Iraq

Iraq: Bringing theater to traumatized Iraqi children

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Live theater is coming to Iraqi children in hospitals, orphanages, refugee camps and in poor neighborhoods. The goal is to "restore the bruised spirits" of these children who are fearful, anxious and depressed, their carefree childhoods lost amid war, looting and insecurity.
With some $10,000 U.S. supplied by All Our Children, the French agency Premiere Urgence is assisting Iraqi theater professionals to produce two plays: "Love" and "The Neighborhood's Tree."

Throughout November and December 2003, the plays are being performed on rented wooden platforms in institutions and in outdoor areas. After each performance, the actors and children meet to share a snack -- fruit, biscuits and tea -- and to discuss the play.

"Love" tells about two cats that decide to resolve their differences peacefully rather than by fighting. "The Neighborhood's Tree" is about children who save a tree from being cut down.