Sarmada: An original storytelling and music performance

An original storytelling and music performance based on a novel by Fadi Azzam

Sarmada is a charming performance of a mixture of musical story telling by Alia a Zougbi took place on 7 November in N.I.A.M.O.S Radical Art & Music Cultural Centre theatre. Based on a novel by the Syrian novelist Fadi Azzam, the performance took the audience to a place far from the world where a village with a surreal magic lies, where fantasy, potions and soothsayers bring a dark contemporary of Arabian Nights. Three women’s life stories are interwoven as their paths collide across generations, culminating in an epic that feasts on their loves and losses as they push the boundaries of defiance to make sense of their existence.


Watch the coverage of this event on Alaraby TV in Arabic:


Alia Alzougbi

Alia is a BAFTA Scotland nominated and award-winning theatre and television actress and storyteller. She has appeared on a number of stages as well as the screen, and has featured in a number of series including Doctors and Casualty.

Louai Alhenawi

Louai is a musician, composer, and teacher. He studied and taught at Damascus Conservatoire and has toured with Fairouz, Shakira, Terry Hall, Natacha Atlas, Juan Martin. He is founder and director of Tafahum Orchestra and London Syrian Ensemble.

Kholoud Mahafza

Kholoud started singing at the ripe age of 12 years old. Since coming to the UK, she has brought her unique, powerful voice and a rare, authentic Arab singing technique to a number of stages and concert halls.

Sanaa Wahbah

Sanaa is a master player of the qanun, and is a core member of the London Syrian Ensemble and the Tafahum Orchestra. She has performed with Placido Domingo and Roberto Alagna. She is a graduate of the Damascus Conservatoire.


Rethink Rebuild Society (RR) is a Manchester-based charity that works towards improving the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in the UK, in particular but not exclusively Syrians, helping them become positively established within British society.

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