Aurelien Zouki - Co-artistic Director
Founding member and co-director of HAH, Aurelien Zouki studied theatre in Paris, where he worked as an actor with different directors such as Gilles Zaeppfel, Bruno Thircuir, Jean Bellorini, and Nathalie Garraud. He has also participated in choreographic creations in France and Italy, where he was a performer in Rafaella Giordano’s Cuocere il Mondo. In 2007, he moved back to Beirut and co-founded Collectif Kahraba, with whom he created several theatre, dance, and puppets performances (Landscape of our tears, Géalogie d’une fable…), that toured in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Qatar, Russia, Romania, UK, and France. Always interested in body language and all forms of dance expressions, Aurélien participated in mask workshops with Marcela Obregon, Butoh dance with Yumiko Yoshioka, and contemporary dance with Christophe Leblay. In 2010, he took part in Takween Contemporary Dance School, where he worked with choreographers such as Jens Bjerregaard, Marco Cantaluppo, Radhouane el Meddeb, Anani Sanouvi, and Luc Dunberry. He created then his first solo, I Drank the Sea and my Fire Still Burns. Since 2011, he is also the co-director of Nehna wel Amar wel Jiran, a multidisciplinary outdoor festival organized by Collectif Kahraba in Mar Mikhael neighborhood in Beirut. Aurélien’s path also led him to give workshops to Palestinian, Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and to domestic migrant workers, in different contexts all around Lebanon.
Founding member and co-director of HAH, Eric Deniaud has graduated magna cum laude from the International Institute of Puppetry Art (ESNAM) in Charleville-Mézières, under the direction of Roman Paska. Since 2002, he works as an actor, director, and set designer, in many performances where puppets play, most of the time, a special role. In 2008, Eric moved to Lebanon and co-founded Collectif Kahraba with Aurélien Zouki, Rima Maroun, and Camille Brunel Aoun. Eric’s numerous international collaborations include: the National Puppet Theatre of Vietnam in Hanoi, the National Centre for Dramatic Art in Paris, the National Centre for Stage Writings in Villeneuve-lès-Avignons, the French puppet companies Drolatic Industry and Commédiamuse, Ectera Teatro in Spain, Le Théâtre de la Traversée in Québec. Since 2010, he has also worked as a puppeteer and actor in three performances by Alice Laloy, director of the company S’appelle Reviens: D’états de femmes, and Y-es tu ?, nominated for the Molières 2011 for the best performance for a young audience. In Lebanon, Eric has collaborated with Alexandre Paulikevitch (Elgha’), Hanane Haj Ali (Jogging), Randa Mirza (Arab Mythology), and Dar Onboz (There was a bird on a tree, Seven plus Seven), among others. Since 2011, Eric is the co-director of Nehna wel Amar wel Jiran festival in Beirut, in addition to his work on all of Collectif Kahraba’s performances.
Eric Deniaud - Co-artistic Director
With her photography, Rima unravels the unseen.
Since before she established herself in Beirut as a photographer and performer, Rima has been dreaming of a space for artists where they could explore their craft, showcase it, and evolve with it. It was a recurring topic of imagination with her childhood friends Eric and Aurelien. With them, she eventually co-founded Collectif Kahraba back in 2006, while still pushing her photography forward.
In 2008, Rima received the Anna Lindh Foundation award for dialogue through art and culture. She has exhibited her work throughout Europe and the Middle East, namely Italy, Hungary, Syria, France, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Montenegro, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.
She exhibited her work at the Gallery Janine Rubeiz, Beirut Exhibition Center, Institut Francais de Beirut, Beirut Art Center among others.
Hammana Artist House is a “dream come true”, she says. One of the founding members of HAH, Rima functions today as its artistic advisor. Rima gives opinions, unties knots, and steers the house in the proper direction. In addition to being an artist, Rima is also cofounder of Pulse Production Company and her own company Rima Wedding Photos.
Rima Maroun - Artistic Advisor
What most people don’t know about Marielise is that in addition to her being an actress, a puppeteer, and a clown doctor, she is also a seasoned drummer and percussionist.
