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  • steering group members

    steering group the founding group summer 2021 left to right Laura Hanna Ramzi DeHani Nadia Emam Laila Alj Jessie Bedrossian Kerry Kyriacos Michael Sepy Baghaei Arian Nik Lara Sawalha Lanna Joffrey Shireen Farkhoy Philip Arditti Penny Babakhani in alphabetical order Laila Alj (original member) Laïla is an actor from Casablanca, Morocco. She moved to London 10 years ago to pursue an MA at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Prior to that, she lived in the States where she studied theatre at Northwestern University. Philip Arditti (original member) Philip grew up in the Jewish community of Istanbul and moved to London in ‘99. He trained at RADA as an actor and was part of the team that set up the Arcola Theatre where he was an Associate Producer. Philip is also a writer and theatre-maker. ​​ ​ Penny Babakhani (joined january 2021) Penny Penny is an Iranian-German producer whose independent practice centres migrant and multicultural artists. She is also currently producing for Company Three and the Old Vic 12, having previously worked across production, programming and administration in the commercial touring sector. ​ Sepy Baghaei - co vice-chair (original member) Sepy is a theatre director of Iranian origin. She grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2013. Since then, she has worked with a range of British theatre companies including English Touring Theatre, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is currently Associate Director at The Space Theatre. ​ Shireen Farkhoy (original member) Shireen is a British-Iranian Actress / Screenwriter, born & raised in Leeds. She trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and continues to work extensively in Theatre, TV and Radio. Shireen is currently writing her debut 6 x 30’ TV dramedy series. ​ Laura Hanna (original member) Laura is an Egyptian-English actress, singer, theatre-maker and writer, born and bred in London. She also works as a coach in communication and presentation skills, co-founding her company The Pitch Process in 2018 and running workshops for organisations and charities, in schools and prisons. ​ Lanna Joffrey (joined january 2021) Lanna is an Iranian performer/writer working in the UK and US. She has enjoyed performing extensively in theatre, film, audio projects and her spoken word, which has been published in print and online. ​ Kerry Kyriacos Michael MBE - chair (founder) Kerry is a British Cypriot who was Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East for 13 years. He now freelances and develops work through his production company: Kyriacos and Company. ​ hall of fame. Previous steering group Ahmet Ahmet (original member - dec 2020) Ahmet is a Turkish Londoner. He is the Outreach Director for ‘The Stage’ Newspaper where he leads the ‘Get Into Theatre’ initiative. Ahmet is also a theatre lecturer and research module leader at Trinity Laban. He is currently a PhD research student at Central School of Speech and Drama. ​ Jessie Bedrossian (original member - aug 2022) Jessie is an Armenian actress and recent graduate from Mountview on the BA Acting course. Being relatively new to the industry, Jess is really excited to be taking on the role of Membership Liaison. Jess aims to bridge the gap between the members and the steering group, encourage a safe space for open dialogue, and to continue to champion the wonderful voices within our community. Ramzi DeHani - c ompany s ecretary (founder - june 2022) Ramzi is a Palestinian / Libyan actor born & raised in London. He trained at the Oxford School of Drama and has worked internationally in Film, Theatre, TV and Radio with arts organisations including the BBC, The National Theatre & Creative Europe. He will be supported by Shireen Farkhoy, who has offered to take minutes of any meetings we have. ​ Nadia Emam (january 2021 - june 2022 ) Nadia is a director, poet and facilitator based in Sheffield, where she is a supported artist of Sheffield Theatres. In 2019 she was awarded a placement with Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme at Stephen Joseph Theatre. Her first poetry film won the WEX Short Film Competition and was part of the BFI’s Northern Exposure Short Film Programme. She is currently developing her debut short film with Candle & Bell, funded by BFI NETWORK. Arian Nik (original member - aug 2022) Arian is a British-Iranian actor born & raised in Leeds. He studied BA Acting at Mountview Academy where he also served as Board Member from 2016-2019. ​ Lara Sawalha - Co Vice-Chair (original member - aug 2022) Lara is a Jordanian-British actor based in London. She graduated from Italia Conti Performing Arts Theatre School and has since been working regularly in Theatre/TV and Voice. head back

  • friends scheme | MENA Arts UK

    be a friend our Go Fund Me page Before we decided to call ourselves MENA Arts UK we spent a lot of time talking about the simple things that bring us all together, such as our culture, music and food. For all of us Olives evoked family, comfort and community. To grow and expand our community and to achieve our ambitious plans, we are excited to launch our Founding Friends’ Olive Scheme for 2023. A one off payment will make you an: OLIVE LEAF: £50+ 20 x donors keep our website up and running. 10 x donors would make our newsletter happen for a year OLIVE BRANCH: £250+ 5 x donors would allow us to host three town hall events 5 x donors would allow us to pay project managers for our next season OLIVE TREE: £1000+ 5 x donors would allow us to pay project managers for our next season ​ Come and be part of our story right from the beginning! All of our donors will be entitled to the following: ​ Advanced priority bookings to all of our events Invitation to an annual meeting with our chair and steering group Acknowledgement of your support on our website and digital programmes Friends Membership email updates Your support is crucial to help MENA Arts UK survive and deliver on our promise to our membership: to become an integral and important part of the UK live and recorded arts scene. We hope you can join us as a Founding Friend of MENA Arts UK. Donations can be made via our GO FUND ME page. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss alternative ways to make your donation. We thank you in advance. Our door is always open; please get in touch if there is anything you would like to share with us or discuss. Warm regards, Philip Arditti Head of Fundraising ​

  • HOME | Welcome to MENA Arts UK

    sound mixer lighting designer teacher fight director actor writer designer production manager singer director composer sound mixer lighting designer teacher fight director actor writer designer production manager singer director composer sound mixer lighting designer teacher fight director actor writer designer production manager singer director composer our free newsletter Every fortnight we’ll send info on upcoming opportunities, announcements and news of interest to MENA+ people in the industry. who we are A new arts organisation for UK-based professionals who are connected to the MENA+ region (Middle East, North Africa and the surrounding area). we celebrate the talent of our membership. strive to be at the heart of conversations around our identity. be our own support network. lobby for the appropriate representation. advocate for change to increase access and opportunities for employment. find out more our directory For too long people have said ‘If only we could find a (fill in the blank) from the MENA region. We are here and it’s time to be seen. Our directory aims to list the MENA+ arts professionals currently working in the UK live and recorded Arts. This includes - but is not limited to - creatives, technicians and academics. directory get our free newsletter * these fields are required submit I accept terms & conditions. View terms here. MENA+ region for us is Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Assyrian, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara and Yemen. When reading this list, please also be aware of our Value Statement which you can read here what does MENA+ mean? If you like what we are doing, please consider making a donation. No amount is too small.

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