الأحد، 15 أبريل 2012

oppressed theater field performance

Pana Centre and CBRI program intend to mobilize communities in their Areas of Responsibility (AoR) within the Kirkuk governorate through the Grassroots Theater Initiative (GTI). The GTI approach that was started by the Ashtar Theatre Group in Palestine has been customized to respond to the Iraqi context, helping citizens and participants in the AoR understand and address the underlying drivers of conflict and violence in their communities through the approach of TO and Forum theater. The activity aimed to conduct five Forum Theater plays performed by the 16trained theater artists who received one month CBRI sponsored training on the Theater of the Oppressed (TO) methodology and technique.

 This is a term created by Augusto Boal to describe those engaged in Forum theatre. It refers to the dual role of those involved in the process as both spectator and actor, as they both observe and create dramatic meaning and action in any performance.

Forum theatre is a form of TO speak on behalf of people to give them an opportunity to express their feelings in an active and creative way within a democratic environment through transporting the viewer from inactive receiving status to active participation through a solution finding  journey. When the play has been performed, members of the audience can take over the stage and suggest alternative options for how the protagonist could have acted. The actors explore the results of these choices with the audience creating a kind of theatrical debate, in which experiences and ideas are rehearsed and shared, generating both solidarity and a sense of empowerment.

The average of widows has increased in Iraqi society caused by the constant wars on Iraq. This forgotten category in the community suffers from oppression and persecution and exclusion which make them sometimes vulnerable to physical harassment and physical, verbal violence.

The determined topic is one of the most potential issues in Iraq as the number of widows is in increasing which have reached over five million widows. Between roughness of life and oppressive comments by people around , they struggle to survive and rise what has left from their families. As the matter of fact they are considered victims of wars and sometimes victims of domestic problems. The theatre play had left a great impact in spectator’s point of view as it is treating mentioned issue.


The characters in the play were, Damaa as the widow and her three sons, Abu-Sadiq representing the brother of Damaa’s husband, tariq who wanted to marry Damaa was Abu-Sadiq’s brother the office employees acted as well and Damaa’s father and her Brother.

The theme of the play highlights the suffering and the oppression of a previously chosen case – in this instance the main protagonist is Damaa (the widow) who had completed her studies and earned bachelors she is her thirties, her husband Abu-firas died in a terrorist attack, she is  mother of three sons. Abu-Sadiq her husband’s brother in his fifties, dominant and greedy so effected by customs and traditions  attempting to enforce Damaa to comply with the traditions and customs inherited in society. he demands Damaa to marry his brother Tariq .After the death of the husband Damaa’s life turns upside down she faces sequent social and economical pressure Making her think repeatedly about suicide. She tries to go against the grain to struggle those challenges, but she finds herself alone against traditions and customs and people’s comments. however, Damaa refuses and she insists to support her three sons alone by finding a job. She submits to several companies but she gets refused for the reason of her social status and also she refused one to avoid harassments.
 Although she has no income to support her family abu-sadiq offers her two options either agreeing the marriage or giving away her properties to cover abu-fras’s condolences payments as he assumed. On another hand her father and brother try to persuade her to get married in order to avoid people’s comments, thus the play ends with Damaa’s surrender and falling on the ground with a scream under the pressure of people around.

.The original theme of the play ends here showing a disheartened  Damaa on stage finally falling down disappointed of  her family and people around., Jokers facilitates and encourages different audience to identify and address sources of conflict The impressive. performance of the character Abu-Sadiq drew audience attention in the scene that he takes over Damaa’s properties few audience found solution for Damaa after the end of the show and among all scenes they concentrated on this scene to find solution directly following the end of the show, spectators from the audience are chosen and encouraged by the Joker to complete the show by acting out the role of Damaa on the stage. The audience participants are thus given the opportunity to propose and find solutions to Damaa’s encountered problems and instances of oppression of Damaa.

prepared by Awara Wahab

الأحد، 1 أبريل 2012

Debate for peace building and reconciliation





Under Saddam Hussein's regime, all Iraqi children attended government-run schools that taught a standardized, state-approved curriculum. Now, private schools that provide specialized programs and less-crowded classrooms are beginning to open in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. In the pre-Saddam Hussein era, private schools were common in the country. But after 1979 (when Saddam became president), these schools were banned, a law passed in 2004 allowed private schools to open again. Private schools basically manage its own tuition charges by charging families for registration in the school. Now days every Parent wants their children to study in Private schools as they are providing best study material and scope to learn and get more care…

Government schools charm getting fade due to non- efficiency of study material and even teachers are not showing their interest... Children of Governmental school always complaining about teaching not giving proper attention.


