Stories and Dreams of Young Turkish Women Come Alive on Stage

“Stories of Courage,” the dramatic reading profiling the lives of Sparks alumni, took center stage at TWI’s Northern California fundraiser in January. At several points in the presentation, “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house” as actors Lisa Cirincione and Tiffany Mualem aptly portrayed the will and bravery of young Sparks women who carry on despite hardships. Leyla Kabuli, a classical musician who studies at Cal Berkeley, provided piano accompaniment.

The stories, told in first person, portray typical, real-life challenges of Sparks students to attend university and persevere in their dreams of working in their chosen professions. They credit the Sparks program for instilling the self-confidence, courage, and support it takes to remain steadfast in their resolve.

The “Stories of Courage” project has been under development for months. It began with interviews of Sparks students, professional translating and editing by TWI team members and supporters, and adaptation to the stage by Lisa Cirincione. Lisa, an actor and director, has devoted significant time, talent and direction to the project from its inception. All four stories are representative of how the unique Sparks program enables the confidence and skills Sparks students need to persevere in following their dreams.

Fifty guests attended the fundraiser at the Atherton home of long-time TWI supporter Prof. Nakiye Boyacigiller, who hosted. Additional events are expected in both Northern and Southern California, as more people are requesting the highly-acclaimed presentation.

Left to right: TWI Co-founder Jeanne Nidorf, event hostess Nakiye Boyacigiller, event producer and board member Gokcen Sinanoglu, TWI Co-founder Sema Basol, board member Tresa Eyres


Actress Tiffany Mualem reads from the script while Lisa Cirincione looks on.
Pianist is Leyla Kabuli.

Event host Nakiye Boyacigiller welcoming guests.