On May 29, Mustafa Sheta, formerly secretary of the board of The Freedom Theatre Jenin and currently a senior staff member of the theatre, was denied exit by Israeli border authorities when he was travelling to Jordan to attend a scheduled visa application meeting at the US Embassy. Sheta has been invited to travel to the US in the autumn to represent The Freedom Theatre. Accused of political activism he was imprisioned by the Israelian authorities last year from March to November.
On May 25, Osama Al Azzeh, a student of The Freedom Theatre’s three-year educational programme in acting, was denied entry to Jordan. Al Azzeh was scheduled to perform in the play ‘Return to Palestine’ in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. The performances are part of a joint project between Ashtar Theatre and The Freedom Theatre.
The visa application process for northern countries is becoming increasingly complicated and expensive. On the other hand Israel and neighbouring countries are closing the borders for cultural workers to travel abroad. In the past two years, several members of The Freedom Theatre have been unable to travel due to either denied visas or denied entry/exit by border officials.
Source: The Freedom Theatre