Play Reveals Wounds of Palestinian Occupation

Bobby Gulshan

It’s What We Do: A Play About the Occupation
Directed by Pamela Nice
Capital Fringe Festival, 2017

Earlier this year, the Israeli Knesset passed a law barring “Breaking the Silence” from presenting in schools, universities, or any other non-profit institutions. The initiative to enforce a ban on the group came from Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who accused “Breaking the Silence” of denigrating the reputation of the Israeli Defense Force in the eyes of Israeli youth.

Translating Syria’s Foremost Playwright to the New York Stage

Rula Jurdi

The recent staged readings in New York of Sadallah Wannous’s translated play, “Rituals of Signs and Transformations” have proven highly successful. The play features memorable characters, such as Mumina, a 19th century woman from Damascus who defies the expectations of her father, brother, husband and Mufti in order to explore her sexuality and spirituality. Her forbidden sensuality and journey of spiritual self-discovery not only transforms Mumina, but also proves a powerful catalyst for change in those who share her life. 

On March 3rd, 2014, the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center in New York presented staged readings from “Rituals of Signs and Transformations” (Tuqus al-Isharat wa-al-Tahawwulat) by Sadallah Wannous (1941-1997), Syria’s foremost playwright. This commerated the publication of “Four Plays from Syria: Sadallah Wannous,” co-edited by Marvin Carlson and Safi Mahfouz, with translations from Marvin Carlson, Safi Mahfouz, Robert Myers, and Nada Saab.

“Under the Ramadan Moon” A Performance by Elmaz Abinader

Kim Jensen

In an auditorium packed with students and professors,  Elmaz Abinader, Lebanese-American poet, author, and performance artist, recently presented a selection from her latest play — “Under the Ramadan Moon.” Each semester Mills College invites one prominent member of the artistic or cultural community for their Colloquium; this year Abinader, a faculty member at Mills, was chosen for this honor.


Saadallah Wannous

Translators Notes: While readers of Al Jadid have been introduced to Sadallah Wannous, his importance as one of Arab world's most prominent playwrights cannot be overstated. Not much academic work has been done on Wannous in the United States even though he was chosen to deliver the 1996 keynote address celebrating International Theater Day (See Al Jadid, Vol. 2, No 8,June 1996). The only play to be translated in Arabic is “The King is The King” in Roger Allen and Salma Khadra Jayyusi's anthology of Arabic drama.

Sadallah Wannus: His Last Five Years, His Greatest as Playwright

Ali Alsouleman.

The Syrian playwright Sadallah Wannus died on the 15th May 1997 , after a long battle with cancer. He left behind 21 plays and four books in addition to many articles and essays concerned with aspects of culture and theater. Born in 1941, he published his first play, “ Midoza Tuhadiq fi al-hayat” (“Midos Stares at Life”) at the age of 22. 


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