On the 15th of May, The Freedom Theatre will once again commemorate the Nakba, together with Palestinians here and all over the world. Nakba Day refers to the tragic events, during and after the Arab-Israeli occupation in 1948, when over 800.000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes. Up until today, the occupation of Palestine is a reality with severe consequences in the daily life of Palestinians.
A new play in Jenin
Over the years, the narrative of the Nakba has been remembered and retold in several ways. The fact that it is now 70 years ago that lots of Palestinians became refugees, calls for a moment of reflection. This is why our artistic director Nabil Al-Raee, together with three actors, is creating a performance about the Nakba. The core of the play is to discover the different stories about Nakba and how to think critically about them. In the words of Nabil:
I think after 70 years of Nakba, 70 years of trying to tell our story as Palestinians, it is time to evaluate and change our strategies. The word Nakba refers to a natural catastrophe, but the events in our history are crimes against humanity. In the play, we will use the tools and the free platform theatre gives us, to discover new ways of telling our story. I believe we, as human beings, are a story. And our story needs to be told, by new generations too.
The play, which will be staged for the first time on Nakba Day in Jenin refugee camp, aims to inform and activate the audience in how they regard the story of the Nakba. This information and reflection can then be used to take responsibility towards the future, to ask ourselves the question what we can do to change our situation. As we speak, the team is working hard at our theatre to rehearse for the performance.
Nakba event in the USA
After the premiere of the play, Nabil leaves for the USA, to attend our Friends’ Nakba event on the 20th of May. Here, Nabil will share his own story of growing up in Al-Aroub refugee camp, and as an adult coming to Jenin refugee camp to work with The Freedom Theatre. According to Nabil, the story of TFT in Jenin is a story of hope and imagination. This is also a challenge, because “the occupation is trying to kill our imagination.” As a theatre, we resist by telling stories, by delivering stories of individuals, of places, of the collective on stage.
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Details on the Nakba event by our USA Friends can be found here, or on the poster attached below.