Monodrama addresses refugee issue

Cultural Correspondent | Published: 17:50, Nov 13,2018 | Updated: 21:58, Nov 13,2018


A scene from Oh My Sweet Land.

German-Syrian actress Corinne Jaber took Dhaka audience to a searing and sensitive journey to discover the plight and struggles of refugees, a burning issue in today’s world, through her acclaimed monodrama Oh My Sweet Land.
The artiste presented the monodrama, conceived by herself and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, on Monday to the delight of Dhaka audience at Experimental Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Oh My Sweet Land is based on the testimony gathered in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, where about two million Syrians have been living. The play recounts the humanitarian crisis of refugees through the eyes of a half-Syrian woman, like Jaber herself, who traveled to the Middle East in search of her refugee activist lover who has disappeared.
Standing in her Paris kitchen making traditional Syrian dish kubah, the woman recalls her memories in the refugee camps and in parts of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The vivid and cutting details of refugees, speaking of their sufferings, through the first-person and impressionistic narration of the half-Syrian woman is unsettling, to say the least.
Sufferings of refugees like a woman’s husband surviving a horrific attack only to be killed later in hospital; a little girl being happy that she no longer has worms in her head wounds; a reporter evading capture by faking his own funeral in the first-person narration make the point clear how the world has turned a blind eye to Syria and its people.
Following the one-hour play, Jaber and Zuabi attended a Q&A session where they urged the world leaders to come forward to promote and ensure peace so that no one is forced to leave his/her motherland.
Earlier, the play has been staged about a hundred times and been widely acclaimed in countries like France, Germany, Switzerland, England, Poland, Ireland and India.
Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, organised the show.

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