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Puppet play dramatizes life on the street
Published in Daily News Egypt on 23 - 08 - 2006

"El-Masoura El-Kabeera focuses on society's reaction to street children
CAIRO: Seven little children, who consider the street their home, are the lead characters in "El-Masoura El-Kabeera, a puppet play produced by Mohamed Abd El-Moniem El-Sawy. In the play, society never serves as either a support or a guide to change their immoral thoughts.
Concentrating on the causes, risks and consequences of street children, a dangerous social phenomenon, the play is being shown at the El-Sakia Culture Wheel for a second time, to raise awareness of the seriousness of the problem.
"The aim of the show is not only to present street children as a phenomenon, but rather to highlight a new angle toward it. People should never help street children by giving them food, drink or clothes, but rather guide them in the right direction, says El-Sawy to The Daily Star Egypt.
People deal with street children as if they are a normal, everyday part of life. Reacting negatively to the phenomenon makes it become more and more widespread.
"We deal with the phenomenon in terms of mercy and sympathy towards those children. We should think more logically towards the future of those kids and try to analyze how dangerous this phenomenon is, adds El-Sawy.
The play features seven characters playing the role of street children. The play's eight scenes portray the life of street children, showing how these children suffer, how they build relationships and what they base their hopes on.
El-Sawy says he first thought about writing a play about street children two years ago, inspired by the sight of Ibrahim, a little street child, who used to sleep on the street by the Culture Wheel every day, using a small rag to cover himself in the cold days of winter.
He adds that he decided to present his idea through the medium of a puppet show, because he used to put on this kind of show during his schools days, and considers it one of the most expressive art forms and the one best able to deliver his message successfully.
El-Sawy says the audience targeted in the play are those who act negatively toward street children and encourage them to continue living on the street by giving them money and food whenever they come across them.
"I would like to ask those people to rethink the issue and consider other solutions for these children, rather than donating some money or food, that will consequently encourage the kids to live in the street, where they find people helping them easily, says El-Sawy.
He adds that one of the main aims of the play is to raise parental awareness of continuous family quarrels and problems. Such family troubles may lead a child to run away from home, because in his immature perspective he sees the street as a calmer atmosphere.
According to Reem Abd El-Baset, the stage manager, the play shows that although the children are not comfortable on the street, they prefer it to normal home life, where they face various psychological disturbances while living with unstable families.
She adds that the name of the play El-Masoura El-Kabeera, is a metaphor for society, which acts as the main producer of street children.
"Society never gives the chance or the right to the children to talk or express their views, thus they escape and choose the street. As shown by the end of the play, the street children hope in finding parents and homes, not to receive money and food, but rather tenderness and compassion.

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