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Hakaya - the storytelling festival

THE FULL SHORT STORY.

From the years of 2013, until 2021, I have been part of a different kind of a festival, that doesn't exist in many places, a storytelling festival,  titled ''Hakaya''. 

 

Hakaya is an Arab collective movement connecting different organisations, individuals, and groups around the Arab world and the Mediterranean who share a commitment to reclaiming the centrality of stories to the healthy growth of individuals and societies. 

 

In 2021, I celebrated 10 years of working on this project year after year, the festival has been around for over 13 years working around the art of “storytelling” within theatre, performing arts, promotion of reading and writing, formation of identity, and inter-cultural dialogue.

 

The vision that brought this project together came from different inspiration and was put together by a network of cultural organisations working in the field of performing arts in the MENA region, all of which aiming to deploy storytelling as a tool that develops an individual’s “inner world” and constitutes the threads that weave the social and cultural fabric within a community: a tool that does not link the mind with the text, but the mind with life.

Hakaya is a free access on the run festival, means that it is spread in many cities at the same time, around 6 - 8 events per day took place from venues ranging from public parks, to public schools and orphanages, to refugee camps, to community centres, cultural institutions and other venues that aimed to gather people around the area to attend the performances, with programs that were also inclusive to disabilities, featuring sign language with most of the performances. 


I started working on Hakaya as a PR officer, where I managed all the PR related work of the festival, work ranging from issuing press releases, coordination with press, coordinating interviews and introducing storytelling nights over radio spheres in Amman, to also be on the ground with the storytellers and artists.

Later in 2015 until late 2017, I changed my role and started coordinating the programme of the festival, around 65 musicians and band members flock into Amman from various regions and countries, my work focused on finalising contracts, coordination of flights, accommodation, internal transportation, receiving the artists, setting up the schedule of sound-check, coordinating with the stage management and making sure that everything is going smooth for both the music groups and the festival management to insure a fabulous night. 

In 2019, I took the tasks of the programs manager, the coordination of the festival programme, ensuring logistics and requirements are managed effectively and all concerts run smoothly, To delivering a high quality, exciting and innovative storytelling activities working alongside the Festival Director and curator. As much as this role was a challenge, this role delved into all the festival logistics including communications and preparation, communicating with all partners, venues, artists and organisations while overseeing the team of the festival.

Hakaya is a program/movement started its journey in 2005 and the collaboration continued uninterrupted up till this day regardless of the availability of funds or the possibility of face to face encounters. The dialogue continued over the years to deepen the understanding of what each partner/member can do in their own location, and how that contributes to the collective momentum.

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