The Sandouq El-Ajab Theatre was founded in 1975 and is the first independent theatre group in Palestine. A visit to the theatre in the heart of Ramallah’s Old Town is well worth it for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, you will meet the famous “Abu El-Ajab”, an actor, artist, storyteller and the guardian of the Sandouq El-Ajab or “Wonder box”, the device he uses to tell his stories, adapted from a centuries-old arab tradition. He is known across the Arab world as a charismatic storyteller, who tells stories and tales of Palestinian heritage. He only speaks Arabic but even if you cannot understand his stories over a cup of coffee, there is plenty to see in the theatre, and a comprehensive brochure in English to accompany your discovery.
The theatre is housed in a renovated old stone house, in which Abu El-Ajab, aka Adel Tartir, houses several of his Sandouqs, both big and small. There are also many other artefacts and vintage posters of his performances since 1970.A visit to this theatre is a unique and rewarding experience for intrepid visitors and locals alike.
Stop by during the day and chances are high that you will meet Abu El-Ajab. The theatre is not hard to find. It is surrounded by a black iron fence in the Old Town, with an interesting iron door that depicts a wonder box. You can also find the exact coordinates on Google Maps (31.9043870, 35.1957432). Check his Facebook page for information on Abu El-Ajab's performance schedule.