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March 4, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Middle East Institute
1763 N St NW

The Middle East Institute Arts and Culture Center invites you to an evening of theater and dialogue honoring Ashtar Theatre’s seminal work, "The Gaza Mono-Logues.” The monologues are personal stories of 33 young Gazans who worked with the Ramallah-based Ashtar Theatre in 2010 to transmit their stories of life under siege.

The Middle East Institute is proud to present selected readings from "The Gaza Mono-Logues,” following Ashtar Theatre’s global call to individuals and theaters worldwide to give performances of the moving testimonies. Directed by ANERA Board Member Victoria Sams, and featuring three Washington, DC-based performers, the readings will be followed by a discussion with Victoria Sams and MEI’s director of the Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs Khaled Elgindy about the current humanitarian situation in Gaza, the work of ANERA, and the role of Ashtar Theatre. 

All proceeds will be donated to Ashtar Theatre and ANERA.

Featured Cast

Nora AchratiNora Achrati is a voice actor and director with a background in theatre and Middle East studies; family in Algeria; and roots in Ireland and Lithuania by way of Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Currently she directs and narrates full-cast audiobooks for Graphic Audio in Rockville, MD. Stage credits include "Silent Sky" (Ford's Theatre), "Intelligence" (Arena Stage), and "The Vagrant Trilogy" (Mosaic Theater). Voicework includes audiobook narration for the Library of Congress, training programs for the US Postal Service, and poetry for USIP and The Nature of Cities. She's grateful to Bradley and their two kids for their spirit and energy and the joy they inspire, and to Victoria, Andy, and ANERA for this opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Yesenia IglesiasYesenia Iglesias is an actor, educator, and writer from Bayamón, Puerto Rico. She’s performed on stages all over the DMV including Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Folger Shakespeare Theater, among others. When not performing, Yesenia is a vocal activist, and an educator in Howard University’s Musical Theater program. She dedicates the evening’s performance to the millions of Palestinians who have been displaced during this genocide, and she encourages everyone to continue advocating for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and an end to colonialism and apartheid everywhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Washington.


Anas "Andy" ShallalAnas “Andy” Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets, a group of restaurants in the Washington Metropolitan area where art, culture and politics intentionally collide over mindfully sourced food, drinks, and programming. Shallal has received numerous awards including the Mayor’s Arts Award and Employer of the Year from the Employment Justice Center. He has founded and co-founded several peace and justice organizations and holds leadership positions in numerous others. He holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at The University of Maryland College Park and continues to strive to make his hometown of Washington DC a more livable community.



Victoria SamsVictoria Sams is a member of the board of Anera. After earning her Ph.D. in comparative literature from UCLA and teaching humanities there, she taught modern and contemporary drama and literature courses in the English Department at Dickinson College. She is the author of Immigration and "Contemporary British Theater: Finding a Home on the Stage" (Peter Lang, 2014) and editor of "The Random House Treasury of Favorite Poems about Cities Around the World" (2004). Since 2012, she has worked as a program officer in the Division of Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Khaled ElgindyKhaled Elgindy is the director of the Middle East Institute’s Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs and adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He is the author of the 2019 book, "Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump" (Brookings Institution Press). Elgindy previously served as a resident scholar in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Prior to arriving at Brookings, he served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08.



Read more about

Anera LogoAnera
Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with purpose and hope. Anera works on the ground in Palestine (West Bank and Gaza), Lebanon and Jordan. Anera mobilizes resources for immediate emergency relief and for sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development. Anera has worked in Gaza since 1968, and its staff of 12 in Gaza is currently responding to the immense needs for aid. Anera’s Gaza staff, from the very communities they serve, demonstrate extraordinary dedication in these challenging times. For daily updates on their activities in Gaza, see Anera’s Emergency Response Log. To donate directly to Anera’s Gaza relief work, click here.


Ashtar Theatre LogoASHTAR Theatre
ASHTAR Theatre was established in 1991 in Jerusalem as the first theatre training organization for youth in Palestine, by two Palestinian prominent actors, Edward Muallem and Iman Aoun, who worked in theatre since 1977. As the company describes itself, “ASHTAR is a dynamic local Palestinian Theatre with a truly progressive global perspective.” After many decades of producing plays and offering professional theatre training, the company has more recently started offering psycho-social intervention that uses theater and psychology to alleviate the traumatic impact of war for children, youth, and adults. To contribute to Ashtar’s work, click here. To see more of Ashtar’s work, click here.