Starting Today in London: Three New Plays from Syria and Palestine

As part of the Shubbak Festival, going on now, the Mosaic Rooms will be hosting three new plays — one from Syria and two by Palestinian playwrights:

1The first is tonight (June 26), a rehearsed reading of Mawlana (Our Master), a new play by Syrian playwright Alfares Alzahabi. According to organizers:

Set in Damascus, a young man, Abed, is about to enter a Sufi group to learn the arts of the order and Al-Hadhrah. The order’s Sufism does not suit the young man’s spirit; he yearns for the higher and deeper. He falls in love with his European neighbour. The Great Sheikh Mohyi Eddin appears to Abed in a vision, then the unknown horizons of the Sufi experience are opened to him. The Sheikh reassures him that love is the origin of existence and the bond that links the members of the Universe. Abed considers the horizons of life: love, poverty, happiness, satisfaction, dreams and visions.

Directed by Tarek Iskander, translated by Alfares Alzahabi, and produced by Genuine Arab Casting.

The performance is set to last for 45mins, after which there will a Q&A.


2The second is tomorrow (June 27), a dramatized reading of Dalia Taha’s Keffiyeh/Made in China, directed by Caitlin McLeod. Taha, who is also a poet, wrote the play in 2012. It was produced by the A. M. Qattan Foundation and the Royal Flemish Theatre and later published in book form. She also was awarded the 2013 “International Playwright Residency” from the Royal Court Theatre in London. Taha’s poetry has also been widely published.

According to organizers:

The keffiyeh is an iconic image familiar to everyone in Palestine and thus a defining symbol of Palestine’s national struggle. Keffiyeh/Made in China considers the prejudices and cliches about Palestinians and non-Palestinians, taking the symbol of resistance – the keffiyeh- as a starting point.


3The third is July 3, also directed by Caitlin McLeod, a reading of Sabra Falling by Ismail Khalid. According to organizers:

It is August 1982 and Beirut is under siege. In the Sabra refugee camp the specter of a massacre looms as the Akawi family receives an unexpected visitor that brings the past rushing back and alters the course of events to come.

 Tickets are £10/£8 for each, and can be purchased online.