Jordanian actress Amal Dabbas on Monday addressed concerns of ordinary Jordanian citizens in her satirical comedy play, “Sho Zefrainia,” an Arabic pronunciation of “schizophrenia.”
The hour-long comedy is proving popular amongst Jordanian theatre goers. It reflects on what it portrays as corruption and nepotism in Jordanian society, and criticizes some aspects of the performance of the Jordanian cabinet and the parliament.
Actress Dabbas said such plays give local actors the opportunity to deliver the messages of ordinary Jordanians to decision makers in Jordan.
“It is an annual tradition to have a satirical play. We do both, political and comedy plays, in order to direct the spotlight on the problems and concerns which we experience in our local community. This time, this play discuses our own concerns. It criticizes some policies that the citizen is badly influenced by.
We imitate some personalities, which is a usual habit in our theater,” actress Dabbas told Reuters Television.
The show is centered around Um Ahmed, an ordinary Jordanian woman living in a poor area in Jordan with her family and neighbors.
Supporting actors impersonate high profile politicians including king Abdullah of Jordan and Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh.
“It is a great blessing that Jordan enjoys this freedom of expression. On stage, we can imitate decision makers in Jordan, the Prime minister, His Majesty King Abdullah. We try to get him on stage to deliver citizens’ concerns. His majesty is keen to connect with people,” said Dabbas.
Jordan has had over a year of peaceful street protests by Islamists, tribal figures and leftist opposition members, inspired by the wave of Arab revolts demanding wider political freedoms and a crackdown on corruption.
Jordan, a country with limited natural resources, is hit with difficult economic conditions due to high fuel prices, dwindling foreign investment, lack of job opportunities and poverty. According to official figures, unemployment is believed to be around 14.3 percent in Jordan and poverty has reached almost 14 percent.
The play is one of many drama shows presented in Amman theaters during the holy month of Ramadan. The play starts after iftar time, when Muslims break a day long of fasting after sunset.