January 1948. Palestine. The British Mandate is ending. The UN is voting on who will control what part of the land… Ali is in love with Nada – but he is in despair. Her father won’t let them marry because his brother Yusuf is ‘odd’ with his own eccentric, child-like point of view. War begins. As the villagers are scattered and become refugees, the secret that’s kept Ali and Nada apart is revealed. A powerful, poetic exploration of different forms of love.
The expulsion of 1948 or the ‘nakba’ was a devastating and traumatic event for millions of people from Palestine. It is a scab that is continually worried and picked at and never heals. This extreme humiliation these people go through every day of their miserable lives is in itself a traumatic loss. It is a sense of helplessness in the face of the overpowering degrading treatment.
I enter the rehearsal hall everyday with a certain zeal and enthusiasm to unearth the multiple layers and narratives of this fascinating play and leave everyday with moist eyes and parched throat.
During the rehearsals new meanings for countless words like home, hearts, failure, mourning, tears, trauma, fear, hope, and separation stir up. The images of tiny graves covered with moss, lingering crows, praying doves, kneeling mothers, devastated olive groves, dark moonless nights will haunt me for a long time to come. I strongly assert that if we remove from our public lives the elements of humanity, we move a step closer to greater dehumanisation of others. As one Palestinian poet points out: These tears that we shed should be for those still breathing.