Lebanon’s Circus Scene Enhances Youth Education

GRLبنت had the pleasure of interviewing Karen and Jad from Fabrek, a social enterprise comprised of performance artists organizing youth projects through schools and NGOs, targeting refugee shelters and kids in vulnerable situations. Their projects build child confidence and skills through circus activities, theatre, and puppeteering. Fabrek also hosts corporate events, circus performances, and runs their shop, Just Juggling Beirut. Just Juggling Beirut is the first shop in Lebanon to sell imported circus & creative products for all ages.

In 2018, Fabrek started working on projects in public schools and Syrian refugee camps where youth experience the most setbacks in their education. Jad and Karen explained that circus and creative activities provide an alternative form of education for children, especially for those struggling in school. Fabrek shared with us that due to the standardized Lebanese school system, students that flourish in the arts are ostracized. Karen and Jad struggled in their own education and knew artistic outlets needed to be developed to serve all students.

Discovering the circus scene in the MENA region was new to GRLبنت. Jad shared that the circus scene in Lebanon has grown rapidly in the last 6 years with there now being 200-250 circus and flow artists. The juggling scene can now be found in numerous Middle Eastern countries/cities including Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Dubai. Prior to COVID-19, Fabrek held festival camps that hosted 120 community members due to the growing interest in the circus scene. Fabrek explained that the art scene has become much more appreciated in recent years, yet, this sheds light that the arts are underrated in Lebanon and the Middle East.


Despite this success, the October Revolution, port explosion, and COVID-19 has caused NGO funding to be stopped for Fabrek’s social projects with kids. The Lebanese economy has negatively impacted small businesses, including Just Juggling Beirut, therefore, we encourage you to support Fabrek and Just Juggling Beirut during this trying time. Fabrek is proud of contributing to the circus scene in Lebanon and loves seeing the joy that juggling can bring to kids, but also adults. When teaching a grown-up, they are able to experience a 40-year-old adult turn into a kid again. Due to the joy that art is able to bring to individuals, Fabrek aims in changing social concepts that the only way to be successful in life is by attending university or working a desk job. They hope to inspire a future generation of artists and performers in pursuing their passions as a career.