Smile, You Are Palestinian
Written by Yihya Jaber
Adapted and directed by George Ibrahim Assistant
Director: Manal Awad
Cast: Kamel El-Basha, Georgina Asfour, Mahmoud Awad, Husam Abu Eisheh Lighting
designer: Muaz Jubeh
Production: Samer Al-Salhi
Dance choreographer: Nicholas Rowe
Costumes: Nasefeh Habash
A few years ago, a play written by the poet Yihya Jaber, “Smile you are Lebanese," caught my attention. When I read it I smiled…I smiled because I’m Palestinian, and because the human concern is the same, with some small differences here or there. Mainly because the play is about war and what remains after it, and about love’s mischievousness in the shadow of war, courageous, bitter and ironic. So I asked myself: why couldn’t this play be Palestinian? Don’t we live today in a state of mischievousness? Of waiting? Of loss and madness? Of black comedy? If not, what do we call this life in which every morning we breathe its bitterness? And where there is no place for love or lovers? The siege we live in is not only a geographical one, not to mention the degradation of all morals and principles, but a siege of the human soul as well, our hopes, aspirations and vision of the future.
After years of living in this bitter situation, I took the responsibility of rewriting this play from a pure Palestinian perspective. It is about life, whatever our life is. I seek to probe the unresolved issues that preoccupy Palestinians for the provision of material for criticism and dialogue- and for a smile.