- Title: Sex slavery of Syrian refugees under scrutiny at a Beirut theatre
- Date: 9th April 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ACTRESS, SERENA CHAMI, SAYING (Arabic): "It is something very beautiful to be able to speak for this cause. I am not lucky to be in a country where such a cause needs to exist (sic!) but I am lucky to be able to speak about it and to be able to support this cause."
- Embargoed: 23rd April 2017 11:32
- Keywords: Lebanon women sex trafficking scandal Syrian refugees performance lecture theatre
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Theatre
- Reuters ID: LVA0046BOF1AT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: It was a scandal that shocked the Lebanese people.
Last year, Lebanese security forces uncovered a sex trafficking ring and freed 75 women, mostly Syrians, who had been forced into prostitution.
A theatre performance in Beirut recreates the events, with its director and actors hoping the show 'No Demand, No Supply' will help prevent similar crimes happening again.
Writer and director Sahar Assaf based the play on interviews recorded with the survivors, the officials who ordered the raid on the sex traffickers and an official representing an NGO Kafa (Arabic for 'Enough').
Assaf said the story needs telling, so that the plight of the women is not forgotten.
Lebanon security forces called trafficking network 'one of the most dangerous human trafficking gangs in Lebanon'.
The play also uses materials from the indictment in the case as well as a study by Kafa that focuses on the demand for prostitution.
The show includes recordings by male actors, based on interviews with sex buyers from the NGO study.
During the play, an empty red chair is placed on stage each time its narrator introduces a "buyer" and some background information. By the end of the performance, tens of empty chairs fill the stage of the American University of Beirut (AUB) where the performance is held.
The play uses British playwright Alecky Blythe's 'recorded delivery technique' with actors on stage listening to the recordings of real life interviews through their earphones and repeating exactly what they hear.
Assaf said she planned to take the play on a tour in the country to spread awareness.
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