Play: “Let us Play House (Beit Byout)”
On March 9, 2023, The Arab Institute for Women (AiW) in collaboration with GIZ Lebanon, hosted the theatre play “Let us Play House (Beit Byout)” – written and directed by Dr. Lina Abiad. The play, performed by LAU Performing Arts students, showcases the real stories of women survivors of violence.
In an opening word, Director of The AiW, Ms. Myriam Sfeir, welcomed the audience, underpinned The AiW’s long-standing commitment to raising awareness on gender-based violence, shared her acknowledgement of the play’s powerful message, and emphasized the role which art can play in encouraging the young generation to take action and support survivors of violence. Then, Dr. Abiad, in few words, introduced the play’s rationale and urged the audience to emotionally and critically engage with the performance.
The play is a harrowing portrayal of a cruel and pervasive social issue in Lebanon: violence against women. Through the reproduction of the raw and horrific stories of women survivors, who were the victims of emotional and physical abuse, the play invites the audience to confront the disturbing reality of domestic violence. By recalling the journeys of these women, the theatre play acts as a powerful tool to break the stigma on violence, empower women victims, and harness community support.
At the end of the play, amid rounds of applause, the attendees, many of whom were moved to tears, shared with Dr. Abiad, Ms. Sfeir, and the performers their opinions and reflections. As most expressed, the play is as emotional as provocative and sparks a sense of collective responsibility vis a vis violence against women.