Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

With a Paper and Pen, Dreams Can Come True

For the first time since its establishment, the theater group from the Arts of Peace team put on a comic play about the shattered dreams of the youth of Iraq, especially students. The play discussed the positive consequences of ambition and diligence as well as the negative consequences of external obstacles and personal frustration.

A mere pen and paper can be the start of great things, and the theater team, in seeking to promote the concept of peace in society, began with a pen and paper to explore different aspects of people’s lives, critiquing the negative aspects, and strengthening the positive ones. From this exploration came the idea for the play, Paper and Pen, meant to simulate the dreams of people and illuminate ways to achieve those dreams using powerful symbols and realistic tools. The play includes the stories from all different walks of life: a taxi driver who dreams of obtaining a new car, an employee who dreams of getting a house, a doctor who dreams of opening a hospital for children, a peddler working in the street who dreams of owning a shop or a car. In addition to all of those stories is the student who has lost a sense of his own identity within his community. He does not know what he wants or how to achieve it. What links all these characters is that they share a single reality, this is powerfully portrayed through the ‘dreamer-achiever’, that fictional character who owns a magical canvas that turns one’s dreams into reality once a dream is painted upon it. The canvas becomes a symbol for our shared world and the profound potential that lies within it. Thus, the play is not a representation of a fantasy or wild dreams, but a metaphor that helps us to see that what we draw is in fact what we aspire to and work to achieve by our own hands, and not by the efforts of another.

The team presented the play in Tihlaya 3, an activity put on by the Iraqi Social Forum’s Kahramana masar during Ramadan. The play was performed on 23 May, the World Day of Cultural Diversity. Many volunteers, friends and their families enjoyed it.

The theater team is one of the three volunteer groups in the Arts of Peace (drawing-music-theater), which works within the Iraqi Social Forum. All aim to spread peace using various artistic tools to stand up to the violence in the country.

Fatima Al-Wardi – Art of Peace team