Hear a Palestinian Out, Make Them Feel Human
photos by Paul Hellyer
Last Sunday 15 May 2016 I curated an emotionally charged event entitled على قيد الحياة 'Registered Alive' which took place at the Courtyard Theatre in London and was mainly supported by the brilliant Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). The event featured renowned actor Maxine Peake and the amazing comedian Mark Thomas as well as Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre, musician Dave Randall and poet Sabrina Mahfouz.
It was a special moment for me to hear Maxine Peake read from my latest play the Shroud Maker and to do a special dabke performance at the end. However, for me I felt that my voice was heard by people who cared. It was a touching moment to see so many people coming together to sit in a very hot auditorium to mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba and be with me on one of the most difficult days of the year, when I often go into oblivion, into hiding. Unlike many people who celebrate 'Independence Day' with extraordinary patriotism, we as Palestinians mark the day that our country and identity seized to exist. We mark it by hiding into a solitude of confusion, cocooned in fear and frustration.
But on Sunday I felt alive again, I felt that people acknowledged me, people heard my voice, I felt human again.
Thanks to every single person who came, talked about it, shared the news, pictures...etc. It's not easy to explain how that felt - it was like telling me that I existed.
I am full of energy now to write more, to do more, to dance. I am now acquainted with hope that despair has no place in my life (well at least until the next very likely Israeli assault on Gaza).