“When will I be free”, the freedom that Arab artists dreamed of

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 07:39

Songs, dances, poems with humor. In an open-air arena off the coast of Tunisia, young Arabs expressed their views on freedom through art, which is often lacking in their home countries.

Organized this weekend at the seaside resort of Hammamet in the south of Tunis and broadcast live by twelve Arab TV channels, it honored the winners of an online competition. When is it free … “

Called #DDX, the show is organized by a production team called Munadhara (discussion), which was created in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.

The 4th such paradox took place in Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, at a time when its young democracy was stumbling over the coup of President Guiz Syed, who assumed full powers in July 2021.

The event aims to “stimulate much-needed exchanges for rights, freedoms and social change in the Arab world,” Belabas Bengrada, 43, founder of the Algerian-German Munadara, told AFP.

He laments that the “great hopes” induced by the Arab Spring were overshadowed by a dictatorial takeover or civil strife, and that “hope led to cynicism, including among the youth.”

“The Z generation in the Arab world has reached political maturity in an environment of frustration and social division,” he said.

– “Rebellion” –

“The freedom of young people is restricted, not just in the Arab world,” said Mohammed al-Kurti, a 22-year-old Syrian refugee and comedian who was one of 20 winners at the event.

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Sitting on the edge of the stage illuminated by spotlights during the break, Mr. Kurdi’s TikTok account “MidoKrdi” has more than 2.3 million subscribers, and he discusses in his paintings “the limits we set, the fear of failure and the fear of success”. : Things that hinder our freedom “.

On the show, he starred in a comedy about the relationship between a wife and her ex-husband with 22-year-old Lebanese teenager Dana Ali Makki.

“I’m free to say what I want, without fear of anyone. I’m free from all the restrictions imposed by society, especially on women, especially women,” said Ms Makki, from Nabataev in southern Lebanon. His view of “freedom”.

Despite the difficulties, the actress believes that young people in the Arab world enjoy more freedom than their parents.

“Rebellions against customs, traditions, religion and community are on the rise,” he said.

– “Resist” –

“Public debate, a debate on fundamental rights, especially in a region that could polarize social networks,” provides an alternative model for his program exchanges. Pengreda believes.

The competition was also a showcase for emerging talents such as Palestinian Ahmed al-Grinawi, who hails from the Gaza Strip under Israeli siege.

This 25 year old poet learned to play the veena in which he created a special pattern with seven strings with the help of a carpenter friend.

The first verse of his song says, “I will be free only when there is a normal country where death does not await me.”

“There is no freedom in Gaza,” he lamented. Grinavi. “Freedom is not about food and drink. You can bring food to the caged bird, but it will still be captive.”

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For Lebanese actress Ms. McKee, the show was an opportunity to deliver another message.

“You can not sit at home with your hands clasped or be quiet. Learn to say no to oppression and repression,” he tattooed on his forehead: “Resist!”.

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