Mohab is a set designer at the Cairo Puppet Theatre, one of the leading theatres in researching and preserving puppet art in Egypt. She was not satisfied with a simple document on Vietnamese water puppets, which was translated in Arabic, and wanted to learn how to handle puppets so that they could be used to present Egyptian stories.
Artist Islam Galad at the Cairo Puppet Theatre said “I love puppetry and especially Vietnamese water puppetry. I entered that field just because of my love for it. I love the skillfulness and the creativity of this art. I think Vietnamese water puppetry can be popularized in Egypt.”
With love and passion for Vietnamese water puppetry, Artist Mai Monab, and her friends have brought Vietnamese water puppets to Egypt and the Middle East. Not only introducing water puppets to the Egyptians, Mahab also hopes to use water puppets in Egyptian fairytales, in order to help inspire the young artists of Egypt with her love for water puppets.
Artist May Mohab said “Vietnamese water puppetry is a unique art and it was very hard for me and other artists to perform. Many people have questioned me about why I had chosen to learn water puppets. It is new for Egypt, the Middle East and the wider world by the way water puppets artists perform underwater.
I love Vietnamese culture and was attached to Vietnam’s water puppetry. I am happy because now I am not the only artist in Egypt to love and perform water puppets. I can proudly say that we have a team of water puppet artists.”
Mohab can sit for hours just to looking at the wooden puppets. It is also time for her to think about writing a new the script for the puppets.
Mahab said, “I am an artist who is really in live with traditional art. I think countries in the worlds have many different kinds of arts to reflect their culture, religious, love, life, belief. But water puppetry is very unique, that no other country besides Vietnam has. My success is when an Egyptian story is being presented by a Vietnamese water puppet.”
Mohad and her colleagues at the Cairo Puppet Theatre have impressed local spectators with unique show of water puppetry performance. Cairo Mohamed Nour, director of Cairo Puppet Theatre said, “I would like to express my gratitude to the support and coordination of Vietnamese artists in spreading the popularity of water puppetry in Egypt and the Middle East. I have to say that this is a unique art that Vietnam has.”
May Mohad and other puppeteers in the Cairo Puppet Theatre are trying their best to introducing water puppetry to many more people in Egypt and the Middle East. It is also way Egyptian showing their creativity and passion in combining Vietnamese traditional art with Egyptian stories.