Jordanian director finds magic in acting, pins hope on theater

The Jordanian artist Asma Mustafa. (Photos: Asma Mustafa’s Facebook page)
AMMAN — Theater director Asma Mustafa moved to Jordan when she was only 12 years old. Throughout her academic career, she immersed herself in theater activities, her talent in acting slowly unfurling.اضافة اعلان

Prior to delving into the realm of professional acting, Mustafa dabbled in audio and dubbing for cartoons and drama series.

The Jordanian artist Asma Mustafa. (Photos: Asma Mustafa’s Facebook page)

Her first theater experience was in a children’s theater in 1993, where she starred in several plays including The Wizard of Oz and Cinderella. 
As an actress in Jordan, Mustafa faced myriad challenges, the first of which was her family’s ambivalence towards the acting profession.

“My family did not prevent me from entering the acting profession, but I still carried its responsibility and troubles,” Mustafa said, adding that like most passionate people, when she believes in an idea, she defends it no matter what.

Mustafa said that as a mother, she often took from her time and presence in the Jordanian and Arab artistic community, since her daughter was her top priority. Time management was key to resolving the difficulty of balancing family and career, she said.

(Photos: Asma Mustafa’s Facebook page)

Since the onset of her acting career, she won the Special Arbitration Award as Best Actress in a Second Role in the Sixth Jordanian Theater Festival for her role in Kaanak Ya Bou Zeid in 1996, the best actress award at the first Raqqa Festival in Syria for her role in the play Ya Msafer Wahdak in 2005, and best actress award at the Sixteenth Jordanian Theater Festival in 2009, for her role in the play Sabah W Massa. In 2010, Mustafa won the best actress award for a project she directed in Tunisia.  

She also has starred in several television series, including Mawt Sarir in 1995, Darb Al Henna in 2003, and Shu Hal Haki in 2005, among others.

 Additionally, in 2018, Mustafa performed, scripted, and directed the play Adrenaline, which was featured in the opening of the Tyre International festival in Lebanon. The play won first prize for best theater show, and it was featured in several festivals in Arab countries including Morocco, Erbil in Iraq, Tunisia, and Kuwait. In February 2019, the play was selected to participate in the second edition of the Cairo International Monodrama Days Festival, where it won best director.

(Photos: Asma Mustafa’s Facebook page)

“Awards are significant in the lives of any artist, but they serve as motivation, merit, and honoring an effort rather than being the primary goal for which we work,” the artist stated.

To Mustafa, theater is magic, filled with everlasting stories and ideas. 
“I always say that theater is my passion and cinema is my dream,” she said. 
To her dismay, while Jordan was one of the first Arab countries to produce Jordanian dramas and theatrical works, these days, the Kingdom’s economic, social, and cultural circumstances negatively affect the acting profession in drama and theater. 

(Photos: Asma Mustafa’s Facebook page)

“Without any support, the profession will not develop in Jordan, and we will be unable to compete with countries like Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria,” said Mustafa. “Drama, culture, and art educate society and raise a mindful and educated generation that contributes to society’s development.”

The artist advises the youth to believe in what they do, in themselves and their abilities, and to learn as much knowledge and culture as possible, whether it’s through audio or visual means – watching series and movies or even focusing on music.

“Culture is a weapon opposing any push towards banality, and young people have to believe in their talent and abilities,” said Mustafa.

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