Let’s Laugh Comedy Workshop

©UNESCO AMMAN

As one of the most economically and politically stable countries in the region, Jordan has attracted many refugees and migrants from neighboring countries, leaving the capital, Amman, to become a vibrant and multicultural city. In addition, Jordan has a rich ethnic diversity of its own, with communities ranging from Arab Bedouin pastoral tribes to third-generation Circassian, Armenian and Chechen communities. With Jordan’s fast growing population in recent times, there has been some disunity among the communities.

UNESCO recognized that today’s challenge is to help the communities overcome their differences and face those problems in a non-threatening environment. Entertainment and comedy are recognized methods for expressing differences and uniting people. Comedy is a way of appreciating and enjoying what makes us different from each other, but also recognizing our similarities, without care for class, race, gender or religion. Comedy is a safe environment through which we develop a sense of respect for each other, and respect is the foundation for mutual understanding, friendship and learning. Building on these foundations puts us on the road to peace.

In partnership with a private theatrical and film-making company in Amman, UNESCO selected ten people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds to take part in a ten-week workshop called “Let’s Laugh” to train them in stand-up comedy techniques. The training culminated in a final performance at the Royal Cultural Centre in Amman in June 2011.

Following the success of Let’s Laugh, the UNESCO Amman Office would like to hold this event on a regional level with participation from the country offices in Beirut, Ramallah and Cairo. To this end, UNESCO is currently fund raising.

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