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Jamil Khoury and his partner Malik Gillani founded Silk Road Theatre Project in the wake of 9/11

New City Stage Written by Zach Freeman, Brian Hieggelke, Sharon Hoyer and Dennis Polkow

Jamil Khoury and his partner Malik Gillani founded Silk Road Theatre Project in the wake of 9/11 to focus on Middle Eastern and Asian (“Silk Road”) themes as the hostility toward many of the peoples in and from those regions reached a fever pitch here in the States. They’ve been successful at building the company both fiscally—they were a recipient of the Broadway In Chicago award—and critically—their production of David Henry Hwang’s “Yellow Face” was one of last year’s highlights, and Khoury’s playwriting, from “Precious Stones” to his group-written creation “DNA Trail,” have been a foundational element from day one. However, Khoury and Gillani have come to realize that their audience is much larger than Chicago—it is truly global—and as such, have recently rechristened themselves Silk Road Rising and launched a series of online video plays, written by Khoury and entitled “Mosque Alert.” That they’re seeking a global audience does not mean they’ve forsaken live theater, though. In fact, Khoury’s created and curated “Re-Spiced: A Silk Road Cabaret” that opens in April under the direction of Steve Scott.