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VIDEO: Romeo and Juliet separated by war

Syrians in Homs and Amman, divided by conflict, come together for a unique performance of a Shakespeare classic
Young Syrian refugees recovering from war injuries become actors in a new production of Romeo and Juliet (MEE/Abo Bakr al Haj Ali)

AMMAN, Jordan - In a one-of-a-kind theatrical production, Syrians separated by war are using technology to perform Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Four actors in Amman, Jordan – where they are recovering from war-related injuries – perform alongside actors in Homs, Syria. The two locations are connected via Skype, and although occasional technological glitches interrupt the performance, the classic drama’s poignancy rings truer than ever.

This is the second time the exiled Syrian actor Nawar Bulbul has produced and directed a Shakespeare play working with refugees. Last year he led a production of King Leer in Amman’s Zaatari refugee camp. But for Bulbul, this performance of Romeo and Juliet is a symbol of the current Syrian condition.

“In Romeo and Juliet,” Bulbul said: “we are screaming: ‘Let’s love each other again, let’s lessen the gruesomeness, let’s lessen the ugliness of this world.’”

For the passionate director, the unique production was a lifeline to a home for which so many Syrians yearn.