Friday, 28 February 2014

On A Wing and A Prayer

Translated from a delightful status by Storyteller, Concept and Show designer Hani El-Masri

For original text in Arabic please click on the link here below:

"On the wings of determination and hope!
Plot summary of an old play called ‘The Station’ by Fairouz and Rahbani brothers:
A young girl came along with a suitcase of belongings and stood in the centre of a potato field in South Lebanon. And there she stayed.   

When they asked her: "What are you doing here?” She replied: "I am sitting here, waiting for the train; this is the station is it not?"

Naturally the whole village was thrown into a whirlpool of bewilderment since there were no rails or indeed even the hint of a station in sight. Nor was there any venture whatsoever for such an enterprise in that little unfrequented forgotten village off the beaten track.

In spite of all the villagers’ aspirations for travel and horizons new and in spite of how trapped and cut off from the rest of the world they felt, their only knee-jerk response was simply to assume the girl must be mad.

However, gradually others came to join the young girl and stood there with their bags in the field by her side. 
First a beggar appeared disguised as a station master only to be joined by a thief impersonating a ticket collector hoping to make a bundle… The village's mayor, in fear of losing his standing amongst the community thought it best to perpetuate the notion as did the village Sheriff who feared for the villagers’ safety should their hopes and dreams suffer too severe a disappointment ~ So they proceeded to contact the government insisting a station be built with a train running through that very village. 
Thus it transpired and a train did finally arrive. 
And that was how the play ended.

Similarly when I set off to America, my life there together with wife and child began in a small quiet village town, and everyone would say: “What are you doing here? You will never achieve anything stuck in the middle of nowhere; you should go to New York where you can follow your dreams.” And my response would always be: “My train will arrive here, this is my station!” And three years later, there it came... the train!
Some of you were bemused by my posts concerning the Minister of Culture; some of you ridiculed them whilst others attempted to outline and modify my words. Someone even referred to them as Science Fiction while others believed them to be true, stating that if that were the case then there would be no need to contemplate emigration. Last but not least, some of you floundered into abject depression upon realising it was I and not the Minister of Culture who had thus remarked!

And yet all I did … was come to that very potato field with my bag … and say that the train will run by here!

~Surely the train will have to come … no matter how long we sit here waiting… 
So, will someone come sit by my side and wait with me? … Anyone?"

~~~For Hani el-Masri's enchanting watercolours; soft, subtle, vibrant and delicate ~ ~~
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