Arabic Language Blog

Queens of Syria Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Culture

This week, I have been privileged to watch Queens of Syria! The Queens of Syria are 13 refugee women in Jordan who started to work on this performance together with a group of British and Syrian theater producers in Amman starting 2013.

Image from

Image from

Like all the audiences, I felt that the performance was moving and powerful! It shows the human face behind the ugly conflict, and how it affected real people’s lives.

We all were in tears at some parts, as the refugee women told their true stories of loss, displacement and bravery. Each one of them showed an item that she took from home that reminds her of her old life, like a bracelet, a photo or a tea pot. They also talked about the items they wished they could take but did not manage to do so!

They sent messages to their family members in Syria, and around the world, e.g. in Germany which they reached after a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean and other refugee camps in the region, e.g. in Lebanon.

The performance creates an analogy between the war in Syria and the Trojan War! Some sections are direct quotes from Greek mythology in Standard Arabic, but most of the performance is in Syrian Arabic, and there is a song in Egyptian Arabic as well. Some of the women chose Trojan women, e.g. Cassandra, and explained how they feel towards them and how they identify with them.

The performance was a very enriching and touching experience to all the audiences!

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  1. Elizabeth Bell:

    I also saw this at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool as part of the Arabic Arts Festival and found it extraordinarily moving. I recommend it to anybody who has the opportunity to see it.