The Caravan Europe

Exciting news for The Caravan!

We have just been awarded a grant by the European Cultural Foundation to help us launch The Caravan Europe. This grant will fund the research we need to carry out to find partners in France, Germany and Sweden to help us bring this project to life.

The grant was awarded to us after Sabine Choucair, Creator of The Caravan, attended the IDEA CAMP in Madrid earlier this year hosted by ECF, the Connected Action for the Commons network and the City of Madrid. Fifty change makers were gathered for a period of 3 days where they met each other and worked on their ideas, 25 of which were awarded a research and development grant.

The Caravan Europe will involve us travelling around France, Germany and Sweden collecting and recording stories from refugees around the three countries. We will collate these audio stories and design a physical performance staged on a van to accompany them.  We will then tour the three countries with our performance van sharing these stories with as many communities as possible.

The Caravan Europe is an opportunity to bridge the gap between host communities and refugee communities in Europe who suffer from both a language and cultural barrier. By telling these individual stories we can humanize the ongoing refugee crisis and create a space to open a dialogue between both communities. This is such an important step as we witnessed with the performances of The Caravan in Lebanon.

We received a remarkable response from people when we took the performance to Tunisia in 2016. Therefore, we are very excited to share these wonderful stories with audiences in Europe!

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Shrinking Cultural Space


Beirut DC Breaks the Silence Around the Discrimination Faced by Syrian Refugee Artists in Lebanon.

Beirut DC documented the shrinking cultural space facing Syrians in Lebanon. Syrian artists and communities are being segregated from their Lebanese counterparts in the name of security through policies as curfews. Such discriminatory policies risk good relations between the two groups, as well as offending both Lebanese and international human rights law.

Find report in English here

بيروت دي سي تكسر حاجز الصمت بخصوص التمييز ضد الفنانين السوريين اللاجئين في لبنان.

وثقت جمعية بيروت دي سي المساحات الثقافية المتقلصة بالنسبة للسوريين في لبنان. يتم فصل الفنانين السوريين والمجتمعات السورية عن تلك اللبنانية بذريعة الحفاظ على الأمن من خلال فرض سياسات حظر التجول. تلك السياسات التمييزية تؤثر سلباً على العلاقات الجيدة بين الفريقين، كما أنها مخالفة للقوانين اللبنانية والقانون الدولي لحقوق الإنسان.

إضغط هنا للحصول على التقرير باللغة العربية

Goes to School in the Media

مشروع الكرفانة.. لنرجع عالمدرسة في بلدة زرعون

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Sky News Arabiaسوريون-ولبنانيون-يطلقون-مبادرة-الكرفانة



Med Culture

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CYC | Children and Youth Center

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Zaman Al Wasl

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The Syrian Observer

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Drama Diversity Development

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The Caravan Goes To School Press Release


BEIRUT, Lebanon – When the Caravan arrives, the children come running. For 40 minutes, they and their parents are entertained by a Lebanese and Syrian cast of clowns, musicians, actors and puppeteers who perform true stories about the importance of education.

The project, “The Caravan Goes to School,” is an innovative street theater initiative to fight one of the greatest threats to young people in Lebanon. As the new school year begins, 180,000 Syrian and 50,000 Lebanese children are not enrolled in school, severely limiting their potential, according to UNICEF.

“The Caravan Goes to School” uses a creative, entertaining format to teach parents and children about the importance of education and to provide them with information on how to enrol their children this year.

The show is based on six true stories that address a range of topics, including early marriage and how it interferes with girls’ education, the challenges facing the Lebanese school system, the costs of not getting an education, and the success stories of those who persevered and how it has changed their lives.

The performance includes audios, clowning, puppetry and music and is being performed in public spaces around Lebanon every Friday and Saturday from Oct. 7 to Nov. 4, 2016, with the aim of reaching communities where children less likely to be enrolled in school. This project is part of the UNICEF Back to School Campaign #Ana_7ader.

“The Caravan Goes to School” is the second performance produced by The Caravan and follows “The Caravan: The World Is Listening”, which focused on personal stories about the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon and was performed around Lebanon during June and July 2016.

