ISPA Fellows 2016

ISPA is the International Society for Performing Arts. Twice a year, ISPA Congresses bring together performing arts leaders to "discover the next great idea, strengthen relationships, and rejuvenate their passion for the arts”. The first ISPA Congress of each year is held in January in New York City with the second event held in a different part of the world. In 2015, the second congress was shared between Malmö (Sweden) and Copenhagen (Denmark) and the British Council provided support to Amany Abouzeid, Lucien Bourjeily, Sharaf DarZaid, and Lama Hazboun from Egypt, Jordan, Beiruit and Palestine so they could attend.

In January 2016, Amany and Sharaf will attend the New York event joined by two new fellows supported by the British Council, Anas Nahleh from Jordan and Amina Abodoma from Egypt. Find out more about them below. Visit the ISPA site for details of the other participants in 2016 from around the world.

The ISPA Congress events allow those taking part to learn more about new international projects, network with peers and get involved with the support or commissioning of new works. ISPA Congresses are attended by more than 500 leaders from more than 50 countries representing different cultures and disciplines within the performing arts field.

Speaking about the 2015 event, Lama Hazboun said “I am very grateful for the British Council to have granted me this valuable opportunity ... For me the fellowship program offered me a life changing opportunity to attend such a well-organised conference attended by influential and prominent people in the field of performing arts worldwide in a very friendly yet very professional setting. This is my 3rd Congress and my international family has been growing bigger and bigger each year … I have learnt so many things and I was really inspired.”


British Council supported ISPA Fellows

Amina Abodoma (Egypt)

ISPA Fellow 2016

Amina is a cultural entrepreneur and arts manager from Alexandria, Egypt. She has previously developed and co-ordinated large scale projects across the 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region in the worlds of culture, education, youth, children’s literature and social media through her work at the Anna Lindh Foundation. She is currently Programme Co-ordinator at the International Association for Creation and Training (I-act), where she organises international theatre and arts festivals. She is also the Artistic Director of the International Backstreet festival. Amina established her own art spaces and social hubs “Teatro Eskendria” and “Teatro ElMaadi” respectively in Alexandria and in Cairo. In early 2015, Abodoma established her music production company and touring agency “El Wekala” in the UK with the musician and creative entrepreneur Daniel Merrill and the Media producer Ahmed Selim.


Anas Nahleh (Jordan)

ISPA Fellow 2016

Anas’ artistic mission is to encourage street dancers to self-identify as artists, to blur boundaries between art forms and to bring the performing arts to the wider Jordanian public. His interest in the creative process of dance eventually led him to co-found his own dance studio, Studio 8, in 2014. Studio 8 furthers cultural exchange, enhances domestic creativity and supports independent artists and alternative art projects in Jordan and also reaches out to new audiences. Anas' interests include breakdancing, puppeteering, art installations, kinetic art, fire spinning, cyr wheel, experimental music and unconventional theatrical costume design. He has also produced and directed several short dance films.


Amany Abouzeid (Egypt)

ISPA Fellow 2016, 2015

Amany currently holds the position of Executive Manager of the Tamasi Performing Arts Collective. Amany comes from a background focusing on supporting the role of civil society organisations as a central backbone of social change, democracy and socio-economic development. She worked as an Associate for UNDP Egypt, academic in the University of London, Programs Director for the Research Action and Information network for the Bodily Integrity of Women, coordinator of the Human Security Section for Actionaid UK as well as a consultant for different civil society organisations and initiatives.


Sharaf DarZaid (Palestine)

ISPA Fellow 2016, 2015

Sharaf is a Palestinian artist and art manager with several years of experience in dance. In both high school and college, Sharaf danced with El-Funoun Palestinian Dance Troupe and continues to be actively involved with them. Sharaf has danced in various international professional dance productions and festivals. Before finishing college, he accepted a job as a Dance School Coordinator at the Popular Art Centre (PAC) and as Artistic Coordinator of El-Funoun. In 2015, he published his book “Art Management in an Environment of Oppression”. Currently, Sharaf works as Projects Manager at PAC and coordinates the Palestine International Festival, among other projects.


