Beirut Fundraiser

Lebanese Storytellers In Their Own Words

Where do you find some of the richest, most powerful stories in the world?  Somewhere ancient, where the drama of human life has played itself out in a 40-year civil war, corrupt leaders laying waste to an economy, and a devastating explosion that destroyed over 300,000 homes amid a global pandemic. This place is 5,000 years old, first mentioned in the Amarna Letters from the New Kingdom of Egypt, dating back to the 15th century BCE. This place is Beirut, Lebanon.

اين تجد أعمق القصص واكثرها تاثيرا؟ في مكان عمره من عمر الزمن، حيث خاض الإنسان حربا اهلية دامت ٤٠ سنة، حيث قادة اكل الفساد إنسانيتهم لا بل ضمائرهم و روحهم ايضا. في مكان اقتصادّه دمر و ليرته خسرت ٨٠٪؜ من قيمتها الشرائية. في مكان تعرض لثالث اكبر انفجار في تاريخ البشرية وفي عصر انتشر فيه  الوباء. الانفجار أودى بحياة ٢٠٠ شخص، و ٦٠٠٠ جريح و دمر أكثر من ٣٠٠٠٠٠ منزل. هذا المكان عمره ٥٠٠٠ سنة، اوتي على ذكره رسائل العمارنة المصرية و التي  يعود تاريخها إلى القرن ١٥. هذا المكان هو بيروت، لبنان. 

American artists of The National Storytelling Network and Artists Standing Strong Together are proud to partner with Lebanese storytellers Sadika Kebbi and Sara Kasir in this fundraising effort.  Please join us to learn more about our neighbors from Beirut through their powerful stories of rising from the rubble. 

This fundraiser is two-fold. 

يسر فنانون أمريكيون من “شبكة رواية القصص الوطنية” و جمعية “فنانون معا اقوى” بالشراكة مع الروائيتان  اللبنانيتان صديقة كبي و سارة قصير تنظيم حدث لرواية القصص على زوم هدفه جمع التبرعات لبيروت. نرجو حضوركم للتعرف عن كثب الى جيراننا لى بيروت من خلال قصصهم المؤثرة وكيفية تخطيهم المحن المتتالية التي اختبروها. 

جمع التبرعات يتضمن مرحلتان:

Part One: The Fundraising Performance on October 24. 

First, the world is invited to hear stories from Lebanese tellers and storytelling students in their own words. Both English and Arabic will be spoken, with translations provided by Egyptian storyteller and actress Lamya Tawfik. Ticket sales for this online event will support phase two. The first performance time will be live, with a Q&A from the audience. The second time will be a rebroadcasting of the live event. 

المرحلة الأولى: 

العالم مدعو لسماع قصص يتلوها روائيون لبنانيون و تلامذتهم. القصص سوف تتلى باللغتين العربية و الانجليزية مع ترجمة من العربية الى الانجليزية تقدمها الروائية و الممثلة المصرية لمياء توفيق. بيع التذاكر المتوفرة اونلاين لحضور هذا الحدث لدعم المرحلة الثانية. أول عرض لهذا الحدث سوف يكون LIVE تتبعه فقرة أسئلة و أجوبة. ل٬الحياة الاقتصادية الثاني فسوف يكون تسجيلا للعرض الاول. 

Access to these videos is restricted to event attendees


Click each storyteller’s name for more information.

Translations by Lamya Tawfik

Aisha Al Aali, Lebanese, holder of a BA in Arabic Language from The Lebanese University. She works as an Arabic teacher.

Yussof Ghemrawi, Lebanese, a 17-year-old high school student who loves drawing, sculpting, and reading. He also has a passion for writing and meditation. He has been awarded many national awards in drawing and sculpting. He plans to major in medicine and dreams of playing an important role in bringing change to his country.

From the field of theater and acting, she began her work as a storyteller in 2002, to be one of the first female storytellers in Lebanon after the civil war. She is graduated from the Lebanese university with a master’s degree in acting and storytelling, and she is a PhD student in storytelling and education. She transferred her passion for stories to the radio, television, and theater, to perform, produce, and direct, tenths of programs and plays about storytelling. She travels the world telling Lebanese folk stories and training hundreds of young storytellers. She won the award of best international storyteller for kids in Tehran International storytelling FESTIVAL 2020.

