Who we are

Founded in 2008, the Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation (APTF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and advancement of puppetry within the Arab world.

APTF operates uniquely as a touring theatre, puppetry school, restorer, archive, and knowledge hub.

We recognize the gap in puppetry's practice and preservation and have positioned ourselves as pioneers in the field, striving to revive, challenge, and innovate puppetry in the region while fostering the professional growth of artists interested in this age-old art form.

Our Expertise

Reviving Tradition: APTF stands at the forefront of reviving and reinterpreting traditional puppetry in the Arab world, ensuring the seamless transmission of cultural heritage across generations.

Restoration & Preservation: With meticulous care, we restore and digitalize pivotal puppetry collections, safeguarding invaluable heritage for present and future generations to cherish and learn from.

Training & Capacity Building: APTF conducts comprehensive training programs that empower artists with essential puppetry skills, ensuring the sustainability and evolution of this art form.

Innovative Performances: Our puppetry productions combine entertainment with critical social discourse or educational but entertaining topics. Through innovative performances, we stimulate dialogue and raise awareness on vital cultural and societal themes.

Our Impact

Puppetry holds a special place within Arab cultures, captivating both children and adults through dynamic theatrical experiences, storytelling, music, and props.
Despite its millennium-long history, puppetry has faced limited research and preservation efforts, which has cast a shadow over its legacy. APTF has risen to the challenge by restoring collections and creating accessible online resources.
Our efforts transcend preservation alone; we are dedicated to harnessing puppetry's transformative power as a vehicle for cultural expression, social dialogue, and positive change.

Our commitment

By blending tradition with innovation, APTF strives to create a vibrant space for the continuous development and expression of puppetry in the Arab world. In a region grappling with multifaceted challenges, puppetry emerges as a source of hope for both children and adults, enabling engagement with a diverse range of critical issues. Our commitment to puppetry underscores its capacity to shed light on vital topics, stimulate thought-provoking questions, and inspire a vision of a better future. APTF is fully cognizant of puppetry's potential as a powerful means of promoting cultural and public plurality, creating a distinctive and impactful avenue for nurturing positive societal change.

Connect with APTF

Join us in preserving and promoting the vibrant tradition of puppetry in the Arab world. If you're interested in collaborations, have questions, or seek more information, we encourage you to reach out. Together, let's delve into puppetry's cultural significance and its profound role in shaping societies.


Mahmoud Al-Hourani / Director
+44 7378 790634
Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation 1 Gough Square, Holborn, London EC4A 3DE,
United Kingdom

Mission and Vision


Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation seeks to encourage and support the professional development of artists associated with puppetry in the Arab world.


Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation strives to revive, advance, continually challenge, rethink puppetry in the Arab world and to become an open platform for Arab artists to showcase and enhance their talents.

Advisory Board

  1. Sawsan Darwaza - Theatre and Film Director / Jordan

    Sawsan is a theater and film director who usually works on collective projects in an attempt to explore new zones in the field of art.

    She is now a director and managing partner in a production company in Amman Jordan, Ma3mal 612 Company, and the creative director in Mir at Media production house.

  2. Fadia Tannir – Puppeteer & Actress / Lebanon

    Fadia is a professional puppeteer, actress and drama teacher. Over the last 25 years, she has performed in a number of plays, puppet shows, and films.

    Fadia directs and performs in the plays of Les Amis des Marionnettes. She has a particular gift to enthrall young audiences and those young at heart.

  3. Sally Todd - Sculptor and Visual Artist
    Steve Tiplady - Puppetry Artist and Director

    Indefinite Articles Theatre Company (since 1995), is an open theatre project that transforms ordinary objects and materials into innovative shows for both children and adults.

    Sally Todd is a sculptor and visual artist. She makes objects and installations as well as working with puppets.

    Steve Tiplady has been using puppetry in his work since 1989. He was the puppet director of several major performances in London.

    Steve and Sally are members of our core team of trainers at APTF.

  4. Mahmoud Mejri – Academic Director, Institut Supérieur des Arts Dramatiques (ISAD) / Tunisia

    Having conducted his graduate studies in France, Dr. Mejri wrote several books and articles about puppet theatre in Tunis and the Arab world.

  5. Margrit Gysin - Switzerland

    Margrit is a graduate of J. Lecoq Theatre School in Paris and specializes in the use of puppets in therapy.

    Since 1976, Margrit worked as a freelance puppet theater performer, teaching and conducting workshops in the fields of theater and education.

  6. Marwa Seoudi - Cultural Operator / Egypt

    Marwa Seoudi graduated from the American University in Cairo with a major in mass communication. She studied photography and graphic design.

    She is currently an active member in a number of cultural organizations and independent theatre groups.

  7. Shaker Said - Puppetry Artist, popular imagination / Egypt

    Shaker is an expert in puppet theatre, an actor, director and theatre workshop leader. He has also produced and presented a television series for children.

    He is a member of the popular imagination collective which develops street performances for disadvantaged children in general and street children in particular.

  8. Steven Whinnery – Mask Artist and Performer / GB

    Steven specializes in mask making with over 30 years experience in the theater.

    Steven came to Beirut and taught mask making at APTF’s Beirut 2012 residency.

Founding members

Mahmoud Al-Hourani
Nadine Bekdache
Bilal El-Amine
Maha Issa
Nathalie Bekdache


Figurentheater Margrit Gysin – Switzerland
Les Amis des Marionnettes – Lebanon
Kahraba Collectif – Lebanon
Handspring Puppet Company - South Africa
National Puppet Theatre in Tunisia
Al- Madina Theatre – Lebanon