Shakespeare's Othelo in Arabic

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About Abdulla Al Asam:

Abdulla lives in Doha, where he works as both an air traffic controller and as an actor. His most recent theatre play was 'The 8th Day of the Week'. In his free time, Abdulla enjoys reading, running and playing on his computer.

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Abdulla has appeared in various Qatari TV shows such as 'Tesaneef' and 'Painted Strings'. He has also been featured in several national commercials promoting community ideals for Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology and Supreme Education Council.”

Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe
As an actor, I never expected that my first taster of performing Shakespeare would take place in the country of his birth, let alone a location so fitting as Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. Of course, I have gained a large amount of experience performing modern drama in Qatar. Which perhaps is to be expected in a country whose recent development has come to define modernity.

It was this cultural contrast between the UK and Qatar that made my experience at the Sam Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe so enjoyable and beneficial.

My colleague Mohammed Ziyara and I were invited to participate in the festival, alongside 42 students from UK drama schools, by Globe Education, as part of Qatar UK 2013 year of Culture.

Qatar UK 2013 is a year-long celebration of the long-lasting friendship between Qatar and the UK and aims to cultivate mutual understanding between the two countries. Our inclusion definitely brought a different perspective to the weekend and it was a brilliant experience sharing knowledge and bouncing ideas in an international group.

The weekend involved a variety of workshops and classes, each led by an expert who helped us improve our performance skills. I found all the Globe staff I met to be extremely helpful and encouraging, but the chance to talk about acting with students in the UK who share my interests and passions was a real highlight of the trip. As a whole, I would describe my experience as both unique and extreme.

What I found most encouraging was the internationality of our medium. The UK is, of course, home to not just Shakespearean-era plays, but a whole variety of modern theatre. Working with British students in the weekend’s workshops and bringing in various performance elements that I had learnt in my home country was a great experience.

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