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A Museum in Baghdad at AUS: A celebration of culture, education and compassion
American University of Sharjah (AUS) students are taking to the stage to tell the tale of two women bound together by their shared vision of uniting a nation through the establishment of a museum in Hannah Kahlil’s masterpiece A Museum in Baghdad.
A production of the Performing Arts Program at AUS, the thought-provoking play is one of the highlights of this semester's calendar for the program, with all proceeds from ticket sales dedicated to The Big Heart Foundation in support of Gaza relief efforts.
Written by award-winning playwright Hannah Khalil, the play examines the role of the archive as a national institution amidst a backdrop of turmoil and uncertainty. The play questions the intended audience of the museum, the cultural heritage it preserves and its significance during times of adversity and loss.
"A Museum in Baghdad is a reflection of our ethos at AUS. Through this drama, we are echoing our commitment to fostering understanding and empathy amidst global challenges. This event is a testament to our belief that education and culture can be powerful agents for positive change in the world,” said Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of AUS College of Arts and Sciences.
Abishek Nair, Visiting Professor in the AUS Performing Arts Program and Director of the play, elaborated on the significance of the play.
“Hannah Khalil’s A Museum in Baghdad explores themes that are particularly relevant in today’s context. The very function of the arts is to hold up a mirror to the self and to encourage a capacity for empathy, compassion and connection - values that are in dire need today. By presenting this play and through our support of The Big Heart Foundation, we hope to encourage these values and to foster a sense of unity in our communities and beyond.”
Dr. Albert Agha, Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Performing Arts Program at AUS said: “The play this semester proves a comprehensive and ponderous piece and delves deeply into the realms of serious and challenging material for our theatre students.”
He added: “The storyline blends modern and historical accounts of colonialism in an Arab country; a simultaneous account of the past and present that encourages us to question, decipher and understand the complexities and intricacies of Arab identity under colonial and post-colonial influence.”
Tickets are still available for the performance, which will run nightly at 7:00 p.m. through November 18. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets, visit w.aus.edu/e-baghdad.