If you are interested in covering the project, attending a performance and interviewing project organizers and cast members, please contact Zeina Sfeir at or +961 3 971 579

Find us on

بيروت، لبنان – عندما تصل الكرفانة، يركض الأولاد بإتجاهها. يستمتع الأولاد مع أهلهم بمشاهدة عرض مدته 40 دقيقة يقدمه فريق من المهرجين، الموسيقيّين، الممثلين ومحركي الدمى – لبنانيّين وسوريّين يسردون قصص حقيقيّة عن أهمية التعليم.

 مشروع “الكرفانة – لنرجع عالمدرسة” هو مبادرة مبتكرة تتضمن عرض مسرحي في الشارع تهدف لمحاربة إحدى المخاطر التي يواجهها الشباب في لبنان. مع بداية العام الدراسي وبحسب يونيسف، هناك 180 ألف طفل سوري و50 ألف طفل لبناني خارج المدارس، مما يحد كثيراً من قدراتهم.

يستخدم مشروع “الكرفانة – لنرجع عالمدرسة” صيغة خلّاقة ومسلية لتوعية الأهل والأولاد عن أهمية التعليم ولتزويدهم بمعلومات عن تسجيل أولادهم في المدرسة لهذا العام.

 هذا العرض مبني على ستة قصص حقيقيّة تطرح عدد من المواضيع، بما في ذلك الزواج المبكر وتأثيره على تعليم الفتيات، التحديات التي يواجهها النظام التعليمي اللبناني، عواقب عدم الحصول على التعليم، وقصص نجاح لأشخاص ثابروا على التعليم وتأثير هذا الأمر على حياتهم.

 يتضمّن العرض تسجيلات صوتية، هريج، دمى وموسيقى ويُقدم في مساحات عامة في لبنان كل نهار جمعة وسبت من 7 تشرين الأول حتى 4 تشرين الثاني 2016، بهدف الوصول للمجتمات التي تضم أولاد لا يرتادون المدرسة. هذا المشروع هو جزء من حملة يونيسف “للعودة إلى المدرسة” #أنا_حاضر.

  الكرفانة “لنرجع عالمدرسة” هو ثاني عرض من إنتاج الكرفانة ويلي “الكرفانة: والعالم يسمع”، الذي ركّز على قصص شخصية عن أزمة اللاجئيّين السوريّين في لبنان وتمّ عرضه في لبنان خلال حزيران وتموز 2016.

إذا كنتم ترغبون بتغطية المشروع أو مشاهدة عرض أو مقابلة منظمي المشروع والممثلين، الرجاء التواصل مع زينة صفير أو على +961 3 971 579.

About The Caravan Goes to School


The Caravan Goes Back to School puts the voices of Lebanese and Syrians on the stage of the street. Through a combination of audio autobiographical storytelling and physical theater on a- you guessed it- caravan- a magical 40 min street performance is woven together with the purpose to get Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian kids back to School.

Six actors with a stage not much larger than a front door use buffoons, puppets, plastic, mime and a whole lot of imagination to explore 6 stories in 6 different dynamic styles to talk with Kids and Parents alike.

In 2016, there were 180.000 Syrian refugees and 50.000 Lebanese children out of school.

This project is part of the UNICEF Back to School Campaign #Ana_7ader and is the second in a series of Caravan shows which will tour 20 different villages in Lebanon during October 2016

مشروع الكرفانة – لنرجع عالمدرسة – ينقل أصوات اللبنانيّين والسوريّين على مسرح الشارع. من خلال الجمع ما بين القصص الحقيقيّة المسجلة والمسرح الجسماني الذي سيقدّم على سطح الكرفانة. عرض شارع حالم مدته 40 دقيقة يهدف إلى تشجيع الأولاد اللبنانيين، السوريين والفلسطينيين للعودة إلى المدرسة

ستة ممثلون على مسرح حجمه لا يتعدى حجم الباب الرئيسي، يستخدمون التهريج، الدمى، الإيماء والكثير من الخيال للبحث في 6 قصص و6 أساليب مختلفة للتواصل مع الأولاد والأهل

في العام 2016، هناك 180 ألف لاجىء سوري و50 ألف طفل لبناني خارج المدرسة

هذا المشروع هو جزء من حملة يونيسف للعودة إلى المدرسة أنا_حاضر وهو الجزء الثاني من عروضات الكرفانة التي ستجول في 20 منطقة لبنانية مختلفة خلال شهر تشرين الأول 2016


