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Al Manara International Theatre Days
1–14 April 2009

It would have been possible to address the name, goals, and reasons of launching Al-Manara International Theatre Days during the First Festival, but we did not. That was not, however, negligence nor an attempt to reverse the traditions of such occasions.

It was the eternal restlessness and uncertainty of creativity. It is the restlessness and perplexity of what has and has not been accomplished both in each work of art by itself, and in the overall artistic framework, named the Festival.

It is the restlessness, perplexity, and fear of becoming creatures of a language that takes us from the comprehensible domain to unexamined rhetoric. The Festival, as such, becomes a series of shows, and hence, we are biased in favour of naming it Al-Manara International Days. In days lies the currency of time – in it and around it – hence, theatre enters into the fragmented day, to schools, to work, to home, and to the market; so come and let us add to this theatre. Will the days be a rehearsal of a festival or the festival itself?

Al-Manara is the light house square in Ramallah, which is becoming one of the most famous Palestinian squares. The minaret guides the ships coming from afar to the coastal cities, into our ancient life, and our Palestinian villages and towns; that high tower in which a lamp shines to gather people at night.

Under this tower of light, you will receive this year, 2009, theatre groups and figures from Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, England, Belgium, Morocco, Tunis, and Palestine. We will share with them our days and our concerns, in a manner close to joy, through plays, workshops, seminars, debates, and soirées. In the meantime, we will wipe off the dust that defaces the human face and body, be more natural and unbiased, once and for all, for our humanity that renounces all forms of hatred, injustice, and oppression, and discloses love, diversity, and difference; hence the Festival.

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