Refuge Malja ملجأ by Bess Welden, Arabic translation by Ali Al-Mshakheel

When a Jewish-American war photographer feels compelled to assist a young refugee who steps in front of her camera,  she calls an old friend to translate but hesitates to reveal why she is so drawn to the boy. This poetic, decade-spanning drama explores how we each define and find our own malja (refuge). Affiliate Artist Bess Welden’s Refuge * Malja * ملجأ was developed at the 2017 Little Festival of the Unexpected. 


Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born director and playwright of Egyptian descent. He is a 2017-2018 National Directors Fellow with The O’Neill Theater Center and the National New Play Network. He has directed and co-conceived a number of world premiere productions including James Scruggs’s 3/Fifths (3LD, New York Times Top 5 Must-See Shows), Sevan K. Greene’s This Time (Sheen Center, New York Times Critics’ Pick), and Victor Lesniewski’s Couriers and Contrabands (TBG Theatre). Other: Adam Kraar’s Alternating Currents (world premiere, Working Theater), Rohina Malik’s The Mecca Tales (NY premiere, Voyage Theater Company), Nikkole Salter’s Indian Head (world premiere, Luna Stage). Kareem’s work as a playwright has been developed and produced at Noor Theatre, Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Lark, Fault Line Theatre, and The Atlantic Theater Company. He is currently adapting the seminal Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building for the stage.  Kareem has developed plays with New York Theatre Workshop (where he is a Usual Suspect), MCC, Second Stage, Soho Rep, New Dramatists, The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Sundance, The Civilians, Noor Theatre, Silk Road Rising, and Berkeley Rep. He is a founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for organizations and artists engaging with Middle Eastern stories. MFA: Columbia University.

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