A Conversation with Sondos Shabayek
Sondos Shabayek is a trailblazer and a brilliant combination of heart, intellect and wisdom for women throughout the world. If you want to see an empowered young woman of our next generation please listen to this heartfelt and informative conversation about women and their efforts to tell the truth for the Middle East and the planet. Thank you Sondos… I am humbled to know you.
Biography of Sondos Shabayek
Sondos Shabayek studied mass communication and broadcasting. She began her career through copy editing for a televised youth show and then moved on to work as a writer and editor for the Arabic youth magazine “E7na” (meaning “Us”). As a writer, Sondos focused on exploring, exposing and discussing social taboos in the Egyptian society. When introduced to the one-year old “Bussy Project” through friends in 2006 at a performance in the American University in Cairo, there was an instant click between her passion to uncover the truth and the project’s objectives. Since 2007, Sondos has been one of the main driving forces behind the “Bussy Project”, featuring annual performances telling the real stories of the women in Egypt. In 2010, Sondos finally achieved her dream of taking the project outside the walls of AUC and to the masses, attracting a lot of controversial attention from the public.
In 2011, and after being deeply involved in the events of the Egyptian revolution, Sondos felt an urge to again expose the true stories that she, her friends, and fellow protestors had lived. Powered by her Bussy experience, she took the initiative and set up the theatre play “Tahrir Monologues” – an event that recreated the 18 days on the Tahrir square, beginning with Facebook activities and ending when Mubarak stepped down. The play consists of real-life stories on the battle ground and brings out both tears and laughter in the audience whenever performed.
After the “Tahrir Monologues” experience Sondos felt that theatre was a much more powerful channel in communicating stories as they are, “personal, emotional, and subjective”, as opposed to “impersonal, objective, and informative” . She took a brave step quitting her journalism career, and dedicating herself full time to her theatre projects “Tahrir Monologues” and “Bussy”. Today, Sondos continues to tour with both her plays nationally and internationally, in theatres, subway carriages, bookshops around the corner; wherever an audience may be. In these tours stories are performed, and new stories continue to be collected for future performances, an ongoing cycle of transferring the truth, from people to people.
She has written & directed ‘Girl’ a 5 minute film about harassment, part of “Women in new Egypt” a collaborative project between the British Embassy and Misr international film to produce 5 films about Women in Egypt.
In the past she has also directed ‘I am not my veil’ a short self portrait video about the conflicting reactions of the Egyptian society towards the veil and ‘Oh fear’ a short self portrait video about inner fears.