American University of Beirut

No Demand No Supply


Sahar Assaf organized the lecture performance No Demand No Supply in reaction to Lebanon's “Chez Maurice" and “Silver" sex trafficking scandal of 2016. The performance sought to salvage from fickle news cycles the story of seventy five refugees that were tricked by handlers and forced into prostitution. The women of Syrian nationality endured beatings, intimidation, demoralization, deception, and repeated violations to their bodies.

In April 2017, the performance served as the closing event to the conference, “URBICIDE II: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine – Postwar Reconstruction." It played again in May in LAU's Irwin Auditorium, in July at Al Madina Theater, and in September at the Between the Seas Festival in Athens.

No Demand No supply was performed in Arabic with English transcriptions in the background. It relied on Alecky Blythe's “recorded delivery technique," meaning that the victims' recorded words were transmitted into the performers' earpieces for them to repeat to the audience. Assaf acted as narrator, interjecting with facts and figures. Voiceover was added to deliver the point of view of male clients. A chair was added whenever a “Mr. X" would voice his opinion, cluttering the stage with the empty chairs of invisible buyers. Full credits are included in the program​.

No Demand No supply used material from:

• Video recorded interviews with survivors, conducted by Sandy Issa, the investigative reporter from Al Taharri.
• Audio recorded interviews with Sandy Issa and Ghada Jabbour, Head of the Trafficking and Exploitation Unit at Kafa Organization, conducted by Assaf.
• Interviews with Colonel Mustafa Badran who took the decision to raid the brothels where the women were imprisoned, conducted by Assaf.
• Indictment issued on November 28, 2016.
• A study conducted by Kafa Organization in 2014 under the title “Exploring the Demand for Prostitution: What male buyers say about their motives, practices, and perceptions" by Ghada Jabbour.​  



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