KHF Outreach
The Jordan Times reports on 'The Gaza Monologues' at the National Centre for Culture and Arts Theater
19th October 2010
Young Jordanians who performed "The Gaza Monologues" at the National Center for
 Culture and Arts Theater in Arjan on Sunday
By Rand Dalgamouni

AMMAN - Gaza is "a plane flying us into the unknown", a "bottomless pit", and "heaven and hell", in the words of Gaza’s young people.

On stage at the National Centre for Culture and Arts, 13 young Jordanians performed “The Gaza Monologues”, written by teenagers in the coastal enclave to share their stories with the world.

For one hour on Sunday evening, the audience shared their fondest, saddest and funniest memories.

The sudden shifts from the mundane, everyday concerns to life and death situations swung the audience back and forth like a rollercoaster, reflecting the life that Gazans face on a daily basis.

In one monologue, a young girl worries about an exam, the next minute she watches her best friend die.

Another girl decides to dress in her best clothes, because she wants to die looking beautiful, but realises that she would “die in one piece” instead of being blown apart by missiles.

The monologues, which were performed in 40 countries simultaneously, were written by 33 Gazan teenagers in a creative writing workshop organised by the Ashtar Theatre in Palestine.

Their stories made the audience laugh and cry at the same time, as they reflected innocence and the loss of it.

A child who lost all his loved ones during the latest Israeli offensive on the strip, ends up believing that the war was waged on him specifically, while another sets his mind on going to Canada to escape the suffering, become an actor, marry a Canadian, and have Canadian children.

“I hated myself for becoming selfish after the war, caring only for myself,” another boy wrote.

A young girl announces that she will study metaphysics, because that is where Gaza truly is - in the metaphysical world.

Another minimises her visits to the bathroom, fearing that her house may get hit by a missile while she is there.

“The boys of Gaza are born men, and the girls are born brides,” one girl laments.

Although many of the images evoked in the monologues are pessimistic, at times even sarcastic, there is still hope as a girl tells the audience that “no people love each other like the people of Gaza”.

In November, one young actor from every country where the monologues were staged will perform in New York at the UN headquarters.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the young writers inaugurated Sunday’s event by reciting their monologues on the seashore and sending them out as paper boats.

19 October 2010
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