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Germana has already worked both as performer and as assistant to the Festival directors since the first edition of the Festival. Martina is a young talented storyteller and one of Paola Balbi's most brilliant disciples. She has worked extensively with Raccontamiunastoria for the last five years both as staff and artist at Storytelling Festivals. Martina loves to travel and discover stories from different cultures, but is also very passionate about traditional heritage stories related to the landscape of her native Dolomite mountains.

She speaks Italian, German and English. Martina has already worked both as perfomer and as assistant to the Festival directors since the first edition of the Festival. Mattia Di Pierro is a young actor and storyteller who studied drama in Rome. There he also starts his training as a storyteller with Paola Balbi and Davide Bardi and joins Raccontamiunastoria in He assists its Artistic Directors in the organization and promotion of the storytelling events.

He is founder of Vulture Storytelling, that promotes this art in Basilicata through professional and international events. He is the youngest member of of the executive committee of F. Federation for European Storytelling. His repertoire digs from myths and folklore of his native Basilicata and of all people who had an influence on it.

Mattia speaks Italian and excellent English. A storyteller and librarian, Mariella is a talented storyteller of Italian descent who focuses her work on the heritage of legends and myths both from Italy, the country where she grew up, and from Canada, her adopted country, on top of having a vast repertoire of world folk tales, and original family stories. She tours in Canada and internationally, telling to audiences young and old, from tiny tales to longer narratives. Mariella has taught storytelling courses and has presented a variety of workshops to adults, children and families; she has been a speaker on storytelling and is active in the storytelling world community.

In the last three years in Toronto,she has been directing storytelling ensemble shows to great acclaim.

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Stand up comedian and natural storyteller well known in the Dubai scene, Lamya will be telling and translating some stories into arabic. Lamya has a passion for children and loves working with them.

Film Premiere of West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Islands – Downtown Ventura

Her repertoire focus on traditional stories from Egypt and the Middle East and she is committed to travel and let the world know the beauty of the Arabic oral tradition. Lamya speaks Arabic and English as first languages and perfect Italian. Dubai based, Indian-born artist Shereen Saif is a dancer, actor, storyteller, voice artist and researcher in the field of creative movement. She has spent over 2 decades studying Indian classical dance and is well versed in 3 different styles: Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kathak.

Fidaa is a storyteller, drama-in-education specialist, and actress, working with schools, organizations, and activist groups throughout Palestine, the Middle East, Europe, United States. Halima Hamdane was born in Marocco where she was and raised with her grandmother stories.


She initially undertook a career as Literature teacher in her own country, but later moved to France in and started to explore Storytelling as an artform and as a way to promote the oral traditional heritage of her native country through stories and legends. With her stories Halima carries forward a very ancient tradition and gently invites her audience to discover the Arabic culture and way of life. She often runs workshops as well, blending stories with puppetry or cooking traditional desserts.

Shark Park Clip from West of the West: Tales from California's Channel Islands

When she is telling in French sometimes Arabic springs out from an image as the only voice able to express "the untold". Halima considers herself an ambassador of the arabic tradition all over the world and she has been mesmerizing both children and adults alike with her tales for the past twenty years.

Alongside her passion for the oral tradition, Halima is also a writer and she published novels and story collections. From the field of theater and acting, and inspired by her grandmother ,she started her work as a storyteller, to be one of the first storytellers in Lebanon especially after the period of the war. She possesses a Masters research degree from the Lebanese official Uni. She transferred the art of storytelling to the radio and Tv through tens of programs, and the stories of her country to the Arabic, African, European world.

She is passionate by stories and storytelling, more than all her fields of professions. He is an award winning storyteller who travels the world telling stories to people of all ages. He tells stories from all over the world and is specialized in Welsh and Celtic material. He can tell in English, Welsh, Portuguese and French. Xanthe is a writer and a performance storyteller of international renown touring festivals, schools and familyvenues all over South America, India and Europe.

She is especially interested in stories that celebrate the sacred nature of feminine as manifested in nature, animals and powerful women.

More Tales From the Island of California

When Europeans first reached the islands in the 16th century, they discovered a rich culture dependent upon the resources of the land and the sea for sustenance and survival. By the nineteenth century, the islands were fulfilling different purposes: vast sheep and cattle ranches occupied Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel islands and the channel waters were aggressively harvested for fish and marine mammals.

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The remains of ancient Chumash villages are intermingled with historic ranch complexes and later military structures, testifying to the diverse heritage of human experience on these offshore islands. Each of the five Channel Islands has a unique history.

Channel Islands National Park invites you to learn more about the people, places, and stories associated with each of these islands and to experience the fascinating heritage of coastal southern California! Explore This Park. Channel Islands National Park California.