A Dash of Disney in Jeddah!

Posted: June 12, 2011 in The Truth about Saudi Girls

A spark of Disney’s magic twinkled in a girls’ school in Jeddah on the night of May 24th in the year of revolutions!  It was a school performance of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast, and this might seem just ordinary; some school girls acting on their school stage, but that’s not all! What happened was exceptional in every sense!

Against all odds, and at the time when Saudi women were (and still are) fighting for their right to drive, 13 to 18 year- old-girls of Jeddah Private School were practicing their right to breathe and enjoy a productive joyful life!

To begin with, the whole play was arranged by the Student Government of the school, and this preparation included modifying the text to suit the stage performance, choosing and training the cast, and fund-raising! Yes! It was a 100% students’ effort. It was their idea, their initiative, and their organization without any sort of help from any teacher.

Weeks before the performance, the directors and cast came up with the idea of funding the play. They needed props, costumes, microphones, background decorations for the setting, and a whole sound system, but it wasn’t easy to get the money. The team made a Feast Day at the school in which they created a buffet and invited other students in the school to bid for their tables! Students had to actually pay for the tables in order to reserve them and in order to be served (by the cast members themselves) their favorite dishes! What happened was and will always be really a source of pride! In one school day, the team collected 10000 SR! But that wasn’t enough! The next week, they held a bake sale to get more money, and they succeeded as well!  Those were practical and simple ideas, but their benefit was great!

 Those are definitely the businesswomen of the future!

Behind the scenes and during the well-organized and timed rehearsals, spirits were high, and love and cooperation prevailed. Directed by sophomore student, Jawaher Al-Saud and senior student, Jude Mulla, the rehearsals were full of delight, excitement, lots of harmless pranks, and loads of laughs. And despite their young age, the cast managed to commit and deliver on time!

Simplicity, organization, and refinement! Those were the words that came to my mind when the play began. Everything was perfectly structured, and everyone knew what they had to do. The whole atmosphere was just classy and so elegant!

Watching the opening scene of the village was overwhelming that I could sense and deeply feel the girls’ passion, enthusiasm, and team spirit! Nevertheless, the best was yet to come!

The performance of Sara Al-Mehdar, The Beast, was exceptional and so convincing! And as I told Sara that day, she was the “bestest” beast I’ve ever seen!

Lina Al-Sayed, Gaston, really shocked me! I could never imagine seeing the sweet and funny Lina act the role of the conceited, self-centered Gaston so perfectly! I didn’t even know her at first!

What gave me the chills were the enchanting voices of Noura Abdul Jawad, Belle, and Nadine Linjawi, Mrs. Pot. Those girls really created the Disney atmosphere with their captivating vocals!

Hanin Nasser as Cogsworth, Sara Abdul Jawad as Lumiere, Ghazal Trabzouni as Chip, and Arwa Al-Saati as Enchantress gave life and joy to the play and added amusement and amazement with their adorable  performance and bedazzling costumes.

Fifty one girls, including cast and backstage volunteers, were one team that night! Everyone did their job, and sure it was a hell of a job!

And….on a side-note…Some of those girls were my students when they were in grade three, and I am so proud to have taught them! <<<< Trying to attribute their success to me 😀 Nah! Just kidddin!

Saudi girls are coming, people! They have talent, passion, skills, determination, and above all, the will to live and be proactive and productive!

And as Belle sings it“New and a bit alarming…who had ever thought that this could be!!”

It’s truly new alright….but it happened!

Jeddah Private School girls brought beauty and happiness to all of us that night when we were least prepared and least optimistic! They made us see a beam of hope in the future of this country…and I am positive they will be able to make us see hidden beauty by their constant hard work and love of life!

 Thanks to the administration of the Jeddah Private Schools that made this event possible by facilitating whatever was needed to make those girls’ dream come true!

  1. Amnah H says:

    Amaaaaaaaaaaaaazing congratulations I’m proud of you girls ❤

  2. Reem says:

    <3<3<3 proud of us <3<3<3

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