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artist singer, musician 

Ema Shah

Ema Shah is Kuwaiti, born on June 7, 1981, Virgo. She is an anthropologist, a modernist, an actress, both on theatre and in cinema, a singer, musician, composer, as well as a guitar and piano player; she’s also a marionettist, a dancer, a song and theatre writer, and a theatre producer. As a singer and musician, her work is in Classic and Pop. In theatre, her themes are: musicals, absurdity, surrealism, Dadaism, symbolism, fantasy, expressionist dancing, masks, and realism.

Ema Shah. Concert. Kuwait 2013Ema is Kuwaiti, an authentic Middle Eastern, with a diverse ethnic background: Arab, Iranian, Afghan, British, and Asian. As far back as she can recall, her mother used to sing to her at her bedtime “sleep, sleep, sweet kid”, “once upon a time, there was a knight prince who met a poor girl, bought her fancy clothes, and married her. The animals in the forest were joyful, and she lived with him happily ever after in his palace. Between the age of 3 years old and 9 years old, she used to run over the tables of the big library where her father worked as a secretary. She used to skim through the books with a passion, looking at their pictures and learned to read in no time when she was 4. She often visited her disabled grandmother and her grandfather who played number games with her.


She read about dermatoglyphics and criminology when she was 9 and 10, when her father kept big boxes from the library during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, which he returned back to the library after the liberation. She started her career as a musician and actress since 1985, when she was just a child, participating in many musical events, most important of which was the feast of the minister in Al-Ahmadi region, playing on live TV classical piano sonatas by Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, and Schumann, as well as orchestra classics like Fantasy, The Barber of Seville, and Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II. Her performance of that polka was attended by Abdelaziz Almofarrej, nicknamed “The Singer of the Golf”, who told her then: “it’s supposed to be slow, you’re playing it too fast”. Ema was distinguished by her very quick piano playing technique, which she didn’t lose, though she practiced concertos more than popular songs. She was an outstanding musician, especially on accordion, and in many other school activities, so much that people easily recognized her absence when she didn’t play the national anthem in the morning, which rarely happened. In primary school, she used to ask calmly, with her usual distractedness, for permission to go to the bathroom, when her real motive was to spend some time playing piano by herself. She started singing Arabic songs in touristic festivals in 1996, with the Egyptian “Captain” Fu’ad, who presented her as “Aziza” to audiences in hotels and theatres. On the same year, she decided to end this venture telling Captain Fu’ad that that was her last performance, because she didn’t think it was what she wanted and dreamed of. In 1998, she went to the High Institute of Musical Arts in Kuwait for one year. She left after an argument with the administration of the institute, which involved an exchange of swear words, over their intrusion in her private meditation and tendency to spend time alone in the hall. She didn’t feel that the place was home to arts and mad imagination, but she learned much from Rashed Al-Hamli, and took his tunes to sing his songs in her shows, like “Shakwaya li lah” (My Grievance to God) and “Birouhi Al-ban” (The Tree in my Soul), written by the Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawki. She was taught by Abdellah Abdelmalek as well, and later sang the poems “Fi Al Hawa” (In Passionate Love) and “Ahinno Shawqan” (I Yearn So Much).


