Godless Women

Godless Women is a personal prism of (three) Arab women who have escaped from political oppression, intellectual co-option, or religious custody in their homelands. The play depicts a significant phase in the life of the three women, Ameena, Mariam and Reyhana, when they hover between the past, the present and the future. The characters journey to reach Germany with ruthless smugglers, who seize each chance to exploit their powerless passengers. As they reach their destination, they realize that they are now under a wider and a more complicated type of oppression: an all-pervasive Western superiority, subordinated by an epistemological and ontological clash of civilisations and citizenship. Ameena, Mariam and Reyhana are jeopardised by identity markers of inferiority as women, Arabs, Muslims, and refugees. The three women come to Germany on fake passports or through illegal routes, either by walking across borders or coming by boats. They are aware that their nationalities, religion and race cannot grant them legal entrance to Europe – especially after the Arabic Spring/upheavals. They belong to a geographical area where lives are ungrievable.

Baghdadi Bath

Baghdadi Bath depicts two Iraqi brothers as they struggle to survive in Iraq, both before and during the 2003 US-led invasion and ensuing occupation. The brothers wash and quarrel in the Turkish-style bathhouse that serves as the setting for much of the play. The two are, as it were, mired in filth, corrupted by their engagement as bus drivers with both Saddam’s thugs and American soldiers. They narrate atrocities in turn. The younger, Hamiid, is complicit in transporting political prisoners to their deaths by firing squad under Saddam’s regime and then relaying their corpses to a mass gravesite. Hamiid is confined in a military hospital for a month and refused payment for his services. In the final episode of the play, Majiid suffers at the hands of American soldiers after the two attempt to transport a political candidate from Amman, Jordan to Baghdad. Just after they cross the border back into Iraq, an exploding cigar kills the candidate. Trapped in a battle zone, Majiid buries the remains, but is then forced to unearth them at the command of American soldiers, [who later push him into the grave and cover him with dust. The play ends with Hamiid carrying Majiid to the shower and bathing him.]

Women of Lorca

The play uses Lorca’ female characters to represent Iraqi women and their suffering first under the control of their own society and then by themselves as they gradually became addicted to the dictatorship of their own selves. Even when they try to break free of such control, the create a new controller by themselves.

Stories Never Told by Sheharazad

Written and staged in 2005, this play can be considered as a prediction of the Egyptian revolution of 25 January 2011. Nonetheless it would not be a happy prediction as the playwright foresees the chaos that follow the revolution. Once the traditional conflict between Sheharazad and Sheharayar is established, and Sheharazad engages in her daily nightly storytelling to prevent her husband from having sex with her, and therefore to preserve her life, the role of sheharazad develops into a political one. She tries to explain to the king the consequences of his oppressive rule, and tells him how much the average citizens are suffering. She tries to mediate the necessity for change. Yet the king is rather consumed by his avid desire for authority and power, accompanied by his lack of self-confidence and his mistrust in women. He cannot change, neither can he see in Sheharazad anything beyond the objectified female who will soon be killed. The play follows a structure of seven nights. At the end, the revolution breaks through the walls of the royal palace. The rebels enter the king’s bedroom by force. Everybody has deceived the king, even his own soldiers have taken the side of the revolution. Sheharazad tries to prevent violence between the rebels and the king, and ends up being killed during the attempt. Sheharazad as a martyr of failed revolution.