Live from Cairoston

In Between

Yesterday I watched “In Between“; a play by Ibrahim Miari, and I’ve taken upon myself to promote it amongst my social network. The play is a semi-autobiography of an Arab-Israeli who is Muslim but technically Jewish as well (Jewish mother). It expresses the identity crises faced as he is interrogated by Israeli security and family as he defends his choice to marry an American Jew.
One thing that caught my attention is that it’s almost impossible for the average viewer to fully appreciate 100% of the play, you’d average around 85%. The reason is that the play infuses aspects of both Jewish and Arab cultures, and literacy in both is important to understand all the nuances. The same way the non-Arabs in the audience were oblivious to the contextual significance of Sayyed Darwish’s song “elhelwa deh ‘aamit te’gin fel fagriyyah” (this pretty lady got up at dawn to make dough), the same way I didn’t quite appreciate the significance of his Jewish mom making dough in the middle of the night to block the windows, lest Saddam bomb them with chemical weapons. It’s only when you can understand both cultures that you can appreciate the brilliant intertwining of the events and the resonance of the symbols. In this case it was dough. However, cultural illiteracy only makes you miss a small portion of the play without missing the major message, and rather than feeling confused, you feel enticed to learn more about the other culture you are unaware of.
Ibrahim Miari is a bicultural mutant par excellence. Something that wasn’t supposed to happen, but it did, and is happening all around us.
Today I tell you and tomorrow you shall see; the key to Peace in the Middle-East lies in the hands of bicultural mutants like Ibrahim. When wild-type species ware themselves out to near extinction, room will be made for the freaks to claim their new species. They are the ridiculed novelties of the present who will set the trend in the future. They are the ones who can see through paradoxes and embrace the absurd. I tell you my loved one, only the fittest survive. I tell you again, that fitness comes not just through dominance and defeating the weak, but also through the power of understanding, just love and winning hearts.
Mazel Tov Ibrahim, for a magnificent piece, and may Allah let all the Nations lend you attentive ears and open hearts.

Ibrahim Miari and his suitcase

Comments on: "In Between" (3)

  1. Eilat Brenner said:

    Well written, and well wished!
    We all pray for peace and understanding, love and tolerance amongst all nations,
    Shabbat Shalom,

  2. […] theatre community, ethnic community (Jewish, Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians). Links: show, video, related, […]

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