In 1999, at the age of 19, a friend of hers asked her how she could work as a journalist, at which point Ema responded “it’s easy”, called some contacts at the press, and presented her friend to them. That friend later became a famous journalist, while Ema herself worked in journalism for a few months, and then stopped because the office did not deal with her professionally, and the friend she helped was plotting to get her out of the field of journalism. Artists and journalists alike were astonished by her quick success, and how she obtained many important contacts, made interviews on artistic, economic, and social news, and received her press ID card. When she was a trainee, the newspaper editor asked both Ema and her friend to write on a free subject, as a test. Ema wrote a story titled “A Day at Churches”, while the other journalist wrote “Leila and the Wolf”. The director read both stories, and said to Ema: “you will become a writer”. Ema is obviously happy that she didn’t pursue a career in journalism. She bought a cheap guitar, for 100 dollars, and learned 3 chords only before she stopped, frustrated, because of the annoying sound the cheap guitar made. In 2001, she started working at “Ghadir” company as an animator in children parties and schools, then in 2002 with her American trainer Ricardo in a glass factory, where she designed and manufactured a guitar made of glass. This surprised Ricardo who told her “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life even in the US. Never did someone before make a guitar out of glass”. Ema’s glass products were shipped and sold in Dubai. In 2001, she decided to change her musical and singing style, to sing “typical style”, starting with a youth theatre workshop, where she became a festival actress. In her first experience as an actress, meeting doctor Sherif, she didn’t know which kinds of roles to take. On her way from the museum, she was reading “The first Adventure of the Mind” by Fares Sawah, and immediately and spontaneously improvised, standing suddenly, her back to the doctor, and acting the roles of three different characters, her facial expressions and voice changing with each one of them. The doctor was taken aback and said “what’s that? Where did they get her from?” She later came to know the producer Abdelaziz Al-Haddad, who made good use of her slenderness, her movements, and her dancing abilities. She used to be a gymnastics player in 1993, winning third place with the school athletic team, and made use of it as an “expressionist dancer” in theatre. Abdelaziz Al-Haddad used to tell her always when he saw her standing on one foot, and massaging the other one, while speaking to him or to someone else: “you like your feet so much”. He benefited from her ability to change her voice, and her musical, composing, and expression skills, and always said about her abilities: this is not yours, this is a gift. Her career in typical theatre started while she was still singing “typical” in 2002. It started and did not end with world-renowned theatre pieces like “the meteor”, playing the role of the beautiful wife of a laureate of the Noble Prize for literature. She also played the role of a romantic girl in love in the play “Love Song”, as well as the role of a 7 year-old girl in “Now you’re my friend”, a theatre play for children, in the Institute, which flabbergasted the director who told her after the show: “because of you, we’ll seriously start working on theatre projects for children. Are you one of our students?” She played other roles in theatrical festivals, as in the play “Rhinoceros”, by the absurdist writer Eugene Ionesco, where she was a crazy absurdist who becomes a rhinoceros; and in the same festival she acted the role of Eve in the play “Uniglobe” by Shakespeare, Yack Carsonia, Raoul Hasman, Wilfred Grodte, Horst Horsi, Habens Müller, Matia Pekovic, and Stevan Orsy, produced by Ylda Abnus. She won the best prize as a secondary actress, but felt disappointed, and decided seven years later to throw the prize in the dustbin of a theatre, after she asked the head of the jury, artist Mansour Al-Mansour, to know why she was given the prize of the secondary actress, and why the title was actually changed from “primary actress” to “secondary actress”; he responded that if she were to get the primary prize, what would the other actress, daughter of a famous artist, receive? Ema pursued her work in absurdism theatre, and “trifled” with Noble Prize winning English playwright Harold Pinter in his play “Silence”, produced by Ibrahim Boutaiban, in the role of a British country girl, dancing, singing, and playing piano. She later became an effective member of the group “The Shining Sun”, with producer Mohamed Al-Haddad, in the puppet theatre, as an actor, a producer, a coach, a marionettist, and a lighting technician. Mohamed Al-Haddad coached her, and presented her to audiences and schools in educational theatre for children between the years 2004 and 2010, through workshops of the Russian band “Luda and Igor”. Mohamed Al-Haddad had much hope that puppet theatre and children’s theatre would succeed and spread in Kuwait, as it was the case with the theatre play “Karkura”, starring Ema, where she sang the song “Peace” for children.


