She attended the Round Table Conference on Independent and Marginal Theater, held on March 25 at the Al-Tahrir Cultural Center (TCC) and hosted by the American University of Cairo (AUC). She summed up all her work and her ambitions for independent and young theater. And this because she is a playwright, an activist from the independent scene, responsible for the training program of the Supreme Council of Culture (SCC) and co-director of the international festival. Eazes for women’s theater. It is Racha Abdel-Moneim, a true defender of theatrical creation in Egypt. ” In this paper, I discuss the issues of support for independent theater, the issues of production, the space of performances, and the frustration that young creators experience. In addition, there are the problems of censorship. We must not forget that there is a big gap between the different generations of theater men in Egypt. There must be a means of communication between these generations Says expert Racha Abdel-Moneim.
Her passion for the theater she discovered in the late 1990s. She admits that even before 1996 she had never seen a theatrical performance! ” During my schooling, I was attracted to literature and poetry. At home, I liked writing kind of sketches to play them with my brothers and sisters without really understanding that they were dramatic scenes. My childhood was limited between home and school “. Since a young age, Racha has often been preoccupied with the concepts of justice and social equality. She defends the weak at all costs, supports the losers and often tries to claim the rights of others.
With his high school diploma in his pocket, this young supporter of poetry, the Arabic language and human rights wanted to go to law school to become a lawyer. But her parents insisted it was not a woman’s job. ” I chose Dar Al-Oloum to study Arabic literature. I was interested in following poetry groups to get to know poets and intellectuals “. After graduating, Racha was hired as an Arabic language teacher in a preparatory school. And by a play of fate, she goes to the theater for the first time.” The Arabic language tutor Yéhia Anwar, who had theatrical activities, asked me to write the poems for a play about the Lebanese Sanaa Mhaydli, staged by Abbas Ahmad, and whose rehearsals took place in the Journalists’ Syndicate. I participated in a test. I was completely in love with the world of theater. An epiphany. The director wanted me to write poems in the Levantine dialect. I was shocked and apologized for not being able to. But I continued to attend rehearsals every day. I was bewitched by the theater She says with shining eyes and a moving voice. And from then on, Racha never deviated from the theater.
To sharpen her competencies in theater, Racha Abdel-Moneim chooses to do graduate studies in theatrical dramatic literature at Cairo University instead of comparative literature. ” My teachers guided me to read, search for universal texts and understand the history of dramatic theater. I even dared to show them my first dramatic text for children, Khatem Al-Malek (The King’s Ring). Professor Abdel-Moneim Téléma offered me to take part in the competition between clubs for young creative writers in Sharjah. Professor Mohamad Anany asked me to work with him in Al-Masrah Magazine (Theater) “And on the advice of drama teacher Anany, Racha meets his wife, drama teacher and critic Nehad Seleiha. Thanks to her, the whole theater world of independent and young creators has opened up to her.” It was she who guided me to meet young independent creators: Nora Amin, Hani Al-Metnaoui and others, to document the independent theater movement and to defend and support young people, etc. », Emphasizes Racha Abdel-Moneim with great gratitude.
On the professional level, Racha threw himself even more over the theater. The young Arabic language teacher used the small classroom platform and the blackboard to make his blackboards and explained the Arabic texts by interpreting them as a small theater stage. She collaborates with independent troupes by writing successful plays: Asri Charti Yekoun Masriby Mohamad Ezzat. Hakawi Al-Haramlekby Abir Ali, Halet Taware, by Mohamqd Abdel-Khaleq. Chance still has a surprise waiting for him. ” My professor of Arabic letters and general secretary of the CSC, Gaber Asfour, took me as a good disciple. He encouraged me to move on. One day he invited the promotion of higher education to attend a literary conference by Jacques Derrida organized by the CSC. I was dazzled by the world of intellectuals, the conferences … Then he asked me to join the consulting team. He thought I should join the translation and publishing department on the board as a proofreader, as my specialty is Arabic language and literature. Honestly, at the time, I did not even know exactly what roles CSC was playing. But I was impressed by the artistic committees and the presence of the theater committee, which brought together masters and prominent theater men in Egypt. I just asked to help the Secretary General of the Theater Committee, Aziza Sadeq, to better contact Egyptian theater men “. It was then an opportunity to get closer to the backstage of the theater in Egypt, to understand the production system of the State Theater and other forms of production and meet Saad Ardach, Alfred Farag, Mohsen Mosselhi and others.” Excited and in love with CSC and my direct contact with these prominent people, I showed them my first award-winning and printed drama and received various comments and notes from them that helped me promote my writing style. I was lucky “, she explains.
His play How to get rid of stains, a boy, a girl and things and Made in Egypt were successful shows in which she developed her defense of human rights in a touching dramatic style. In the first, she talks about women’s rights to find love and get rid of toxic relationships. In the second, she deals with the relationship between men and women in the face of society’s prejudices. And in the third, she condemns the carelessness and indifference of Egyptian society. Even as she approaches the child’s theater in a beautiful show of shadows and puppets set up by her partner and husband Mohamed Fawzy, Sayd Al-Ahlam (fishes for dreams), it defends man’s rights to dream, to believe in his strengths and to realize his dreams. ” My work with Fawzy is always complementary. I was often attracted to her talent and creativity. Our first meeting was in Tarek Al-Doweiri’s show The Third Position. He designed the choreography and I took care of the dialogue. In addition, he often supported me in life. And he was not the traditional man who raged against his wife, who often lingers in the rehearsals … “.
Today, Racha holds the position of director of the education department at CSC. A position she insisted on creating to reform Ministry of Culture officials and create a collaboration between independent creators and the ministry through holding cultural management workshops. ” Inviting civil society associations to take part in the cultural movement and create this connection between the independent and the Ministry of Culture is a mission aimed at changing the cultural map of Egypt “.
Co-director of the international festival Eazes for women’s theater, Racha Abdel-Moneim insists that this festival is only an opportunity for creative women to present their shows. ” In Egypt, a creative woman or rather an instructor suffers a lot from prejudice, production problems. She struggles a lot to put her show together, etc. Eazes is not a feminist festival, but a way to give women a chance to exist. As a female playwright, I did not suffer for long, thanks to the help I received from my teachers she said gratefully. But as usual, she is responsible for defending and helping other creative women.