The journey of The Play of Suhmata

On 21 August 1998, Suhmatah, located in the heart of the Upper Galilee greets the natives and their guests: internally displaced Palestinians, theater lovers, writers, poets, and democratic forces, all come to witness the great happening on this good Earth.

The breeze flirts with their eyelids and their breath confines their chests. Add want and longing for Al-Midan Theater, for the first performance of Suhmata's play in the holiest of places.

Nearby the ruined church and on the grounds of the wrecked houses, the performance began under the famous old tree before sunset in the presence of the playwrights, the Palestinian Hanna Eady, born in Buqe'a Galilee village, and the American Edward Mast. The hearts of the audience were occupied at the time of this splendid performance by Loutuf Nuwayser and Mayserah Messri, which movingly depicted the issue of the Palestinian refugees and internally displaced. Some sighed, others wept. The play came to an end and the audience left the soil of Suhmata, hoping that all refugees and displaced Palestinians come back to the homeland.

Since that date, the play has traveled from one place to another, including Jerusalem and Jenin, playing an important role in promoting the refugees and displaced issues.

A number of performances took place in European countries; the play met with high praise from all those who had seen it. And nowadays, December 2004, the play is still showing, now performed more than two hundred times, carrying the just human cause of the refugees and displaced Palestinians, and contributing to deeply rooting their collective memory.

Much was written about the play in Arabic newspapers and even in Hebrew, and it was talked about on Hebrew-language television and Radio Monte Carlo.

Wajih Seman
December 2004

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