She became the executive producer later when the Egyptian producer Shukri Abdallah went to Egypt, and presented with him the comedy play “Pay attention” for adults, for which she had been lionized by Kuwait Oil Company. With the same band she presented the children’s play “An Evening with Puppets”, produced by Dr. Hussein Al-Muslim, and “Huhu Nunu” produced by the Russian “Luda and Igor”. Starting 2004, she wrote her first theatrical play titled “Al Serkaliyya”, followed by many eccentric plays, like “A Bath stuffed with Pork Grease”, which features characters representing swine, inspired from Eugene Ionesco. She also wrote “Mitari Yulier”, which features two characters representing spermatozoa, as well as “The Verdict is Proof of Justice”, “The Scissors”, and “A Serpent in my Camouflaged Bag”. She wrote the screenplay of the nihilist philosophical movie “Void”, half of which only was shot, and her work was classified in the National Kuwaiti Library. Apart from theatre and music, Ema became a follower and member of “Al Minbar Al Dimokrati” (the Democratic Platform), and National Democratic Youth Association, but soon left the latter, when she realized the truth of their intentions. She joined the Cinema Club, but after a change in the membership, she was expelled due to many conflicts with the new head of the administration. Many members withdrew, and some of them appealed against him in court for verbal or physical assaults. Ema became member of the Human Rights Association, and Businesswomen Club, then later withdrew all of her memberships, except from the Human Rights association, and “The Shining Sun” band. In the same period, in 2005, she was attacked and beaten by a producer and the director of the Theatrical Institute, for her defense of a 17 year-old Syrian actress who was mocked in front of a theatre; the girl later married a Star Academy singer.


Golf newspapers spread the news of the assault quickly; and a year later she had been attacked again by the son of a theatre producer because she had been doing rehearsals at the theatre. She won both cases, but Kuwaiti justice didn’t punish any of the attackers and did nothing. During the major transformations of Ema’s life, entering the fields of theatre and singing, she traveled around without boasting in front of the media in her meetings, despite many offers that were made to her by producers and directors to become a TV series actress or a show singer; but she refused all of them, because she cared most about the creative substance and the results. Her refusal to be promoted by the media caused much embarrassment with producers and directors, especially when the producer “Ahmed Al-Halil” was shocked when she turned down his request to take photos of her and promote his play, because she didn’t like taking photos. He remained silent for a while on the stage, and then said to her: “I’ll buy a camera and take photos of you every day, at every moment”.


Later Ema went to a shop, and started taking photos of every minute of her life, even taking photos of other people, and making some of them feel embarrassed, while others were enjoying it; many people from many countries actually called her asking for those rare photos of their life moments. Artist Mansour Al-Mansour, may he rest in peace, used to say about her: “If she doesn’t attend a festival, something is missing. There’s a girl taking photos, where’s Ema?” Ema became an expressionist dancer on stage, and was honored during a seminar on freedom of expression, by Abdelaziz Al-Haddad, from the regional UNESCO office in Doha, and the UNESCO Kuwaiti National Comity in 2006, as a “movement expressionist” artist. In most of her plays, she performed modern expressionist dancing, and sometimes Ballet. In 2007, she performed as an actress in the plays “The King”, and “Simmerg” in English with Loyak, and the French band “Les Plasticiens Volants”, in the role of a peacock, and was lionized by the band itself. She was also the coach and the producer of the play “The Obstacles” by the engineer and producer “Munther Al-Isa”, and she improvised a silent scene with the producer “Razi” in the American University.


 At the peak of her theatrical activities, her attractiveness, and her lively spirit, she sang and composed the music for Abu Al- Bakaa Ar-Rundi’s poem, “Lament over Andalusia”, where he lamented over everything; she sang, played, and danced in “A Debate between Night and Day”, one of Mohamed Afendi Al- Jazairi’s greatest texts in Arabic literature, in 2004, as a starring actress alongside Abdelaziz Al-Haddad. Their performance was described by a newspaper as a rivalry between Ema and Al- Haddad. She sang a song by Al-Asma’i in the play “Before Shakespeare”, combining texts by Shakespeare and Al-Asma’i, with the producer Abdelaziz Al-Haddad, with whom she worked on many theatrical productions between 2004 and 2008. She played the role of the narrator, played the piano, wrote music, and sang songs. She participated as an actress in the Golf Festival of Theatre in 2004, with the producer Suleiman Al-Bassam, in a Shakespearean play, in the role of an aristocratic mother who refuses to let her son marry the daughter of a rival family, as well as the role of a waitress. During that period, 2005, she played in “Estrangement of a Clown”, a pantomime monodrama, in the International Festival of the Mediterranean in Italy, written and produced by her mentor Abdelaziz Al-Haddad. An Italian mayor told her then: “you were jumping gracefully like an ostrich”. She started another theatre project with Abdelaziz Al-Haddad in the play “The Poet and The Old Woman” in 2008, by the revolutionary Japanese writer Yukio Mishima who committed suicide; in the play, anyone who adored Ema adored life, but eventually met their death. Ema sang opera for the first time in that play, after she decided to study advanced professional opera in the Musical Arts and Sciences Institute in 2004, and was taught by the Egyptian ex-opera singer Abir Yahya. She later developed it into singing in Japanese in two successive festivals.


