Showing 101 - 118 from 118 entries
> Mai Masri Palestinian Filmmaker
> Rashid Masharawi - filmmaker
> Ramzi Nasr - poet and performer
> Vera Tamari - artist
> Mahmoud Darwish
> Yara Dowani: swimmer and karate player
> Akram Safadi - photographer
> Rosemary Sayigh: anthropologist
> Adnan Mousallem: historian
> Sharif Kanaana: anthropologist and folklorist
> Faida Daibes-Murad wins environmental prize in Sweden
> Milad Fatouleh: Palestinian Child Wins...
> Hisham Sharabi Ph.D. 1927 – 2005
> Daniel Zoughbie: Global Micro-Clinic Founder
> Ahmed Harb, author and university lecturer
> Julia Dabdoub, Bethlehem
> Interview with Mitri Raheb: Recounting ordinary stories
> Musa Sanad - by Leyla Zuaiter
"In Head Dutch, In Heart Palestinian"
By Sarah Collins
"So how did you enjoy it?" someone asked. For a few moments I could not answer, having not quite recovered from the feeling of being a puppet in the hands of a master puppeteer. Ramzi Nasr had held the audience captive for over an hour with his one-man show 'The ‘Wannaplay’. His control over us was phenomenal, making us laugh uproariously and then shocking us into silence. We were manipulated into thinking a sketch was innocent slapstick, then sent reeling as he transformed it into something bitter, even frightening. The pace was electrifying, the action at time absurd. One moment he was a human gramophone, the next he was talking menacingly to a lychee.
Poignancy, as he recalled seeing an old photograph of his family in Palestine, turned into pathos with a sketch about buying falafel. He played with language as he played with his audience, distorting sounds, jumping between English, Arabic and Dutch, all the time communicating as articulately with his body as with his words.
Ramzi Nasr, now  just 21 year old, was born and brought up in Holland, though his father is Palestinian. In one scene he switched into exaggeratedly simple Arabic and, struggling to express himself, pointed to his head. "In my head I'm Dutch", he stammers out, then lays his hand on his heart, "but in my heart I'm Palestinian." Afterwards he told me, "I say 'us' when I'm talking about Dutch people and 'us' of Palestinians too." The loneliness and confusion of being torn between two lands and two identities flowed just beneath the surface throughout the play. During his time in Palestine, Ramzi was able to meet his family in Shu'fat for only the second time in his life and to perform for them. "The experience was overwhelming, both in a positive and a negative way," he says.
"Everybody knew that Tyseer's son was coming from Holland. I was so happy to see them... but it was painful to see how occupation is affecting every aspect of life here."
The Wannaplay Tour lasted three weeks and included ten performances that took place in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This version of the play, originally performed in Dutch in Holland, was adapted for a Palestinian audience.
Ramzi told me that he had been nervous at the prospect of performing to such a different audience, being unsure of whether the humor would translate and whether parts would be too risque or the language barrier insurmountable. His doubts proved unfounded. After a standing ovation many of the audience gathered around him to congratulate, but also to thank him, for his performance.
Near the end of the play Ramzi performs an impassioned and personal love poem. Two lovers stand facing each other in the water.
The woman is tired and though not wanting to hurt her lover, she slowly cuts away his eyes, ears and nose so that she can rest. But the pieces of her lover and his blood will not go away and she begins to enjoy the sensation of the red water caressing her skin.
"It's just a love poem," Ramzi says, "a very personal love poem. Here people say to me, of course, you're talking about Israel and Palestine; it's a political allegory. At first I wanted to make it clear that it was a love poem, but I realize that everyone will respond in his or her own way. Now I even wonder if, subconsciously, perhaps it is about Palestine. I'm always concerned with loss. It comes from somewhere deep inside me."
The puppeteer had us tightly by our strings of laughter and empathy, but in the end The Wannaplay worked as theater because we all danced our own dance.
The Jerusalem Times 29 August 1997
A TIME OF FRAGMENTATION: PALESTINIAN ARTISTS 1993-2000
The Jerusalem Times