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“Together We Stay”: Lebanese and Syrians in West Bekaa say through theater

“Together We Stay”: Lebanese and Syrians in West Bekaa say through theater
After months of training and rehearsals, Lebanese and Syrian youth performed a social play “Maa’an Nabka” (Together We Stay) on Saturday night, to officially announce the vision and mission of the newly established West Bekaa NGO "Darb El Salam" (Pathway to Peace).

This NGO is the result of the joint efforts of active local actors from Al Marj, Ghazzeh, Al Qaraoun, Hawsh El Harimi, Machghara, and Jeb Jenine and came as a result of the Mechanisms for Social Stability (MSS) process implemented by the UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon" and funded by KFW; when 9 members decided to institutionalize their mediation and reconciliation skills acquired during the training sessions to be able to work on the prevention and resolution of violent conflicts through peaceful means and to create a culture of dialogue and communication between the various communities in the West Bekaa.

Darb El Salam NGO through the theatrical work wanted to send social and cultural messages reflecting the actual situation of the host communities and Syrian displaced through arts and theater to emphasize on the importance of co-existence and cooperation between the residents of West Bekaa villages.

For the first time, more than 700 persons gathered in Ghaza Touristic Theater to attend the theatrical piece "Ma’an Nabka".

Ali Bitar, director of the play, said that this theatrical piece is a reflection of the reality in the villages of West Bekaa. He added “We are trying to promote coexistence despite of the crisis. We will live together, accept each other, and share the good and the bad.”

The play aimed at creating a state of stability in the mentioned villages and a space for real and meaningful dialogue between the Lebanese and the Syrians residents, in order to overcome the differences between the two communities.

“This play that I am part of has many goals; to animate the compassion of the viewers towards “the Other” and to display the situation of the Syrian displaced and the Lebanese host communities. During the rehearsals, we learned a lot from and about each other. All the misconceptions were gone, and our behavior has become more positive towards each other” said Ola, Syrian participant in the play.

The event was one of a kind and the NGO plans on becoming a network for collaboration between different villages of West Bekaa in addition to enhancing the role of Lebanese and Syrian residents in peacebuilding and social stability.