She was lionized by the official sponsor of Al-Khorafi Festival for Theatrical Creativity, Jassem Al-Khorafi, and by Sheikh Sabah Al- Sabah in Salwa Festival, as well as in Theatrical Youth Festival as a distinguished artist. She astonished and surprised the audience when she took the prize, running and laughing like a witch, in a witch’s garment crossing the theatre on a long broom, in front of an elite of people from the worlds of theatre, critique, and media. Some were bewildered, others applauded, a third group was surprised by what she did and condemned it, and a fourth one was pleased to the point of shock. Ema secluded herself from everyone and chose a greater ambition for herself. Many people were negativists and tried to put her down, saying she would not be able to continue or do anything significant. Many of them were like strangers to her, not thinking positively or behaving with simplicity, but rather snobbish and quite pretentious. She’s prone to spending time by herself a lot, and is not the kind of person who goes to night parties or makes too many relationships or friendships; on the TV program “Very Close”, on Al-Hurra channel she said: I spend much time by myself meditating and thinking. During her theatrical work and various other activities in November 2006, she decided to create a “typical” band, influenced by Grotowski’s and Eugenio Barba’s theatre, by the founder of anthropology, Franz Uri Boas, and by her readings about science and different cultures. As a kid and a teenager, Ema dreamt of being a physicist and an orchestra maestro, so she tried to mix science and art in her band, and called it “Anthropology”. That’s when a significant change forward took place in her career as an artist, despite her selectiveness in songs and acting, from Arab, Andalusian, and international literature, like Jibran K. Jibran’s masterpiece “The Prophet” from which she composed and sang 13 songs, when she worked as a playwright, and produced the theatre play “The Prophet” for the first time, to be presented by her band “Anthropology”, in 2007; she played the role of the prophet in Arabic and English. She sang “Oh Orphalese People”, “The Dancers”, “Sadness and Joy” in English, “Sons of Space”, “Isn’t the Flute”, “Good People Really”, “Farewell, Orphalese People”, and “Tell us of Reason and Love”. After the show, she met anthropology PhD Ali Al-Zoghby and critique Nader Al-Qonna, who expressed their opinion of what they saw. On the same year, she started learning guitar by herself, with a book, and told her colleagues, carrying her new guitar and the book: in one year and a half I’ll play it in big concerts. They did not believe her, and said jokingly: Oh what’s Ema trying to do now? And indeed, a year and a half later, she presented her first show with a guitar in Radad Plastic Art Festival by the National Council of Culture, Art, and Literature, and was given a diamond ring to honor her creative participation. On the same year, 2007, she signed a contract with Sound Vision company, to record her single “Say where”, but it didn’t last for long, because the producers asked her to do plastic surgery in order to be presented to the media and to the public as a pop star; but she refused to do such a thing. She had also presented a song poet to the company, whose songs she wanted to perform, and chose the poet herself to sing in one of her plays. The poet was surprised that Ema would want her to sing, and Ema responded: any human being can sing. Ema composed music for many of the young woman’s songs, and the later considered her music as “miraculous”; but the poet asked the company to become their singer instead of Ema, and that was the end of Ema’s relationship with the producers. Later, Al-Ma’osharji company chose Ema to sing the intro theme of the Golf series “Oh ya mal” (Woe me), by Mohamed Al- Ma’osharji, music by the Syrian composer Redwan Nasri. Al- Ma’osharji sent her to Syria to meet Redwan Nasri, who composed music for “this is Damascus” by the singer Assala, to record the song.


Ema performed many times on stage in Kuwait, and sang “Son of Man” by Jibran K. Jibran from his book “Jesus Son of Man”. She sang poems by the Iraqi poet Ma’arouf Ar-Rossafi “The Breastfeeding Widow”, another Iraqi Adnan Al-Sa’egh’s “Interpretation”, and the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s “The Mural”, which she had mixed with a text by Sir Arthur Helps, and part of a small book about mercifulness by Helen Huxley; she also composed music and sang to Brian Robinson from the same book, a song titled “Giving”, and another one titled “You can’t sleep” by Charles Kingsley, as well as “Dragonfly” by the Italian poet Amelia Rosselli who committed suicide, and finally Ilia Abu- Madi’s “And those whose Selves are without Beauty” in her absurdist play and first album “The Poet and the Old Woman”, in which she performed as an actress, sang, composed, and played the piano in the local Theatrical Festival in 2008. Ema quoted and took inspiration from the title of the novel “A Step out of Time”, by the Australian writer Miranda Lee, to write a song and compose music for it, which was played continuously on Kuwaiti radio FM. She sang the song “Shah” about her grandfather Shah, the Afghan prince, after his death in 2008. Before, and after she became famous for singing literary texts, she was contacted and met by many poets and writers who wanted her to sing their poems, and many begged her to compose music as well, with written permission to use their texts; she always found it difficult to choose among texts, and often said “the text has to go through me”. At first she used to compose the music quickly, but then she was surprised by their pecuniary demands, some not agreeing to the written permission, declaration requirements, and other weird conditions, like one Palestinian who asked her to sing his text, then later stated that his girlfriend didn’t agree with Ema’s change of the title. Some of them even disappeared suddenly, whereas Ema worked professionally, and invested her time, emotions, and thoughts in her creative effort on music and composition, and considered that sort of behavior as disrespectful towards the artist, so she decided to sing only for the dead. She prepared herself mentally, and no longer paid attention to poetry by living poets, even when they were creative and famous, even though she used to sing to living people occasionally. She took ballet on ice lessons, offered by the Lebanese trainer Budi, for 38 hours, and light projection and cinematography lessons at the hands of the Egyptian cameraman Said Al-Shimi in 2009 when the director of the cinema club Imad Al-Nuwayri brought him in, and Ema wrote an article about him presented on the day of his lionization, as a tribute to Said Al-Shimi, whose conferences she enjoyed, titled “The Philosophy of Said Al- Shimi”. She held a seminar titled “Management is in the Results”, in Tuesday Cultural Meeting 2009, where she spoke of how she saw many artists, creative people, and 30 bands in Kuwait disappear, and that she had decided ever since to support many musicians and talented people, to train them a lot, and offer her time to them. She sometimes coached them for 15 dollars per hour, and taught them management and finance, and the keys and secrets of success. She presented many of them, from different age groups, on stage and in studios, as singers, musicians, actors, dancers, producers, and presented them on media, newspapers and TV channel, using her contacts, because she believed that creativity stops at nothing, and that every human being is creative; she didn’t want them to experience useless frustration, from a negativist society, and a mafia monopolizing the concept of creativity for itself. She also believed that people should move to the practical part of a work only after careful thought. On the same year, she wrote and produced “Anthropology Band and Perspective”, a drama and documentary movie about her journey managing the band, about how the production cost her thousands of dollars, and about lack of support. This movie has not been finished to-date.


She sang and composed music for the masterpiece “A woman from far away in the city”, by the stateless writer Mohamed Al-Nabhan, who she had a dream-like meeting with, and made the distribution for the first time in a studio, instead of the theatre as she usually did. She also played, composed, and sang his epopee “Joseph’s Journey”, featuring Joseph, the wolf, the clown, and the narrator. She spoke to the clown marionette in her hand, and then Joseph would come out of her body to become the clown, and she speaks to him as the wolf. Her second album “Sync Infinity”, featuring “A Woman from far away in the City”, was from her own creation and production in 2010, and she added to it a text by the Saudi writer Malek Al-Safir “My Body’s Villages”, with a theme of dark contemplation, sang in her universal dreamy voice, and two songs by Jibran K. Jibran “the dancers”, and “Son of Man”. Ema was known for singing cartoon themes from the 80s, like the theme song of “World Stories”, “Sinan and Basma”, “Iron man”, and “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”, but she could not compile the recordings to an album, for lack of written permission to use them. Ema started her cinema career as an actress in 2009, with the producer Miqdad Al-Kut, in the short movie “Banana”, mimicking social and sexual situations symbolically, and was presented in international festivals like Golf Festival of Cinema in Dubai. She later had her second experience, in the symbolic surrealistic silent movie “Swing”, with the producer Abdallah Dawhan, who was also a student at medical school, which was presented at Abu Dhabi Festival in 2011. Ema danced the pulp classic “Vienna”, the Azerbaijani folklore dance, Tap, flamingo, and sang at the Children Theatre Festival in Saudi Arabia her song “A Great Story” in 2012. In 2010, Ema produced an anthropological musical show, which was a remake of a previous one she held in 2008, where she advanced the idea of “anthropological shows”, after she started her intellectual investigation in anthropology, cultures, politics, belief systems and science, and began her journey singing in different languages in a touristic tour around the world. She sang in Japanese, then in Spanish about the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, who she always considered a death sentence terrorist and drug dealer, then the French singer Enrico Macias, in French, his song “Oh Guitar”; and as she rebelled more, she sang rock music, by Within Temptation “Our Solemn Hour”, and by the band Boney M “Rasputin”, lover of the Russian queen, with her band Anthropology, and she was assisted by the producer and engineer Munther Al-Isa and Abdallah Al-Shamri, since the foundation of the band, the logistic burden of which she had to carry on her own. In a conference at Tuesday Cultural Meeting, she had been accused of being a dictator. People could not comprehend the responsibilities entailed by the management of a band to the point of success. Ema was indeed the first female director of a band in the Arab Golf. She became famous and caused much media ruckus for singing in Hebrew “Hava Naguila”, and received many death threats, and anonymous calls telling her that there were secret meetings by an Islamist organization, and a donation of 100.000 dinar by someone to punish her. Ema appeared on many international media outlets, in Italy, the USA, Japan, France, China, Russia, Brazil, Canada, India, Norway, and Israel. She received many offers to play the lead role on TV series, while journalists did not stop attempting to reach her for months. Right after her appearance on Al-Arabiyya TV, MBC, and Al-Hurra, she went to Florida, Colorado, Hollywood, and Las Vegas in a tour with the organization “ACT! For America”, to speak of her experience with racist Arab nationalism, and later appeared again on Al-Hurra TV to tell the world that she did not forget what Palestinians did, when they raped Kuwaiti girls during the Iraqi invasion, and killed Kuwaiti youth, that she witnessed as a kid as they carried bazookas to enforce the curfew imposed by Iraqi Intelligence, and that if people understood what she did as normalization with Israel, then it’s good and she did a laudable thing, as she always encourages exchange of ideas between people of the world. She did not forget that a Muslim Kuwaiti cleric assaulted her sexually when she was 13 years old, and said that she wanted to be free for the rest of her life. Ema travelled to Kuwait, and received a downpour of TV show offers, which she declined as usual, just as Al-Qabs newspaper said about her in 2006, that it was hard to get Ema to accept an offer, and that she chose her roles carefully. She played in her third movie “If only we were dancers”, by the Palestinian producer Mohamed Iyad, displayed during Dubai Cinema Festival 2011. She presented many musical shows in her numerous tours in Kuwait with her band “Anthropology”, to an audience of intellectuals, politicians, and innovators. Later, she decided to travel around the world, and started in New Zealand, where she visited her friend Andrew, and learned some Maori, the language of the natives of New Zealand, to compose and sing a Maori song, from the 1930s in Christchurch, presented later in Kuwait. In 2012, she sang Abdelhalim Hafid’s “Oh My Family”, in the presence of the ex- prime minister sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah, whose demise she remembers, when a mob forced their way into the Kuwaiti parliament to demand his resignation. She was proud of his presence because she liked him. She caused much controversy between Arabs and Amazighs when she sang in Amazigh. She had been in contact with the Libyan activist Muhannad Baynana, who taught her the Amazigh song “The silence of the Child”. That was the reason why she was accused of having betrayed the Arab identity. She always said in her meetings that did not support Arab nationalism, which brainwashed society into racism, and exploited people, drugged with the opium of dogma and basic instincts, to drive them backwards, divide them, and make them live forever in a lie.


