MAHARAT: Building Careers in Performing Arts

Ettijahat- Independent Culture has launched the 2022 edition of MAHARAT: Building Careers in Performing Arts, in partnership with DROSOS FOUNDATION, targeting technicians working within the Performing Arts sector who are looking to enhance their technical skills in the field of Sound, Lighting, and Stage Management Techniques. The programme aims to raise the level of professionalism of technicians in the various fields of performing arts, provide them with the skills and abilities to build new careers, enhance the capacity of those working in technical disciplines, and improve their ability to contribute to public life and to the labour market

The programme allows participants to engage in a specialized training curriculum facilitated over 18 weeks, at an average of 4 hours daily, divided over three days per week. The programme was designed by a number of experts in the field of performing arts, includes general and specialized theoretical and applied knowledge, and provides networking and internship opportunities with local artists. 

Selected Participants

Lighting Techniques

Etienne Seukunian: Cinema Graduate, Assistant Director, Photographer, and Lighting Technician

Hussein Hassan: Theatre Student and Lighting Technician

Bassam Khaled: Photographer with RoboGeeks, Sound and Lighting Technician with Action for Hope

Abdulnasser Farhood: Graphic Designer, Sound Technician, Maker of Musical Instruments, Lighting Technician with Action for Hope, and founder of a new recording studio in South Lebanon

Marah Al Aridi: Theatre Student, Lighting Technician, and Director of the School of Dramatic Arts in Damascus

Mohamad Shaito: Cinema Student, Lighting Technician, and Curator with Art on 56th

Ahmad Hussein: Lighting and Sound Technician collaborating with Action for Hope and Monnot Theatre

Iyad Khashfe: Theatre performer, participated in various workshops focused on performance and collective work for artistic projects, and is a regular collaborator with Loyac

Sound Techniques

Shadi Safi: Cinema and Fine Arts Graduate, Musician, and Musical Trainer collaborating with Action for Hope

Hiba Dahhous: Musician, graduate of Action for Hope’s Music School, participated in various workshops around Sound Techniques and Construction of Musical Instruments

Ahmad Baydoun: Cinema Graduate and Lighting and Sound Technician in the fields of Cinema and Theatre

Israa Mekdah: Musician and Sound Technician collaborating with Action for Hope

Safaa Mekdah: Musician and graduate of Action for Hope’s Film School

Stage Management Techniques

Ahmad Masri: Theatre Student, Musician, Dancer, and former participant in Beirut Summer School

Al Moatanem Al Najem: Trainer with Shadow Dance Group and coordinator of various artistic projects with institutions targeting youth in North Lebanon

Marwa Dandan: Theatre Graduate, Assistant Director, Musical Trainer, and collaborator with Renee Mouawad Foundation on psycho-social support project through the Arts

Abdulmalek Al Ali: Musician, Sound Engineer, Photographer, and participant in various workshops on documentary filmmaking with Action for Hope and Basma and Zeitouny

Ghina Haidar: Interior Architect, Assistant Director, and graduate of Action for Hope’s Film School

Ammar Naddaf: Performer and Rapper, specialized in Sound Recording and Engineering

Majd Shobar: Assistant Director for various theatrical and artistic events, Photographer, and graduate of Action for Hope’s Film School


Selection Committee

Jawad Chaaban – Sound Techniques

Sound engineer, Professor, and Composer, Jawad Chaaban has worked with local and international venues and performers, managing over 2000 live performances and composing sound for a variety of theatre and film production. After moving to Canada to study Electroacoustic Music, he was selected in 2009 for the National Film Board’s “Making Music 3″ series. In 2011, he won the Industry Award for Best Original Score at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, while another of his collaborations was selected at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2014, he founded the One Hertz music studio to accompany and support independent audio and musical projects in the Arab Region. His most recent sound design was for the documentary “Underdown”.

Hagop Der Ghougassian – Lighting Techniques

Actor, Director and Lighting Designer, Hagop Der-Ghougassian holds a PhD in Film Directing and Film Research from IESAV-USJ. He began working as a lighting designer in 1994 with more than 100 lighting credits in theatre, in addition to being the technical manager of Monot Theater since 1997. He is also the founder of the Mephisto Group and Collectif de l’ACT and has directed various plays and short films. Today he is a professor at the Institute for Theater, Audiovisual and Cinematographic Studies (IESAV) and at the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University.

Aliya Khalidi

With an MA in directing and a PhD in Arabic Theatre from the United Kingdom, Aliya Khalidi is a theatre director and professor of 12 years at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, where she teaches Theatre in the Arab World, and Theatre Production. She has more than 17 years of experience in theatre as a performer and director, with her play 80 Steps, written by Randa Khalidi, chosen to represent Lebanon in competition at the Arab Theatre Festival in Sharjah, UAE in January 2014. Alongside her theatre work, Aliya has trained over 100 professionals in public speaking, and collaborated with various television stations such as DUBAI TV and MBC, in addition to training Jury members for the television shows Arab Idol, Arabs Got Talent, and X-Factor.


Selection Committee Statement

In its statement, the jury stated that: “Priority was given to applicants holding degrees in performing arts or those who have acquired expertise in the arts sector. Applicants have a high level of expertise compared to those who took part in the first edition, which is only natural given the resurgence in artistic production and activity after two years of lockdowns.

In addition to strengthening their technical skills, the training will provide participants with organizational skills and opportunities to take part in collective and creative work, as well as training and cooperation opportunities with local artistic groups and spaces.
Maharat’s team welcomes this year’s trainees. As trainer Hagop Derghougassian said, “Let there be light!”


For any inquiries regarding the Maharat programme, you can contact us via


© Copyright 2024 Ettijahat- Independent Culture All rights reserved