Love and Laughter In Lebanon

by Awrad Association
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Love and Laughter In Lebanon
Love and Laughter In Lebanon
Love and Laughter In Lebanon
Comic Relief Tour 2021
Comic Relief Tour 2021

A short report to thank you again and again for your support!

As you know, this year, Lebanon has been the spotlight for the third biggest economic crisis in the world. The scars of the Beirut blast still fresh, the Lebanese Lira in a free fall since 2019, a blind-eye turned on the people, laughter, art and play is needed now more than ever, and the demand for collective safe spaces is increasing exponentially by the day.

Thanks to you and other supporters and funders, we have been able to keep doing what we do best, spreading laughter and working on the streets with different communities. We even increased our work on the ground.

CAPE 2020

Our Creative Arts for Peace and Equality comprises 20 workshops, each one targeting 10 participants from vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and sharing with them arts and social therapy based tools, offering them a safe space to express themselves, vent, and a medium to “speak up”. This workshop allows them to become trainers for young people in their local communities, helping them change and deal with their harsh realities, through the medium of art.

We worked with 188 beneficiaries, 12 local artists and 3 international artists

 

Comic Relief Tour

Clown Me In performed 81 times in areas affected by the blast, reaching more than 5,550 people, and offering smiles of relief to people whose loved-ones, homes and mental health were destroyed by the explosion.

The tours were the most challenging, for the need for art and laughter had never been higher.

Our favorite story is that among the audience, in Sin El-Fil, there was a little girl who completely stopped talking after the explosion. After watching the show, she ran back to her house and told her dad all about it. She talked!

We worked with 12 artists, did 81 shows, and reached an audience of 5529 people.

We love you and are thankful for your support. Please keep spreading the word about our work, and follow our news on our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and visit our website!)

We have more shows planned for the commemoration of the 4th of August, more workshops with more members of the community and we would love to be able to keep spreading joy in this dim situation!

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Despite COVID-19 taking a toll on economies worldwide, Lebanon has been doubly affected by the economic collapse that began to spin out of control in 2019. Many people have lost their jobs and businesses are closing their doors as the Lebanese pound continues to devalue at a spectacular rate.

 Although the Love and Laughter project is still postponed due to COVID lockdowns and restrictions on large gatherings, the clowns have been keeping busy and trying to lift people's spirits the best way they know how. We have moved online as best as we can, hosting Friday Happy (Half) hours on Zoom, for kids and adults to let loose and laugh through different exercises and activities. We also teamed up with KAFA, a local NGO focused on women's rights and ending domestic violence, to create a series of explainer videos for people of all ages to be able to play at home with their families, all designed to get them away from their screens.
The situation being what it is, we've paused the fundraising efforts on this project and set up a different fundraiser on our GlobalGiving account, as a show of solidarity for other local artists affected by the multiple challenges we're collectively facing. Click here to read more about it.

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Photo from our first workshop
Photo from our first workshop

A lot of things are happening in Lebanon at the moment, and as usual we're a part of it! Due to the weather, political instability, and more recently, the corona outbreak, we are still forced to postpone our country-wide street performances around Lebanon. 


We're making up for it though by doing one of the things we do best: helping others find their inner clowns in these troubled times!
We have been using our space (that your generous donations have been helping us to maintain) to host free workshops during the first two weekends of each month. The first workshops are designed for adults while the second weekends are for kids and adults, so families can get it some much needed quality time. We've reached over 40 people so far and we're definitely not stopping there! Through your continued support, we can keep doing what we do and help people through love and laughter. 
Keep an eye out for our reports and on our social media channels to see how we maintain our (in)sanity during these extremely chaotic times. Any support is always appreciated.
Rehearsing despite everything
Rehearsing despite everything
Juggling workshop
Juggling workshop

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Clowns at rehearsal space in Beirut
Clowns at rehearsal space in Beirut

Due to the current political and econonic situation currently unfolding in Lebanon, we've been forced to postpone many of our usual and upcoming activities. That doesn't mean we've been idle, though. Our clowns have been an active part of the demonstrations happening in the streets, participating in marches and performing for the protesters. In order to help people deal with the stress of the current situation, we are planning a series of free clown workshops to help people maintain their positivity and be able to channel their frustrations and anxieties through a positive medium.

 

Thanks to your generous donations, we've also been able to maintain a regular place to practice and devise the touring shows that we will be taking to different regions in the coming months. We have also been able to cover over 2 weeks worth of space rental for rehearsals, as well as providing props and costumes for our clowns. We have also increased our project goal for the holiday season by 2,000$ in time for GlobalGiving's Year-End campaign.  We hope to keep being able to do what we do throughout these turbulent times, thanks to you!

 

Keep an eye out for our next report, as well as through our social media channels, to learn more about what we're doing as we adjust to the current events and find ways to help through spreading love and laughter.

Clowns at the protests in Beirut
Clowns at the protests in Beirut
Clowns protesting, Beirut [Photo: Nadim Kamel]
Clowns protesting, Beirut [Photo: Nadim Kamel]

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Organization Information

Awrad Association

Location: Beirut - Lebanon
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @clownmein
Project Leader:
Sabine Choucair
Beirut, Lebanon

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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