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He may wear all the trappings of a Middle Eastern matriarch when he portrays "Im Hussein" on stage, but when the curtain goes down, Najee Mondalek resumes his rightful place as producer, director, writer, technical advisor and stage sweeper, on occasion.

If few people know Najee, it is because the character he created has eclipsed his own persona. He is, in fact, the brain behind the Arabic plays that have toured the United States and Canada since 1989 to sidesplitting laughter and thunderous applause.

Born in Lebanon, few years before the war erupted that would last more than a generation, Najee grew up in a fearful environment. That he emerged as a brilliant playwright, particularly of comedy, is not surprising. In the bomb shelters of Jdeidet Marjeyoun, Lebanon, he passed the time imitating friends and neighbors from his home village. In the midst of terror, humor still has its place.

Najee came to the United States in 1985. He received an Associate degree from Macomb Community College in 1988 and later that year enrolled in Wayne State University, where he received his Bachelor degree in Mass Communications in 1992. In 1997 he earned his Master's degree in Virtual Reality, 3D Animation and Visualization from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Throughout hardship and hard work, Najee has remained true to his dream of becoming a successful writer, producer, actor and director. The "roar of the crowd" keeps him going.

Najee has a knack for taking every day situations and putting a humorous spin on them. His plays and skits deal with the little things in life, the slips of the tongue and "bon mots" that carry humorous overtones.


AJYAL has been the one constant for Najee Mondalek. His plays and skits deal with the little things in life, the slips of the tongue and "bon mots" that carry humorous overtones. In 1994, Najee created one of his most successful play "Smile You're In America" debuting his now-famous character, Im Hussein. During the course of performances, the father of the actress playing the role of Im Hussein died and the actress had to leave. Up until 72 hours before the curtain rose on a sold-out performances, Najee had not found a replacement. Out of necessity, he became Im Hussein, and the audience began its love affair with "her".

قصــة إم حســيــن


قبل اقل من ثلاث ليال من افتتاح العرض المسرحي الأول لمسرحية "إبتسم أنت في اميركا" في ايلول ١٩٩٤ وبعد نفاذ جميع البطاقات لليال الحفل الأربع ، واجهت الفرقة مشكلة كبيرة . فقد توفي والد الممثلة التي تلعب دور "ام حسين" ولم يكن بالمستطاع ابداً تأجيل الحفل او ايجاد بديل للممثلة . لم يكن لناجي ، كاتب ومخرج العمل ، من اختيار إلا بأن يلعب الدور بنفسه خاصة وأنه كان ملم جداً بالدور والحوار بعد أن قضى الساعات الطوال مع ممثلة الدور ليعلمها ويدربها على اللهجة الجنوبية . وفي ليلة الإفتتاح وعند اول خطوة خطتها "ام حسين" على خشبة المسرح وقع الجمهور في حب هذه الشخصية وكان وقع نجاح الحفلات مدوياً في ميشيغان مما شجع الفرقة أن تعيد عرض المسرحية في تشرين الثاني من تلك السنة ، كما واعيد الدور للممثلة الأصلية وكانت مشكلة كبيرة . لم يتقبل الجمهور "ام حسين" البديلة وطالبوا بالأصلية ولم يكن يعلمون ان ناجي من الأساس لم يكن الممثل الأصلي لهذا الدور . لَـبـِس ناجي شخصية "ام حسين" ولم يعد بإستطاعته ان يخلعها

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