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Announcements, Articles, Volume 3

Nahda: Five Visions of an Arab Awakening

Nahda: Five Visions of an Arab Awakening
Arab StagesVolume 2, Number 1 (Fall 2015)
©2015 by Martin E. Segal Theatre Center Publications

On the evening of October 12, 2015, the Noor Highlight Reading Series presented a public reading of Sevan K. Greene’s Nahda, five short plays (each lasting less than ten minutes) exploring different aspects of public life and the search for identity in the contemporary Arab world. Three men (Fajer All-Kaisi, Ethan Hova and Caleb Bark) and five women (Dahlia Azama, Caitlin Cassidy, Rendah Beshoori, Rasha Zamamiri, and Lameece Issaq), directed by Johanna McKeon, gave a spirited and well-coordinated presentation of this varied selection of sharply observed works.

The tonality of the plays ranged from a wonderful comic discussion between three McDonald’s employees about the pros and cons of promoting this iconic Western food in their Arab cultural context, to a chanted challenge to the secondary role of women in the existing political system. Such brief scenes offered the audience sharp insights about conflicted individuals: a black-clad wife sitting parched on a beach and dreaming of stepping into the water, a group of British-Muslim soldiers trying to negotiate their loyalties, or Arab Spring women of different generations seeking their individual ways forward.

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