Ali Mahdi Nouri, UNESCO artist for peace
Born in khartoum, mr ali mahdi nouri is a sudanese actor and stage director who has demonstrated that theatre, music and drama have an invaluable role to play in promoting dialogue and supporting peacekeeping processes.
seeing theatre as a tool for conflict resolution and as a place for rebuilding and renewal, his work has shown that exposure to theatre, as well as to culture in general, is a powerful ally in reconstructing the dreams and restoring the confidence of children affected by tragic situations. his firm “faith in dialogue, in accepting the other and in the diversity of cultures and sudanese and arab theatre style” have allowed him to bring former child soldiers, victims and aggressors, orphans and lost children to experience culture and drama as a means – through the exploitation of new opportunities unearthed by creativity – of finding the way and the courage for personal revival.
in 2000, mr nouri founded the bugaa theatre group in khartoum, internationally recognized today as the most convincing practical example of the instrumentalization of theatre for development and peace-building. through the creation of his centre for theatre in conflict zones, first based in khartoum and then transported to darfur and hajr sultan, he succeeded in capturing the interest of morally and psychologically damaged young audiences, bringing them to accept reconciliation and peace and, thus, aiding their successful reintegration into society.
mr nouri also is engaged in significant voluntary and humanitarian work, notably with sos children’s village sudan, and has led many actions in this framework. he presented a paper at the united nations general assembly meeting on child rights, and was part of the delegation when the sudanese government signed the convention on the rights of the child at the united nations headquarters in new york in 1990.