In terms of curriculum, public school systems offer a program of education designed with the needs of the general public in mind. Basic subjects such as math, English, sciences, social studies, and physical education are taught. The state sets the standards for these and examines student competency via standardized testing at intervals throughout the year. Again, this is another area that private schools have more room to be flexible in. Private schools generate their own curriculum and may offer more specialized courses, perhaps even taking students on extended field trips that cover one or more of the topics being focused on. Many private schools also use a form of standardized testing to determine student competency.
As a reason of this phenomenon increase Pana Center launched a relevant TV debate and dialogue at TERT local TV involving officials and others to participate. This activity is aiming to reveal one of the most significant issues concerning education in Iraq.

Throughout debates many aspects concerns education in Iraq were discussed in the dialogue to evaluate the effectiveness of both types of schools in society. People from different positions were hosted including journalists and teachers, the two main invitees were Muhammad Khurshed (education expert) presenting private school sector and Fawzeya Abdulla Awanees (director assistant of Kirkuk education directorate) representing public school sector. During the debate (private & public schools) phenomenon was highlighted as a critical issue which is notes obviously after the toppling of Sadam’s regime. Muhamad Khurshed addressed private school’s importance and its positive reflection on education in Iraq while Fawzeya Abdulla mentioned that, domestic financial consideration for registration’s fees and administrative staff being under the pressure of tuition charges which somehow lead them to pass student in grades in order to maintain school’s life cycle as negative points of private schools. Logistics,(cooling &heating system) and teaching methods positive points, which cannot be found in the governmental schools.

The TV program lasted for 2 hours, at the end of the debate hosted journalists and teachers started directing questions to Muhamad Khurshed and Fawzeya Abdulla “qualified teachers are assigned to specific schools” asked one of the attendees. Fawzeya stated that all teachers are graduated from the same level of education and they are randomly assigned for schools.

الخميس، 29 مارس 2012

Debate for peace building and reconciliation

Pana Center supported by CBIR program launched the 6th TV debate on 28th Feb 2012 1:00 pm at TERT TV channel studio. In this episode nine individuals were hosted totally two individuals were main guests while the rest of them were hosted citizen in which included journalists, beggars and personnel from different governmental positions.


 The TV debate started with a previously prepared reportage about beggary phenomenon in Kirkuk . Beggary phenomenon is increased recently coincided with dramatic growth of beggars in the public areas which are mostly visited by people such as big market streets. Large number of beggars are children under age of ten mostly escorted with female beggars who are using this to motivate people’s compassions in order to obtain money from pedestrians on another hand some of beggars are not begging to earn daily bread but they are seeking chances to steal pockets.

 The debaters Muhammad Aljiboori and Ahmad Muthir basically discussed mentioned issue as it is results of poverty, unemployment and lack of governmental social care and one of the reasons is a large number of refugees have fluxed into Kirkuk city after 2003 as they were victims of wars in which most of families lost its breadwinner and residence as well. The two main guests stated that in some cases beggars are organized in associations in pyramid network forms managed by groups of beggars spreading their members on public streets to earn financial benefits in any terms, “begging has became a habit psychologically for beggars who are not connected socially according to a research presented recently by scholars” stated Jwan Hasa director of human rights committee while another hosted guest quoted “beggary is forbidden in all religions and beliefs for its negative reflects on community in many aspects” stated sheikh Abas religion leader.

The debate ended with many solution presented by guests as well as people interviewed previously such as allocating crtain amount of money to support poor families on monthly bases and controlling beggars by authorized governmental forces to impose them into rehabilitation programs.

this report is prepared by Awara Wahab.