Creative Writing Workshop

Iara Mantinan Bua, a freelance writer from Spain and Tahseen Yaqeen, a  Palestinian writer from Ramallah recently lead a Creative Writing workshop at the theatre (3 June – 10 June 2012).  The second year Acting School students who participated in the workshop were given the tools necessary to explore their identity as Palestinians living under occupation.  Iara explains that “one cannot be an actor until they truly know themselves in such a way that they are aware of the things that make them who they are.” This writing workshop was meant to help them develop the skills necessary to become increasingly introspective.

In Iara’s own writing she describes her sense of independence and how important travel has been for her. She describes herself as a “lioness of god”, and as an “independent woman” who enjoys the small things in life (i.e. watching sunsets in South Africa and drinking Arabic coffee in Jenin). Ala, a second year Acting School student at The Freedom Theatre says he could feel her independence in her poem, through her words. Iara explained to the students that the goal of their writing should be to get readers to feel who they are.

In addition to exploring their identity through words the students also sketched ideas for photographs while discussing their writing. Saber, another second year Acting School student described a photograph of a woman standing in the middle of the street bringing traffic to a halt, an example of how to visually convey an unstoppable woman.  During the workshop the students delivered monologues of their stories as a way to better express themselves.

Check out some photos from last week’s workshop below.


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Zakaria Zubeidi held in unlawful detention by the Palestinian Authority


Zakaria Zubeidi, co-founder and avid supporter of The Freedom Theatre, was arrested by Palestinian security forces on the 13th of May and taken to Jericho prison. Since then Zakaria has not been allowed to meet his lawyer Farid Hawash or have any contact with his family.


“I am unable to determine if Zakaria has been treated correctly since I haven’t been able to talk with him,” says Mr. Hawash. “We have to apply the correct procedure of Palestinian law; as his lawyer I must be allowed to meet with my client.”

According to his lawyer, Zakaria’s arrest has not followed due process since he should have been brought before a Jenin court and not taken away to Jericho. His right to communicate with his family after a maximum of 10 days has also been violated, as has his right to consult with a lawyer. After having travelled to Jericho Mr. Hawash was only able to see Zakaria for a minute to say hello.


We ask you to contact the following representatives of the Palestinian Authority to demand that they abide by Palestinian law in the case of Zakaria Zubeidi and other detainees. Please also check if you have a PLO representative office in your country.


00-970-(0)59-777-88-87 Majd Faraj, Head of Palestinian Intelligence

00-970-(0)59-900-00-11 Abo Mohammad Shadeh, Head of the security of the President’s Office

00-970-(0)59-944-75-47 Dr Said Abo Ali, Minister of Interior

00-970-(0)59-930-38-50 Saeb Erekat, Head of negotiations

00-970-(0)59-955-88-22 Ataeb Abdurahem, National Security



Nabil Al-Raee held in unlawful detention by the Israeli army


Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, was abducted in the early hours of yesterday, June 6th, by the Israeli army (see previous press release here:


According to Nabil’s lawyer, Smadar Ben-Natan, he is presently being held in the Jalameh detention centre north of Jenin, inside Israel. This has been the only information given to the lawyer thus far. The interrogations at Jalameh and other military detention centres commonly involve inhuman treatment; sleep deprivation, psychological pressure and binding in painful positions.


This is the Israeli army’s fourth attack on The Freedom Theatre, its employees and their families. On numerous occasions The Freedom Theatre has expressed its full cooperation in the investigation of the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis and has proved this cooperation by meeting every requested appointment.


This last abduction of Nabil Al-Raee has led us to the conviction that the regular and systematized harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre has nothing to do with the investigation of the murder of Juliano but that it is clearly a campaign directed at the Freedom Theatre itself.


We urge all supporters of The Freedom Theatre specifically and protectors of art and culture in general to call and e-mail the nearest Israeli representative office to demand the immediate release of Nabil Al-Raee (ID-number 906349162) and an end to the systematic harassment of the members of The Freedom Theatre. In addition, please call the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army at +972-(0)4-640-73-12.



Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre Taken by Israeli Soldiers

Press Release from The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, northern West Bank
June 6, 2012
At approximately 03:15 am the Israeli army entered the home of Nabil Al-Raee, the Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, and took him to an unknown location.
Nabil’s wife, Micaela Miranda explains what happened: “The dog started barking so I went outside and saw soldiers jumping over the gate and come into the yard of the house. They asked for my husband and I asked what for, that it’s my right to know and it’s my house. The soldiers replied that they were not going to tell me. They then took Nabil, brought him to an army jeep and drove off. We are very worried because we don’t know where they took him and why.”
Jonatan Stanczak, Managing Director of The Freedom Theatre: “I live on the floor above Nabil and when I heard what was happening I tried to go down to talk to the soldiers because I speak Hebrew. The house was surrounded by masked Israeli soldiers and three of them immediately pointed their weapons at me and pushed me back into the house.”

Attempts were immediately made to contact the District Coordination Office of the Israeli army but to no avail.

More than half the employees of The Freedom Theatre were recently called to interrogations by the Israeli army, including Nabil Al-Raee. All came to the appointments as scheduled and answered to their best of their knowledge the given questions even though they were intimidated and even threatened.
Jonatan Stanczak continues: “I don’t understand why they do this after they know they could simply have made a phone call to Nabil and he would have come to answer any questions or concerns that they might have. Since this has happened so many times in the past, I can’t interpret it as anything else than an ongoing harassment of the employees of The Freedom Theatre and their families by the Israeli army.”
At this point it is unclear if any other members of The Freedom Theatre have been taken during the night. Several of them have not responded to phone calls.
For further information Jonatan Stanczak, the managing director of The Freedom Theatre can be reached on and +972-(0)599-017-654
Micaela Miranda can be reached on and +972-(0)597-016-230.