The Caravan Performances


أنهينا جولة الكرفانة في لبنان

قدمنا 40 عرضاً في مختلف المناطق اللبنانية: في البقاع (2000 لبناني، 3700 سوري)، بيروت (700 لبناني، 150 سوري، 150 فلسطيني)، وفي الجنوب (300 لبناني، 100 سوري)

خلال جولتنا، حدثت التفجيرات في البقاع فإضطررنا لإلغاء بعض العروضات بسبب الجو المتوتر وحظر التجوّل المفروض على اللاجئين في العديد من الضيع. ولكننا فرحنا عندما لاحظنا أن الناس كانوا متفهمين لإتخاذنا هذه الإجراءات

بالنسبة لردات فعل الجمهور، كانت العروضات في مخيمات السوريين إيجابية معظم الوقت. شكرنا الأشخاص لمشاركتنا قصصهم وسألونا لماذا لا نعرض المسرحية للمجتمع اللبناني. عندما عرفوا أننا سنعرض المسرحية للبنانيين، كانت لديهم الرغبة لمعرفة ردات فعلهم

عندما قدمنا العرض للجمهور اللبناني، كانت ردات الفعل متفاوتة: 80% إيجابية و20% سلبية. بكى الكثير من الأشخاص خلال وبعد العرض، والبعض تأثّر وشعر بأن هذه القصص عالمية وتحدث في كل المجتمعات الفقيرة. في الكثير من العرضات، شارك المشاهدون قصصهم بعد العرض أو خلال النقاش

نحن سعيدين لأن الممثلين من فريق البقاع شعروا بالفخر الشديد لمشاركتهم في هذا المشروع. كان أداؤهم مليء بالشغف والحماس والفخر لنشرهم أصوات عائلاتهم
قال أصغر الممثلين، درغام، أنه لن ينسى أبداً هذه التجربة التي أثّرت به و أنه يرغب في ممارسة هذا العمل عندما يكبر. قال سيّد أنه يشعر بالفخر لمشاركته في هذا العمل وأنه يشعر بأن العالم يتقبلونه أكثر من ذي قبل

بعدما إنتهينا من جولتنا في لبنان إتجهنا إلى تونس

شارك كل من ليال غانم، عبدالله جطل، محمد لطوف، سابين شقير ومصطفى يموت (زيكو هاوس) في مهرجان بلا حدود، الذي أقيم في مدينة نابل

كما شاركنا في نشاطات صفاقس عاصمة الثقافة العربية، وفي سيدي منصور

كان عرضنا في سيدي منصور ملفتاً لأننا قدمنا المسرحية في الساعة ال12 ليلاً وتفاجئنا بتواجد 1500 شخصاً بإنتظارنا! كنا قلقين من أن أحداً لن يأتِ ليشاهدنا في هذه الساعة المتأخرة

كما فرحنا عندما إكتشفنا محبة التونسيين لبلاد الشام وأهلها. خلال العروضات، شاركوا معنا كثيراً وأحبوا العرض وتحمسوا للمشاركة بآرائهم العديدة

نحن متأكدون أن الناس متعطشين لسماع القصص الشخصية لاجئين، ونعتقد أن علينا تقديم عرضنا لجمهور أوسع. نود أن ندعو الناس إلى التعامل مع شؤون اللاجئين بتعاطف أكبر، وأن نتحدى الخوف والوصمة السلبية، بطريقة سليمة وأكثر فعالية

وبالنسبة للأشهر القادمة، نأمل بنقل عرضنا إلى أوروبا قريباً
لذلك، نأمل أن نجول بقصصنا في المدن الأوروبية وأن نتشاركها مع أناس متشوقين للتمعّن بالتحديات والإنتصارات اليومية للشعب السوري

_DSC4551The Caravan tour in Lebanon has come to an end.

We have performed 40 shows all over Lebanon: the Bekaa (for 2000 Lebanese, 3700 Syrians), Beirut (for 700 Lebanese, 150 Syrians, 150 Palestinians) and the South (for 300 Lebanese, 100 Syrians).

