Love, money and radicalisation are closely linked in this latest story by Syrian writer Hozan Akko, providing a rare glimpse of how life is lived in contemporary Damascus.
Drama from Syria. Love, money and radicalisation in contemporary Damascus.
For the poorest living in Damascus, there is precious little choice. Nidal is a teenage boy who would have little to look forward to – but he is in love. His neighbour, Hadeel, is from a displaced family who are only just making ends meet so, when the rich businessman Abou Jameel becomes interested in her, the family only see one course of action.
This is not only a love story, but also an exploration of the root causes of radicalisation among young people.
Stories From Hay El Matar is a uniquely authentic drama series that takes place in a fictional suburb of Damascus. It is made by a team of Syrian and Lebanese artists working with British director Boz Temple-Morris, and is recorded in Beirut, Lebanon.
Each story in the series takes place at the same point in time, exploring a different part of the community. They are adapted from the Arabic language radio drama, Hay El Matar, produced by BBC Media Action, which provides a balanced and authentic depiction of everyday events for people inside Syria. It ran for one season of 150 episodes between 2016 and 2017and aimed to humanise opposing groups by countering stereotypes and providing balanced and authentic depictions of the various groups and situations across Syrian society. It included detailed consideration of issues such as early marriage and radicalisation as well as many issues around day to day living.
Stories from Hay El Matar is written in Arabic by Syrian writer Hozan Akko, and adapted into English by actor and dramatist Raffi Feghali. It offers a rare glimpse of how normal life is lived in Syria through these extraordinary times and features a cast of actors from Syria and Lebanon, many of whom are themselves living through the kinds of events depicted in the drama.
Nidal Odai Quedese
Hadeel Nesrine Abi Samra
Rashed Hashem Kabrit
Azzam Bassel Madi
Shukri Abdelrahim Alawji
Rabab Nowar Yousef
Assaf Oussama el Ali
Souad Maya Harb
Toufik Saseen Kawzally
Abou Jameel Marcel Bou Chakra
Jack Alhasan Yousseff
Amer Adeeb Razzouk
Mandour Elie Youssef
Ghali Hussam Sharwany
Studio recording Karim Beidoun, Guerilla Studios
Spot effects Layal Salman
Sound editing Alisdair McGregor
Music Ziad Ahmadiye
Adaptation Raffi Feghali
Writer Hozan Akko
Producer and Director Boz Temple-Morris
A Holy Mountain production for BBC Radio 4