Peter Mortimer is short-listed for the Arab British Culture and Society Award for the second year running, last year for his play RIOT (playscript published by Five Leaves) and this year for his Shatila project. This involved setting up a children's theatre group in Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, with ten children coming to the north east to tour the play. We have just reprinted Mortimer's Camp Shatila: a writer's chronicle, giving us the chance to do that final edit we had to miss (when producing the first edition in three weeks) and to add a postscript covering the theatre tour.
Peter has now organised a second tour, with a new cast, coming to The Sage in Gateshead and Saville Exchange in North Shields in February. The play will also be shown for a week at a theatre in Christian East Beirut before coming here.
Peter needs to raise money to bring the children over. On July 18th a bunch of writers, actors and others will be doing a sponsored Shatila ramble through North Tyneside and in June Tyneside Cinema will be showing a film of the first tour "The Palestinians are Coming". Peter Mortimer can be contacted on 0191 253 1901 by anyone wishing to become more involved, including setting up a Shatila Trust to create closer links between the north east and Shatila. Meantime one of the camp football teams is playing in Whitley Bay FC shirts - Pete's local team, currently Wembley bound for the final of the FA Vase.
Other shortlisted projects for the Arab British award include the BBC 2 series The Frankincense Trail.