happy, they feel worthy, important and special. Do you want a technical boring answer? He delivers measurable outcome that have long-lasting impact in the local communities where he works.
Moreover, this project has three key goal; t; 1) through “Drama Therapy” Nawar will work towards integrating refugees, war-wounded and former prisoners into their communities. 2) In the light of the continuous “Refugees Crisis” discourse, this work aims to highlight the “main causes and reasons for the current influx of refugees to Europe” byound the classical dehumanizing explanations. 3) Such efforts aim to start a debate, that can be both frank and constructive, about “how to stop people from engaging in perilous crossings in unsafe conditions”
Fare Enough ! Where & How Can I contribute?
Pretty simple, Nawar and the team of the project has sat up a campaign, found HERE, where you can 45 contributers so far ! With a total contribution of around: 4500$.
Update: we are now 77 supporters who fund-raised some 7.500$
I contributed ! What Else I Can Do?
Great ! If you really believe in the idea of the project then you can help further by one of all of the following:
1) Get 2 other people to contribute. One Euro is as great as One hundred Euro. Never downplay any contribution.
2) Share on Facebook; you wont believe how important a word of mouth is when it comes to such organic and grassroots projects. We need to tell the world that another version of the sad Syria exists; the resisting Syria and Syrians ! if they donate as well; it is then a double win 🙂 use the hashtag #SyriaLoveBoat
3) Are you one of the Twitter peeps?, then Share on Twitter; with the hashtag #SyriaLoveBoat #SyriaLoveBoat #SyriaLoveBoat #SyriaLoveBoat #SyriaLoveBoat #SyriaLoveBoat
4) Take a photo with a written sign that says I am Taking The #SyriaLoveBoat upload to Facebook together with the link of the campaign. Set back and enjoy the curiosity of people ! No, this curiosity wont kill the cat ! Dont worry
As per 10th of January 2016: