My name is Ahmed Masoud; Palestinian writer, director and academic based in the UK, author of Vanished – The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda.
I grew up in the Gaza Strip and moved to the U.K to complete my postgraduate studies in English Literature. Since then I have finished a BA, an MA and a PhD research, a chapter of the latter has been published in the Britain and the Muslim World: Historical Perspectives, by Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2011.
Doing a PhD was an expensive affair and one of my self-funding avenues was dancing dabke. Off the back of a fundraising party, a theatre & dance group, Al Zaytouna, was born. The group became one of the leading dance groups in Europe with the aim of giving Western audiences the opportunity to experience Palestinian Culture through theatre, dance and music. The last production I wrote and directed with the company was Unto the Breach (a dance adaption of Shakespeare's Henry V set in Palestine). The show premiered at the Arts Depot in London in 2012 and toured Slovenia, Germany and the UK throughout 2013 & 2014.
In 2014, I was awarded an Arts Council grant to write and produce a play on the Syrian crisis entitled Walaa – Loyalty. directed by Richard Shannon and designed by Clio Capeille , the play was produced at The New Diorama Theatre, London, in June 2014 and at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in November 2014. In 2015, I put on a daring production entitled The Shroud Maker at Amnesty International, UK which went on a very successful tour all over the UK to theatres and cities like Plymouth, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham...etc and played in my festivals in including the Greenbelt Festival and the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Israeli Occupation in Gaza, West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gollan Heights, I put on a daring production in partnership with Amnesty International UK in May 2017. Camouflage presented a collage of Palestinian lives in various places, focusing on young people and what really matters for them. The one-hour comedy received critical acclaim.
Last year, I wrote my first sci-fi short story which was adapted for WDR Radio Germany and will be published in a new daring book called Palestine + 100 this July 2019
I have also written a number of other plays, including a BBC Radio 4 play see 'Works' for more information. Thank you for being here and I hope that we will connect one day.