Ema went into greater madness as she presented her theatrical piece “Sorvisim” in 2012, which is the first of its kind in Dadaistic theatre, juxtaposing several international absurdist and Dadaist texts, like Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godott”, in a scene where she waits for Godott with a model, in an intimate way unfamiliar to theatrical works, as if she had deconstructed the text and experienced Dadaism itself. Even Franz Kafka was not left out, when she deconstructed the text “Investigations of a Dog”, and replaced the dog with barking dogs, and replaced the actors with fighting dogs, strong and weak ones, and the “monster” with a misunderstood wretch. As for Albert Camus’ text “The Rebel”, she transformed it into rebelling Dadaism, showing the very souls of the actors in a scene mixed with a Japanese farewell ritual to the dead. And there was a scene titled “the wall”, featuring Jean-Paul Sartre’s work, of rebels and systems, with scenes of live executions from around the world, especially the Arab and Islamic Middle East, whereas the “secret meeting”, made “Garçon” into a hysteric sadist playing cards with his servant. And the same goes for the rest: Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Confessions”, James Joyce’s “Exiles”, and the roles of Alby in “The American Dream”, with photography adaptation by Nawaf Al-Saleh, son of the Kuwaiti artist Maryam Al-Saleh; that scene was retrograde and quick, meaning that Ema had made the play restart backwards quickly, like the process of creation, the beginning and the end, repetition. This wasn’t the case for the Iraqi Saif Ossama’s “Besorvia”, published in several Iraqi newspapers, where he spoke of her as a legend, made a research and wrote a book around a personality inspired from Ema, and presented it at the University of Harvard, nor “Broy” by Fatima Al-Safar, deconstructed already and inspired from Kuwaiti poor class reality; it was the first theatrical work by Fatima, after the painful events she had to go through during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and in Kuwaiti communist and intellectual milieus.