During our tour, the Qaa attacks happened, so we were obliged to cancel some shows seeing as the atmosphere in the Bekaa was quite tense and many villages imposed curfews on refugees. People were very supportive when we started the tour again.

As for the audiences’ reactions, the shows performed for Syrian refugees in the camps were very positive most of the time. People thanked us for sharing their stories and wondered why we don’t take the performance to the Lebanese community. When they knew that we were actually performing for Lebanese people, they were intrigued to hear about their reactions.

When we performed for the Lebanese audience, the reactions were 80% supportive and 20% against. Many people cried during and after the performance, many got emotional and felt that these stories are universal and are happening with all poor people. We had a lot of shows where people shared their stories as well after the show or during the debate.

We are also glad that the cast from the Bekaa were very proud to have participated in this project. They were performing with such passion and excitement; proud to be helping in spreading the voices of their families.


Dergham, the youngest of the performers, said that he will never forget this experience that marked him and that he wants to do the same when he grows up. Sayed said that he feels proud that he was part of this and that he feels people are accepting him more than before.

After finishing our tour in Lebanon, we headed to Tunisia!

Layal Ghanem, Abdullah Jatal, Mohammad Lattouf, Sabine Choucair, and Moustapha Yammout (Zicco House) performed in the city Nabeul, within Festival Without Borders.

We also performed in Sfax as part the Arab Capital of Culture event, and in Sidi Mansour.

The Sidi Mansour performance was particularly interesting because we performed at 12am and we were surprised to find an audience of 1500 people waiting to watch us! At 12am! We were worried that we wouldn’t find anyone in the audience.

We were also happy to discover the Tunisians’ love for the Levant and for Levantine people. They were participative, they loved the show and they were very eager to share many of their opinions with us.

We are positive now that people are eager to listen to personal stories of refugees and we think it is important to share this performance to a wider audience. We want to invite people to consider refugee issues from a place of increased empathy, allowing fear and negative stigma to be challenged and changed in a safe and therefore more effective manner.

Therefore, we are hoping to take these amazing stories to European cities and to share them with people who are excited to take a closer look at the daily struggles and triumphs of the Syrian people.

Press Conference and Tour Schedule

On Tuesday June 14 2016, Beirut DC held a press conference to announce The Caravan project. The conference was attended by many media representatives who received an in depth preview of the project as well as the tour dates for The Caravan street performances. The tour will begin with the First group formed of Syrian refugees from the Bekaa who felt responsible for spreading the word and sharing their stories in yet another and new medium.

For the tours at the coast, we chose a group of professional Syrian actors to perform the street performance.

Check out the schedule below and follow Group 1 and Group 2 around.

the caravan schedule EN2

عقدت جمعية بيروت دي سي مؤتمراً صحفياً لإطلاق جولة مسرح الشارع التابعة لمشروع الكرفانة بحضور العديد من ممثلي الصحافة. تم التحدث بعمق عن خطة العمل التي قام الفريق بالعمل عليها للوصول الى هذه المرحلة والنتيجة كما تم التحدث عن جولة مسرح الشارع التابعة للكرفانة التي  سوف تبدأ يوم الثلاثاء ٢١ حزيران مع الفريق الأول الذي اخترناه من أشخاص من مخيمات اللاجئين السوريين في البقاع

أما الفريق الثاني فسيعرض في المناطق الساحلية. هذا الفريق يتألف من ممثلين سوريين محترفين

تابعوا البرنامج وتابعونا لمعرفة أماكن العروضات

the caravan schedule AR2

The caravan lebanon press conference 10The caravan lebanon press conference 06The caravan lebanon press conference 05The caravan lebanon press conference 04The caravan lebanon press conference 09The caravan lebanon press conference 07The caravan lebanon press conference 08The caravan lebanon press conference 11The caravan lebanon press conference 12The caravan lebanon press conference 01The caravan lebanon press conference 03The caravan lebanon press conference 02
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The Caravan Project

We have been featured on Lands Of Exile blog.
We are very proud the be able to communicate the stories to the world. Read the full post below

Lands of Exile

// English Version Below

Le projet Caravane

Être victime d’une guerre, être forcé de se déplacer dans son pays ou de devenir réfugié dans un autre, c’est peut-être entreprendre le voyage d’un itinérant. Portés par leurs rencontres, ils traversent les villages, se reposent à l’ombre d’un arbre ou sous une tente. Ils marchent sur des sentiers sinueux. Ils ne comptent plus le nombre de fois qu’ils ont glissé, qu’ils ont vu leurs propres enfants tombés sans pouvoir les rattraper. La méfiance qu’ils ont croisée à l’orée d’un bois, la violence du feu qui les a pourchassés, la sécheresse des âmes qu’ils ont visitées, ces souvenirs se bousculent dans leur mémoire. Mais qui entendra un jour les récits dont ils sont porteurs ?

