Youth Use Street Theater to Enhance Participation in Egypt’s Democratic Process

August 16, 2014

To encourage participation in the democratic process by marginalized populations in Egypt, youth volunteers, who had been trained by Internews, interviewed Egyptian lawyers, journalists, educators and analysts in order to explain different clauses and amendments to the new constitution that directly impact their communities, specifically youth, women and minorities.

The constitution, which was drafted in January, requires that a specific percentage of the GNP be allocated to education, health and scientific research, with the intent of improving conditions for the poor.

As a result of their research, at roundtables conducted at the launch of the project, the participants recommended developing and producing a theater piece to deliver their messages to communities, especially audiences in villages that are typically harder to reach.

The resulting play, “Our Constitution is our Right,” uses humor to depict the serious obstacles that Egyptian youth face, especially youth with disabilities.

The play also highlights Saa’d Upper Egypt and Nuba which suffer from marginalization, discrimination, race barriers, poor education, and poverty that prevent the population from participating equally in the democratic process and election.

“Our Constitution is our Right” has been performed in poor villages and hamlets in Aswan and Nuba and was also recorded and presented on the local Egyptian TV channel 8 Teba, in Aswan.

Watch a video of the play, “Our Constitution is our Right.” (مسرحية حقنا في دستورنا).

Internews’ project, Egyptian Pulse, is funded by the US Agency for International Development.