World Theatre Day – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – March 2024

World Theatre Day

27 March 2024


Today, the 27th of March, is World Theatre Day. Since 1962 it has been celebrated by International Theatre Institute Centres, IT Cooperating Members, theatre professionals, theatre organisations, theatre universities, and theatre lovers all over the world. This day is a celebration for those who can see the value and importance of the art form “theatre”. It acts as a wake-up call for governments, politicians and institutions that have not yet recognised theatre’s value to society and to individuals and its potential for economic growth. Theatre makers all over the world celebrate this day in different ways, some go to parties, some continue performing, some make big celebrations with readings of plays and a specially prepared homage written this year by Jon Fosse.


Here in Gaza, I mark this day by dreaming. I dream that what is happening to us is no more than a tragedy by Sophocles or Euripides, a play which aims to bring people to the level of purification of Aristotle, and that will end soon. And when it is over, each one will go home. There will be no people who have died, no children killed, no citizens forcibly displaced, no homes destroyed, no trees excavated, no borders closed, no children without milk, no sick people without health treatment, no hungry people without food, no thirsty women without water, no students prevented from reaching their universities, no pupils without schools, no athletes without playgrounds, no intellectuals without cultural centres, no theatre makers without theatre arenas.


I dream that all this bombing and shelling and the horrible sounds of the drones are part of the sound effects of this play. I dream that all this destruction around me wherever I look is part of the visual effects of this play.


I dream that all these poor, skinny people, all the poor, skinny, dirtily clothed children and women are part of the chorus of the play. I just dream to wake up in my bed, in my home, with my wife and my daughter Salma.


I dream.