Lucien Bourjeily (Lebanon)

ISPA Fellow 2015

Lucien Bourjeily is theatre and film director. His extensive work in both mediums has travelled worldwide and won him many awards, including the YCE International British Council award in Edinburgh in 2009. In 2012, his hard-hitting immersive play "66 Minutes in Damascus" was chosen by the Huffington Post as one of 10 plays in the world that “rethink the stage”. He was concurrently nominated by CNN as one of eight leading cultural lights from Lebanon’s contemporary arts scene that are making an impact in Lebanon and internationally. Lately, for his activism against censorship on the arts in Lebanon, he was nominated for the 2014 “Freedom of Expression” award held annually at the Barbican Centre in London by Index on Censorship. 


Lama Hazboun (Jordan)

ISPA Fellow 2015, 2014

Lama is co-founder and Managing Director of OrangeRed (Music and Cultural Event Management Company), and is the Artistic Director of Amman Jazz Festival. She founded OrganeRed in 2004 with composer and musician Sawsan Habib. Their mission is to assist and develop contemporary art culture with a specific interest in music. She has been operating within culture and music institutions such as the Jordan Academy of Music and the National Music Conservatory, seeking to promote Jordan’s cultural and musical product and organise various events and festivals.


Hasna El Badaoui (Morocco)

ISPA Fellow 2014, 2013

Hasna El Badaoui is a stage and television actress, scriptwriter and director in Morocco. She studied in New York before returning to her native Morocco in July 2004 where she has been working as the artistic director of El Badaoui Theatre Company. The Troupe believes in theatre as a tool for positive social change and is known for its diverse repertoire including original productions and adaptations of international classics.


Sherif El Razzaz (Egypt / Germany)

ISPA Fellow 2014

Sherif started his career as a clarinettist in Europe, where he grew increasingly fascinated with new music. As one of the first promoters of new music in Egypt, after three years of campaigning, he produced the first Alexandrina Contemporary Music Biennale in 2009 with the participation of acclaimed international composers and ensembles. In order to create a solid platform for the budding new music scene in Egypt, he founded the European-Egyptian Contemporary Music Society (EECMS) and the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble in 2010. Since then, over ten composition commissions and several academic programs have been realised. The Society is now working with over 40 cultural organizations worldwide. Sherif is also dedicating his efforts towards the establishment of a multidisciplinary arts space in Cairo.


Adhma Hafez (Egypt)

ISPA Fellow 2014, 2013

Adham Hafez is the founder of HaRaKa, Egypt’s first Dance Research, Development and Archive project; CAIROGRAPHY, Egypt’s only critical writing publication for choreography and performance studies, and TransDance, a series of transdisciplinary festivals on dance and performance.

He is a prize-winning choreographer and works in Egypt producing performances, publications, initiating festivals, programming international artist residencies and research and educational programs, archiving Contemporary Dance Choreography in Egypt, as well as presenting his own work internationally.


Hannibal Saad (Syria)

ISPA Fellow 2013

Hannibal is a music manager and festival artistic director. He works as an independent musician and cultural event producer with contacts and experience in the Middle East, Europe and the US. He conceived, created and ran two major international music festivals and conferences in Syria until the Syrian crisis began. He currently runs international cross-over projects between the Arab world and the rest of the world. He works on expanding the “Oriental Landscapes” and “Jazz Lives in Syria” festivals and concepts to other international cities through a series of mini-festivals featuring the Syrian and international artists who participated in these festivals in Syria. He is working on building an interactive website for the music of Syria and the Oriental world, featuring audio, video on demand, written materials about Oriental music, and podcasting for live events and interviews.


Nada Sabet (Egypt)

ISPA Fellow 2013

Nada completed an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London and, on returning to Cairo, founded Noon Creative Enterprise with Sally Sami. Noon Creative Enterprise focusses on professional promotion and development within the performing arts sector as well as using the creative process within development, education and advocacy. She is also founder and co-ordinator of, an online platform for the performing arts sector to promote, connect and collaborate across distances and boundaries. A theatre director at heart, Sabet is has worked with diverse teams based in Egypt, the Arab world and internationally.