Curtain call for CATS

CATS is a play based on a story by the writer Muhammad Hussein. It is a tale of displacement told through the eyes of a cat. In Spring 2024, an ensemble of youth from different nationalities in Amman brought the story to life and toured the production around Jordan, performing to nearly 500 people.

Through this project, we aimed to provide creative opportunities and leadership training for young people from under-served refugee communities in Jordan. As of 2024, more than 12,000 Yemeni, 5,000 Sudanese and 600 Somali refugees reside in Jordan, the majority of whom struggle to gain status as refugees and therefore the right to work.

CATS was created in collaboration with our long-term partners Sawiyan and Collateral Repair Project, with funding from the Julia Taft Refugee Fund. 

Meet the participants

    Sudanese, 16

    “This is experience is so different from other experiences. It’s almost surreal. Almost fictional. We are trying to transform imagination into reality. It was a lovely experience to deal with new people, all from different nationalities. We really created our own society here in this experience with Seenaryo.”

    Somalian, 18

    “There’s a lot of chaos in my life. But in theatre there’s freedom and stability – I like that about theatre. I take this freedom and stability into my life. I have some vision problems, however when I’m on stage I feel free and don’t care about what others say about me.”

    Syrian, 13

    “I am Zaarour in the play, who is a scoundrel but also someone who defends rights. All of the characters were created by us, with the help of the directors. At the start, we imagined the play as a purely fictional story, not a realistic one. But while it is fictional – it also reflects reality.”

The performance was beautiful, especially as it reflects the situation of refugees in their host countries and how society and decision makers view them.

“When I go on stage, I feel capable of expressing myself and sharing my own ideas with the audience.”


Haneen is 18 and from an Iraqi/Egyptian refugee background. Her refugee status limits her professional and educational opportunities in Jordan. In CATS, Haneen took on a lead acting role and was in many of the dance scenes.

“I’ve tried a lot of different things to find myself, but I really felt like I found myself in theatre. I used to want to learn dances from Instagram and imitate them, but I was embarrassed by society’s perception of ​​me, in case they would see me in an unfavourable light.

Society places limits on what a girl can do. Many people do not accept the idea of ​​seeing a girl dancing, ​acting or mingling with boys. I received a lot of criticism for these things, but in the end I was able to break this barrier. I never imagined I would reach this stage where I have proved myself to this group that was fighting against me – telling me no.