Après avoir travaillé dix années avec les réfugiés palestiniens et irakiens, le flot de réfugiés syriens au Liban a touché la directrice artistique du projet Caravane. Par ses expériences…

View original post 1,721 more words

Meet The (First) Cast

We began phase 3 (rehearsals) with an intensive 2-day workshop audition.
The first day was pretty relentless: 3 hours of physical theatre games and exercises with a group of 30 young men (and one young woman!) in the heat of the Bekaa valley tent.
On day 2 we showed up and our 30 actors had been cut down to 10. The beauty of self-selection!  It wasn’t easy to decide who should stay on. In the end, we chose 6 main cast and 2 alternates, as 2 of our main actors are scheduled to fly to Norway on June 6th (According to some friends and colleagues, this means we will probably lose them on the 6th. According to others, there’s a good chance we’ll have them for the whole tour. We don’t know what to believe so we just set up a plan A, B, C, and D, as we always do).


The (first) cast:


13-year old Dergham is our shining star.  On the first day of auditions we told him to go home because he was too young (the rest of the cast are 16-20).  He dug his heels down and said “no, I really want to perform”. We told him to leave a second time and he still said no.  We figured, if he wants it that bad, let him at least try. And of course he was a total star.


Dergham’s sister Hanan is a force too, hers is a quiet strength. We know that she must be fielding a lot of questions from the other girls in her community (she tells us as much) for being the only girl to perform in a group of teenage guys. She tells us that when she’s hassled she replies, “I have a right to be here too”. When reporters (mostly women) pop in to record videos or take pictures, the boys all blush and giggle. But Hanan sits next to the reporters and asks quietly, confidently, “would you like to interview me?” Of course they would.


Ahmed is the charismatic leader. Older than the other lads, he has the confidence, charm, and physical presence to hold a room, and—more importantly—wrangle a crowd, a skill we know we’ll be relying on when we step out of the safety of the rehearsal room into the unpredictability of the streets.


Sayyed is another leader, an unexpected one. Small, with boxy glasses and a tufty moustache, he doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would be able to hold a crowd, but wow! Can he! He commits fully to his characters and has a grounded way of communicating that oozes capability. When we ask which of the actors will be able to be “even headed” enough to be the facilitator of a heated debate, all of the cast unanimously nod towards Sayyed.


Ali is the lovable troublemaker. He caught our attention when he swaggered into the first rehearsal and cheekily stole puffs of a cigarette while we pointed him out the door shouting Barra Barra! Once we began scripting and sat down with text a new side emerged, he led the group through writes and rewrites, his way with words is brilliant.


Ali’s brother Aboudi is the cheerful worker, no conflict with anyone or anything. We almost missed him in the audition because he’s like water–no tactics, no tension, no drama. Just good, solid presence.


Yousuf is a gentle giant. Constantly smiling, always relaxed, the first to volunteer to play the silly roles the others shy away from. He is also a natural director, moulding and shaping cast members into a tableau of the dragon, making the most coherent points about what is and what isn’t theatrical. He is a great and positive spirit to have in the room.


Mohammed is the philosopher. Given a note, he will mull it over for several seconds while the others are springing into action. On the second audition day he impressed us with his gentle, serious tone. He is always helping the other cast members, it is in his nature to be helpful.

Every day we pull up in our little red car to see these 8 already ready and waiting with massive smiles. We were gutted when we realised there was absolutely no way to get around the situation of not being able to tour with them (getting through checkpoints is a problem for most people here), so instead of re-casting we just decided to get a second cast for the Beirut shows. Twice the rehearsals, twice the fun!

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