Javad Ensafi is one of the artists who has always openly accepted MAHAK’s invitation and tried with all his might to make children with cancer happy. Born in the 1930s, he has made different generations of Iranians laugh; laughter that makes the hardships of the day bearable for a few moments.
On the occasion of the World Children's Day, we had an interview with him to talk about his memories from MAHAK: "My working history with MAHAK dates back to five years ago. During these years, I have tried on various occasions to make MAHAK children happy; in the costume of Haji Firooz, Uncle Nowruz and by performing short plays. My effort has been made to make children happy and to boost their morale, so that they can fight their disease heroically."
"Laughter has many benefits for the audience which makes the face beautiful and the face in people's minds.”
He, working as a comedian, says about the difference between entertaining children and other people. “Laughter can relieve fatigue, balance the viewer's blood pressure, and help control anger. However, the story is different when it comes to MAHAK children. As it says laughter can relieve the pain; which is why we believe that laughter is a therapeutic measure for children. I believe that if we can, even for a moment, keep the mind of a sick child off the thought of illness and its complications, we will have a positive effect on their treatment process."
During these days, the spread of Coronavirus has affected artists' relationship with their audiences. Many of these connections are discrete or faded. Ensafi's communication with MAHAK children is of no exception. "My effort and that of my other colleagues is to be on stage and perform cheerful plays. If this is not possible, we maintain this connection far and wide through cyberspace to spread joy in our community. An unhappy society loses its spirit and hope quickly while hope for a human is like a wing for a bird."
"In one of the programs I performed for MAHAK children, there was a child who, according to her nurse’s saying, had not been laughing for several months" says the artist about the most influential moment of communicating with MAHAK children. The child started laughing when I sang and danced for him with Haji Firooz's costume and accent; this moment was very enjoyable for me. "It was the moment I felt I had played a positive and effective role in the healing process by bringing laughter back to the face of this child."
"MAHAK has done a great job in the past thirty years” Ensafi concludes. In addition to providing immediate and comprehensive support to children with cancer and their families, the organization has strived to raise awareness about childhood cancer and related issues through proper communication with the public. "I believe this awareness raising is the reason that different strata of society have been attracted to MAHAK and its activities."