Mem from Alan Tribe

Although the name of the play reminds of the epic titled “Memê Alan”, it is based on a dengbêj (performers recounting narratives) kilam (dengbêjs’ narratives) titled “Memê û Eyşê” (Memê and Eyşê). The play’s literary source isn’t just Kurdish. The story has narrated both Turkish and Kurdish with some differences. In the play Mem, who wants to participate as a Kurd in the war for Jerusalem by Saladin, muslim military leader, with an order from the Hakkari seigniory, encouraged by his mother. Mem’s friend Lewend, who will fight for the sake of Islam and his country, will also leave his children and join the war. Mem has Xezal (his wife), who is the bride of a week yet. Mem prefers to fight for his country and religion and Çavreş (his mother) and Xezal stay together at home. He returns home a year later. However Mem returns and comes to the door like a guest Xezal responds calmly his questions, stating that the Kurds respect their guests. Xezal asks for some signs to make sure of him, and Mem convinces his wife that he is his husband. Mem and Xezal hug and lie down the bed. Meanwhile, Çavreş comes. She suspects that why nobody is opening the door. When she enters, she sees his bride in bed with a man. She spears into his son’s chest. At the end of the play she understands her fault and laments for Mem.


2000, Istanbul, Turkey, Teatra Jiyana Nû, Mesopotamia Culture Center
2011, Diyarbakir, Turkey, Diyarbakir Municipality City Theater

Abdurrahim Rahmi Zapsu

Name of the Playwright in English


Year of Writing


Year of the First Staging