A festival of staged readings featuring work by Arab and Arab-American playwrights and their diverse stories of life in Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon

Arab Voices: here/there/then/now

4 performances give audiences a glimpse into the life, heart, and soul of life in the Middle East. They cover various backgrounds and cultures while exploring the complex personal and global identity of being an Arab. The stories explore the characters’ adopted countries and illuminate the lives behind the headlines with candor, generosity and humor.

Each performance runs once; see below for the details on each.

Saturday, Nov 26 @ 2pm –
Written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi

Written in response to a journey taken by Zuabi and Corinne Jaber to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, where they met people “in the harshest moments of their life, yet still they were generous, full of grace, hope and even humour…this piece is inspired by their stores, but more than anything it is inspired by their spirit—that elastic rubber-like ability man has to adapt and to weather the storm.”

Saturday, Nov 26 @ 7pm –
Written and directed by Mona Mansour

It’s 1967 and the map of the Middle East is about to change drastically. Fueled by a love of English Romantic poetry, Adham journeys from Palestine to London with his new wife, Abir, to deliver a career-defining lecture. As the young couple’s marriage is tested, Adham struggles to reconcile his ambitions with the pull of family and home. But what if seizing the moment means letting go of everything he knows?

Sunday, Nov 27 @ 7pm –
Written by Ismail Khalidi and directed by Ismail Khalidi and Shana Gold

A glimpse into the life, the heart, soul and humor of Palestinian footballer Tareq Al-Quto.

Monday, Nov 28 @ 7pm –
Written by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader
Directed by Shana Gold

Meet Fadwa Faranesh, an unmarried, 30-something Palestinian woman living in Bethlehem in the politically volatile West Bank. Known for her delectable cooking and deep-seated sense of duty to her family and aging father, our kitchen maven insists on continuing the preparations for the wedding of her younger sister, despite constraints of daily life under occupation. Politics blend with family tensions to create a sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking meal. This new play melds the fight a Palestinian family wages to hold onto its traditional culture with its need to celebrate love, joy and hope.

Curated by Catherine Coray and co-produced by Gaar Adams and the NYU Abu Dhabi Theater Program