He loved art and dedicated his life to the theater.. an elegy befitting the Moroccan artist Abdelkader Al-Badawi
Rabat – “Any citizen has the right to air, sun, and freedom, and he also has the right to culture.” With these words, the Dean of Moroccan theater Abdelkader Al-Badawi – in a press interview – defended the right of simple people and residents of small towns and villages in theatrical performances.
Al-Badawi, who passed away this Friday morning at the Military Hospital in Rabat, is considered one of the pioneers of Moroccan theater, and the founder of the Al-Badawi troupe, which is one of the most famous and oldest theater groups in Morocco.
Moroccan artists mourned the departure of El-Badawi at the age of 88, describing him as a pyramid and a creative artist who left a mark and an impact on generations of artists.
Al-Badawi also called the “Moroccan Syndicate of Dramatic Arts Professionals” via “Facebook”, describing him as “one of the most important men of Moroccan theater in writing, directing and acting.”
“He was a school in formation and formed a large artistic family that influenced Moroccan theater,” the actor and head of the National Syndicate of Dramatic Arts Professionals, Massoud Bouhcine, told Al Jazeera Net.
With moving words, the late bid farewell to artists and activists, recalling his works, which they described as “immortal”, especially as he enriched the theater for more than 6 decades in writing and directing.
The artist, Siddiq Makwar, published a picture of the late on the Instagram application, and attached it to a post in which he stated, “May God have mercy on Professor Abdel Qader Al-Badawi, one of the most important pillars of Moroccan theater and a pioneer of its pioneers. Heaven is the resting place of the deceased.
The artist, Rashid Al-Wali, wrote, through his account on Instagram, “Abdul Qadir Al-Badawi is under the protection of God this morning, only yesterday I asked about him and was told that he is in a very bad condition, the heart grieves, but we only say what pleases God.”
In turn, the actress, Fatima Bogo, mourned the late by posting his picture on his official Facebook account, saying, “Today also, one of the great theater pioneers in Morocco, actor and director Abdel Qader Al-Badawi, leaves us for the House of Stay. .
Between yesterday and today, Morocco has lost great artistic stature, yesterday Abdel Latif Hilal and today Abdel Qader Al Badawi.
We ask God’s mercy for the giants of Moroccan theater 💔
Moroccan theater bid farewell to its great symbols day after day. pic.twitter.com/pLOEDM3PX6
— Hassan ⛥ (@Hassan_khalile) January 28, 2022
The artist Latifa Ahrar also lamented him, saying, “Another tragedy. The Moroccan art scene loses one of its flags. May God have mercy on the great creator Abdelkader Al-Badawi.”
Al-Badawi was born in 1934 in Tangiers. After his birth, his family moved to the old Al-Ahbas neighborhood of Casablanca.
His father died in his prime, and he became responsible for supporting his family, so he joined the tobacco company at the age of 15.
The conditions of his work in the company did not prevent him from his passion for jogging, so he founded the “Workers’ Cubs” troupe, which included his fellow workers, and presented plays that defend the working class and address its concerns.
For the Badawi troupe, which was founded in 1952, the theater was a way to convey the voice of the oppressed and the simple people and defend their rights in the face of the French colonizer during the period of protection.
During the independence period, the theater was a means to dissect social reality, and to dismantle the family and social problems in which the middle and poor classes languished.
El-Badawy tells in one of his press interviews that the police arrested him during the performance of the play “The Unemployed”, which was dealing with the issue of unemployment in post-independence Morocco.
He says that the performance of the play coincided with the “Mao Zedong” revolution in China, and the audience was throwing his red book on the stage during the show as an expression of their joy in its content, so the police intervened to stop him, but he insisted on completing the play, and after its completion he was arrested and interrogated as the author of the play and the owner of the troupe.
Bouhassain told Al Jazeera Net that Al-Badawi worked on social theater and was exposed in his plays, in particular, to middle-class issues and family problems.
He adds, “He is a distinct voice and different from the pioneers of his generation.” While Al-Tayyib Laalj Theater was concerned with the popular aspects of Moroccan culture, and Al-Tayyib Al-Siddiqi dealt with heritage and experimental theatre, one of the peculiarities of the Bedouin theater was the interest in the social dimension, and his plays combined seriousness in subtraction and dramatic conflict.
El-Badawy had a unique experience with the theater of the Egyptian artist Youssef Wehbe, as he performed with him a role in the plays “Rasputin, Street Children, Green Table” during Wehbe’s tour in Morocco after the independence.
Among the theatrical works presented by the Al-Badawi Theater Troupe are the plays “The Runaways, Ghaith, the Unemployed, The Hand of Evil, The Expelled Worker, The Family Tree, The House of Generosity, The Teacher Zagloul” and others, not to mention the plays for television, including “Human Models, a Window on Society” and others.
theater for all
As for the Bedouin, the theater should not be presented in major cities such as Rabat, Casablanca and Cairo. Rather, it is the right of the simple people in small towns and villages, as they have the right to air, sun, and freedom. Therefore, he would make tours that include distant cities in Morocco, and dedicate performances directed to students. about it on the radio.
Bouhassain remembers this stage and says, “The announcement of Al-Badawi’s plays on the radio is still present in my memory. They used to present two advertisements. The first was about Al-Badawi’s show for the public and the second was for students, the ticket price was low and commensurate with their social status.”
During the life of the Al-Badawi Theater, which this year completed its seventh decade, the features of a pioneering school were formed, from which generations of actors who became stars in the cinema and television have graduated.
During this course, he was not satisfied with presenting plays inspired by the Moroccan reality, but he also presented performances of the masterpieces of the world stage.
“It is a unique experience that was the subject of university research,” Bouhcine explains. Academic research has been carried out in many Moroccan and international universities on the Bedouin theater and its peculiarities.
As he was explaining community issues on stage, El-Badawy was a fierce defender of the issues of artists and playwrights, and he was among a group of professional playwrights whom the late King Hassan II received in his palace to participate in a meeting devoted to developing a strategy for the theater sector in 1991.
One of the results of this meeting was the organization of the first debate for professional theater, during which it was announced that May 14 would be a national day for theater in Morocco.
Al-Badawi was not just a theatrical artist, but was part of a large artistic family. His brother Abdul Razzaq was a director in the Al-Badawi troupe, his brother’s wife is the artist Aisha Sajid and his nephew is the director Mohsen Al-Badawi.
Just as he loved art and dedicated his life to the theater, he bequeathed this love to his two daughters, Karima, who had a prominent appearance in Egyptian drama, and Hasna, the actress and theater director, and she is currently the artistic director of Al-Badawi Theatre.