Sadika Kebbi is a corporate trainer and workshop designer. Sadika is known for her unique storytelling style. She is also a TEDx speaker and a member of the National Storytelling Network in the US. Sadika is a John Maxwell Executive Director and one of his licensed and certified Coaches, Speakers, Trainers and Teachers. She is also the recipient of the 2020 John Maxwell cultural award for “Equipping Others”.

She is also the author of two books. The first one is academic and is entitled “The Temptations of the Flesh in Madame Bovary and the Awakening”, the second is a collection of 20 short stories entitled “The Hidden Face of Scheherazade”. Sadika has also published two research essays, articles and many short stories in diverse national and international magazines.

In 2016, Sadika founded an NGO called ‘Kun Ensan’, ‘Being Human’, which aims at co-existence, social cohesion, peace building and bridging gaps between different political, social and religious communities within Lebanon, mainly through storytelling. Based on her experience in public speaking and storytelling, Sadika noticed how titles and labels fade away and eventually disappear once a human heart is touched. Her NGO’s mission is also to empower women and youth.

Hana Najjar is an 18-year-old high school student. She is enthusiastic about reading and writing and has attended many workshops such as creative writing and public speaking. Her hobbies are drawing and string art.

Caroline Sabra, Lebanese, holds a BA in Biochemistry from the Lebanese University. Teacher.

Lamya Tawfik – an Egyptian actress who has performed in English, Arabic and Italian with several theater groups in Dubai. Her storytelling experience includes storytelling festivals, book fairs, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Lamya holds a BA and MA in Journalism and Mass Communication (American University in Cairo) and a PhD in Childhood Studies (Ain Shams University).


Part Two: The Community Gathering in Beirut 

Funds raised in part one will be used for a Community Christmas Gathering for those immediately affected by the blast. Muslims and Christians from all sects celebrate Christmas in Lebanon, and your donations will enable a safe gathering for people to share food, stories, and a bit of happiness. Sadika and Sara have reported that people are hungry to hear and tell their stories. As they heal from yet another tragedy, Beirut residents will gather together (while appropriately social distancing). At this event, storytellers Sara and Sadika will share their stories, host an open mike for the audience members to share their stories, and facilitate further discussion.   In addition, there will be a special performance by a choir of orphaned Muslim girls from the South.

المرحلة الثانية: 

التبرعات التي سوف تجمع سيعود ريعها لاقامة عشاء عيد الميلاد الذي سيجمع العائلات المنكوبة ، من انفجار بيروت. المسلمين كما المسيحيين في لبنان يحتفلون بهذه المناسبة، و تبرعاتكم سوف تسمح لأهل بيروت  بجميع طوائفهم بالاحتفال بهذا العيد و مشاركتهم الطعام، القصص، و بعض من الفرح. أخبرتنا صديقة و سارة آن الناس متعطشة لمن يستمع الى قصصها. خلال رحلة شفائهم، سيجتمع أهل بيروت مع احترام قوانين كورونا. 

ستشارك سارة و صديقة قصصهما في هذا العشاء، كما سيكون هنالك OPEN MIKE كي يشارك الموجودين قصصهم ايضا لتسهيل المحادثات خلال هذا العشاء. كما أن فتيات كورال السيدة رباب الصدر سينشدون ترانيم الميلاد.  

 Funds raised will be used to pay for the recording of the event, and the creation of a short video documentary.  This documentary will continue to spread these stories and raise money for the people of Lebanon in their continual needs.

التبرعات ستسمح لنا  تسجيل هذا الحدث وتوثيقه. هذا الوثائقي يستمر بنشر هذه القصص و جمع التبرعات للبنانيين لسد حاجاتهم بقدر المستطاع. 

 If we raise enough money for both the gathering and the video documentation of the gathering, we will invest in plastic sheeting and materials to winterize and waterproof the damaged homes for the rainy season. Please give what you can, and invite friends to join us as well. We hope to be able to accomplish all three goals. 

إذا إستطعنا جمع المال الكافي، سيساعدنا في اغلاق النوافذ المخلعة بواسطة غلاف بلاستيكي قبل حلول الشتاء. الرجاء التبرع على قدر استطاعتكم، و ادعوا اصدقائكم للانضمام الينا. تت٬٫ب ان نحقق اهدافنا الثلاث. 


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