What Do the Women Say? 2017
This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is dedicated to Syria.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 7pm
at Brava Theater Center (2781 24th Street, San Francisco)
$20 general | $15 student and senior (No one turned away for lack of funds)
15% of proceeds will benefit International Rescue Committee Oakland, which provides essential services to refugees in the Bay Area.
The program will begin with an excerpt reading of Oh My Sweet Land, a tour-de-force solo show based on interviews with Syrian refugees in Jordan by Amir Nizar Zuabi, directed by Torange Yeghiazarian, and performed by Nora el Samahy. Also featured is an excerpt from the documentary We Are Not Princesses by Bridgette Auger and Itab Azam, which centers on Antigone of Syria, a 2014 drama workshop and performance featuring 35 Syrian women refugees in Lebanon. Iranian-American singer Dina Zarif and harpist Amelia Romano will perform songs celebrating home. Yeghiazarian will have a conversation with celebrated Bay Area chef Reem Assil, who is of Syrian and Palestinian descent, about her aspiration to heal the community through traditional food. The program will culminate in a conversation led by Yeghiazarian with Nora el Samahy, Itab Azam, Dina Zarif, Amelia Romano, and Reem Assil where audience members will be able to ask questions.
Each year, Golden Thread Productions celebrates International Women’s Day by showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern women artists. Previous programs have focused on activism by women artists, artists who explore sex and sexuality, and female solo performers. Previous featured artists include Elmaz Abinader (This House, My Bones), Majeda Al Saqqa (Culture and Free Thought Association, Gaza Strip), Anita Amirrezvani (The Blood of Flowers, Equal to the Sun), Nawal el Saadawi (Memoirs from the Women’s Prison), Denmo Ibrahim (Baba, ECSTASY | a waterfable), Maryam Keshavarz (Circumstance), Rohiha Malek (Unveiled), Ayesha Mattau (Love Inshallah), Zahra Noorbakhsh (All Atheists are Muslim, #GoodMuslimBadMuslim), Shahrnush Parsipur (The Prison Memoirs, Women Without Men), Deema Shehabi (Thirteen Departures From the Moon), Seema Sueko (Remains), and Rosemary Toohey (The Body Washer).
Reem Assil founded Reem’s with a passion for the flavors of Arab street-corner bakeries and the vibrant communities around them. Growing up in a Palestinian-Syrian household, Reem was surrounded by the aromas and tastes of food from the homeland and the connections they evoked of her heritage, family, and community. Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Reem worked for a decade as a community and labor organizer. In 2010, she traveled to Syria and Lebanon, and there, in a bakery where flatbreads were flying through the air, her vision for Reem’s was born to create the experience of Arab hospitality through the street corner bakery experience. She came back and immediately enrolled herself in a baking and pastry program and has since then worked with the Bay Area’s esteemed cooperative bakery Arizmendi Bakery & Pizzeria, Grace Street Catering, Local Flavors, and several local chefs.
Sara Maamouri is a documentary filmmaker and editor who has explored a diverse range of topics for over 14 years. Her work has touched on social, educational and political issues, from a teacher and students performing under extraordinary circumstances (The Music’s Gonna Get You Through, 2010) and former enemies bound together through loss and discovery (In This Waiting, 2011) to rebuilding a life in a former war zone (Amal’s Garden, 2012). She co-produced and edited A Revolution in Four Seasons, which premiered at Hot Docs 2016 and was an honorable mention at Margaret Mead Film Festival 2016. She edited Twice Upon A Time, which premiered at Edinburgh Film Festival and won Best Documentary at the Lebanese Film Festival. She’s currently editing The Judge, the story of the first female Shari’a judge in Palestine directed by Erika Cohn, and We Are Not Princesses about Syrian refugee women in Beirut working on a production of Sophocles’s Antigone directed by Bridgette Auger. A multi-lingual Tunisian educated in New York and California, Sara brings international sensitivity to her editing, production and story development, while building transmedia narratives to enhance and further engage a constantly evolving audience base.
Dina Zarif is a performer and vocalist. She has performed at many venues including SF International Arts Festival and SF Palace of Fine Arts (with La Tania Baile Flamenco). She also made costumes and performed Princess Roudabeh in the shadow play Feathers of Fire at Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY Metropolitan Museum, and Harvard. She recently performed in a chamber opera The Passion of Leyla at San Jose Stage, Leyla & Majnun for Golden Thread Productions and Cal Performances at BAMPFA, and the role of Dancer/Singer in Bahram Beyzaie’s Tarabnameh, a Persian traditional musical for Stanford Iranian Studies. Dina holds an MA in Landscape Architecture from University Of Tehran.
|Nora el Samahy|
Nora el Samahy*
Nora el Samahy’s professional acting career began in 1998 as a Fairy in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. She then went on to work with Campo Santo, Golden Thread Productions, Alter Theater, Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, foolsFURY, Traveling Jewish Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Exit Theater, Theatre Rhinoceros, Woman’s Will, Shotgun Players, African American Shakespeare Company, among others. In 2013, Nora founded a performance company called Affinity Project with Atosa Babaoff, Beatrice Basso, and Emily Hoffman. Nora is a Pilates teacher and co-owner of studio 74 pilates with business partner Jennifer Moulton. She received her BA in psychology from Wellesley College. Love and thanks to Patrick and Ziyad.
A captivating harpist and songwriter, Amelia Romano brings unexpected colors to her playing. Creating her own style by blending dynamic rhythms and raw vocals, she produces an intimate and energizing experience that defies tradition. Her latest album titled “New Perspectives” features fiery and dynamic compositions, a tango style Mexican Bolero, Contemporary Flamenco Music, Venezuelan Joropo, and a touch of American Blues. These compositions reflect lyrics of her personal stories of loss and love that leaves the listener clamoring for more.