The Rape

By Sa’dallah Wannous. Translated by Robert Myers and Nada Saab. World premiere, produced by Robert Myers, AUB and LAU at LAU’s Irwin Theatre, Beirut, March 19, 2015.


 [Excerpt]

(AL-FARI’A enters holding the baby against her chest.  With her other hand, she carries a bag containing fresh baked bread and the baby’s necessities)

DALAL

May the name of the Prophet protect you.

AL-FARI’A

Place him on the bed.  He became bored with my lessons and went to sleep.

DALAL

You’re so late.

AL-FARI’A

I have soft bread for you.

DALAL

Who has an appetite?

Al-FARI’A

You’ll find an appetite, and you’ll eat.  (She puts a platter down and arranges the loaves of bread on it)  Look how pale your cheeks are.  If you don’t develop an appetite, my brother will have nothing to embrace when he’s released.

DALAL

Do you have news of him?

AL-FARI’A

I went and asked… as I do every day.  They’re still in the interrogation division.  If they’d been moved to prison, we’d have known immediately.  (She puts za’tar and oil on the platterShe shouts as if she were in a demonstration) Here’s the thyme and here’s the oil.  Za’tar, zet, za’tar, zet, God damn the Shin Bet.  Come, join me.  We’ll start an indoor demonstration.  (She raises her fist as if walking in a demonstration) Za’tar, zet, za’tar, zet, God damn the Shin Bet.

DALAL

What is this Shin bet?

AL-FARI’A

You’ve never heard to the Shin bet?

DALAL

I don’t think so.

AL-FARI’A

They’re the agency responsible for security in the occupied territory, the agency that detains, tortures, exiles, and counts the breaths we take.

DALAL

God help us.

Al-FARI’A

Repeat after me then: “Za’tar, zet, za’tar, zet, God damn the Shin Bet.”