Three additional plays by Ema: “A Bath stuffed with Pork”, where the actors are made into drunken pigs, “Al-Serkaliyya”, where actors fly like hallucinating souls, and “The Scissors” where Ema portrays an ant asking questions about life, and she took inspiration in the design of the décor, the images, and the scenography from the Mexican plastic artist Gabriel Pacheco. She also contacted American film producer Joseph Taylor, an autist from Indian and Jewish Sioux Lakota, through the Internet, for permission to present his films, special effects, and music themes as part of the play, to prove her ability to present anthropological, intellectual, cultural, and political diversity in the show, and impress the audience with her theatrical and artistic gracefulness and dancing, with several amateurs and professionals in her band “Anthropology”. She was helped by the training she had when she entered dance academy in Lebanon, and was coached professionally by Romanian Ballet dancer Merilla in 2011 for 3 months continuously. In “Sorvisim”, she took care of the production as it is always the case with her work with her band, and she was financially supported by the plastic artist Abdelwahab Al-Awadi, and the journalist Dala’a Al-Mufti, and Khaled Al-Moghanni. She presented that show on the World Theatre Day, which was one of her dreams, finally fulfilled as always, to share her theatrical work with the world on that day. The National Council for Culture, Art, and Letters in Kuwait supported Anthropology band in “Sorvisim”, by providing a stage through Abu Abdellatif, who died 10 days before the show, and was proud to finally offer present his project to “folk theatre”, a special theatre show unlike other bands. Ema made a special eulogy for him for a minute before the show to honor him, as his disappearance was sudden and she can still feel the shock. During a debate related to her support of the parliament candidate Mohamed Al-Jowayhil, who had a clear, straightforward, and popular view about double nationality, the “theft” of Kuwait, and the loss of Kuwaiti identity, on that day when she presented him in 14 languages, with one sentence: Kuwait for Kuwaitis only, criminal gangs and people with double nationality burned down the voting center completely, after Ema tried to discuss with them naively. But the employees insisted that she should go to the house of one of the election officials, to remain safely there with other women. Ema appeared on the covers of many Golf, Arab, and international magazines, radio and TV meetings, and newspapers, announcing the contract she signed with the American agency Manikin, which has a network of agencies with Disney, Universal Studios, Playboy, BBC, Cliver, Fox, Showtime, Coca Cola, and Anchor. She travelled afterwards to Jordan, Lebanon, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to meet many producers, film makers, and agents like Anthony Mark the exclusive CEO of Global Stars Network, who supervised the creation of stars like Lindsay and Ashley Graham. She also finished working in her fourth (and first American) short movie, with the actor John Paul, produced by Jeff Hansen, to participate in Jacksonville Film Festival. She recorded a song in English by the Kuwaiti writer and activist Rabab Khajah, for the first time, in Broccoli Recording Studios in Jacksonville, Florida. The American engineer Georges became then the second producer with her in her third album, and she participated with a group of artists from the USA and Spain in an orchestral project, the revenues of which went to the poor, with the participation of the Amazigh Mayd Ziani in Spain. In her social life, Ema, faced violence and racism against artists, women, and people in general, and went through different stages, beliefs, and intellectual experiences. At the end of her show with her band Anthropology in Tilal Exposition 2011, she told the audience: “I’ll tell you something I want you to spread among people about me; I’m not a human rights activist, I’m an artist and anthropologist. To those who demand that I stand with a certain people against other people, I have let go of my humanistic dress, congratulations for your humanism.” Later, she became more interested in animals, and wrote articles and research papers like “Controlling information”, “Circuit of damage, research into a mental damage”, “Parallels and Creatures in the Coordinates of Time” about Stephen Hawking’s documentary, “Divine Fingerprint and the Coordinates of Time” about the programs “The secret Life of Chaos” and “God, the Universe, and beyond”, “History of Art Anthropology”, “The secret Book”, and “The Sorvisim Animal”. In arts, Ema takes pleasure in deconstructing texts, mixing sentences, music, songs, dances, images, and cinema, and smashing them all together. The artist Jassem Nabhan and the writer Layla Othman even told her, after “Advanced Sorvisim” had been presented on stage: “when you were on stage, we said we would love to open Ema’s brain and see what’s in there, in that other dimension.” The Egyptian artist Ahmed Budir stood from his seat, while attending her theatre show “Debate between Night and Day” in 2007, applauding loudly, and said: “this is a comprehensive artist”. The journalist Abdelmohsen Al-Shamri described Ema as a dreamy anxious personality, always researching, and a special kind of actress. Writer Fatima Al-Safar predicted that Ema would create a new school of art in music and song, and writer Layla Othman said in a press conference that Ema was a crazy actress, after “The Poet and the old Woman” had been performed on stage. Journalist Al-Qas Cherif Saleh, on the other hand, has been for years a patient follower of her news throughout her career, and said about her preparation and production of the Anthropology musical show “We can’t write on a black sheet”, that it represented a call to questioning, nourishing the feeling of astonishment and wonderment, creating a better world, and building bridges of love between all humans, despite the dry, stodgy, and scientific trait of the title of the group itself, Anthropology, the search into ethnic, cultural, artistic, and creative History of mankind, where the universe as a whole becomes a theatre stage recounting the great story of humans. Al-Shahed newspaper said that she had tendencies to strangeness, solitude, and genius. In Ema’s media interviews and meetings, she always mentions her grandfather who inspired her so much in her life, and her caring mother who used to tell her a bedtime story every night when she was little. She thanks her father, the librarian, and all scientists and geniuses because they were the ones who gave her the foundations, and helped create her personality, and at every meeting she mentions Beethoven, Einstein, and their fathers and grandchildren. She wrote in one of her publications by the band Anthropology, about the Sorvisim animal: life does not joke; it is very serious; do you think you left the jungle, people? You’re still in the jungle, playing; the animals, more clever and intelligent have driven you out.


The agency: American agency ManikinHeight: 154 cm – “1″5 inch – 5.05 feetWeight: 48 Kg – 106 PoundsHair: long blackEyes: blackChest: 36 – 78Waist: 26 – 66Hip: 37 – 94Neck (circumference): 33 cm – 13 inchesNeck (length): 10 cm – 4 inchesShoulders: 38 cm – 15 inchesDress: 138 cmInseam: 137 cmTrousers: 6Shirt: 2-1 American – 38Shoes: 4/37/   6.5Bra: 2/BJacket: 36Sleeve length: 54 cm   

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