She owes her versatility in art to an extensive journey with many established artists. After graduating in 2006 from the Lebanese University - National Institute of Fine Arts with a degree in acting and directing, Marielise has performed in Lebanon, Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Italy, Koweit, Qatar, Sweden, Syria, and UAE. She took part in several plays and telefilms directed by Aida Sabra, Berge Vazilian, Camille Salameh, Dany Boustany, Eric Deniaud, Georges Khabbaz, Issam Bou Khaled, Karim Dakroub/Lebanese Puppet Theater, Khayal Association/Collectif Subito Presto, Lazar Pavlov, Merlin Borg, Nehme Nehme, Rafat Alzakout, Samir Habché and with the AUB Theater Initiative. In 2008, she joined Ibtissama "smile" Foundation as a clown doctor. "Doctora Warde", whom she becomes, visits hospitalized children in Lebanese hospitals.
In 2010, Marielise became a member of the Walkabout Drum Circle – African polyrhythms band. Between 2010 and 2012, and under the supervision of Zeina Daccache, she worked in Lebanese prisons (Scheherazade in Baabda) and in Al-Labban psychiatric hospital (Our Little Prince). Since 2013, she facilitated several projects within different associations: the Islamic welfare orphanage (Diaries of a Bird, The Eid’s Kite), Caritas, Abaad, Arcenciel and Himaya.
In 2014, Marielise joined Ettijahat – Independent Culture team on the implementation of Tota Tota… and the story begins - Capacity building project, Future Stages: A creative project for Emerging Syrian Writers and Create Syria: a project to empower Syrian art in exile.
In 2015, she coordinated Jogging – Theater in progress by Hanane Hajj Ali. Currently, she is continuing her Master’s degree – Theatre Research at Saint-Joseph University – IESAV, while pursuing her artistic projects with Collectif Kahraba.
Marielise Aad - Producing Director
Jumana Al Yasiri - International Development Officer
Paris-based renowned arts manager and consultant Jumana joins the team of Hammana Artist House as International Development Officer, further expanding the house’s international reach.
An expert in international artistic cooperation, she has a special focus on designing and producing programs and project-based activities for mid-career and established artists and cultural operators across disciplines (residencies, festivals, seminars, grants & training programs). Working between the Arab region, Europe, and the United States, she has collaborated with regional & international organizations and initiatives, such as Damascus Arab Capital of Culture 2008, the Young Arab Theatre Fund (currently, Mophradat), Morgenland Festival Osnabrück, D-CAF, Med Culture Programme, and Moussem Nomadic Arts Center. Since 2015, Jumana is also co-leading the development and the implementation of Sundance Institute Theatre Program’s outreach in the MENA region and beyond. Board Member of the Roberto Cimetta Fund, she is also a regular panelist, writer, and translator. Jumana holds a BA in Theatre Studies from Damascus Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, and an MA in Comparative Literature from the University Paris VIII. In 2017, she was also selected as one of the inaugural Fellows cohort at The Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown University.
Sarah Taleb - Administrative Coordinator
Sarah pursued her studies in Physics at the Pierre et Marie Curie University in France, and then at the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut, before majoring in French literature at the Lebanese University. In parallel to her studies, Sarah worked at the Librairie Antoine and, guided by her love to cultural work, she continues her masters in cultural mediation. Strongly believing that culture cannot be limited to a time and space and convinced of the importance of including all social groups in the cultural activity, Sarah works now as an administrative coordinator within Collectif Kahraba and Hammana Artist House.
Tamara Badreddine - Technical Coordinator
Born in Lebanon, Tamara graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University with a degree in acting and directing in 2015. Her passion for theatre started in high school as she joined her first theatre class at 15 years old. Her first professional experience was with Jawad Al Assadi as backstage manager and was followed by collaborations with many artists; Eric Deniaud, Waraq Collective/Hussein Nakhal, Aida Sabra, Dana Mikhael, Mohamad Farhat, Hagop Der Ghougassian where she worked as stage manager, assistant director, assistant construction and lighting technician.
Tamara met Collectif Kahraba in 2012 as a volunteer in their festival Nehna Wel Amar Wel Jiran and has since then worked with the collective on many productions, including "Origin of a tale" and "Landscapes of our tears" which are currently on tour. She has also collaborated with Hammana Artist House on several projects until she joined the team as technical coordinator in April 2018.
Nour Ayoub - Design and Communication Coordinator
Nour graduated from the American University of Beirut in 2013 with a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Creative Writing. She’s a graphic designer, art director and illustrator working in branding, advertising, web design, content creation, copywriting, and publications. When she’s not working on design projects and creating content, she’s either doodling lists and observations or planning and executing themed parties at her apartment. Nour was born in Hammana and spent her childhood summers there, so her connection to the town is deeply rooted. She joined the HAH team in summer 2018.