“Les deux réfugiés”

We all know what happened today. Personally I felt very affected, though to the best of my knowledge not one cell in my body is American, because I care about my American friends and also because this will likely impact pretty much everybody in the world.

I felt empty. Sad of a sadness seldom experienced before. Mildly angry, too, but at no-one in particular; and my anger usually tends to sadness anyway. I had no desire to feel this way: I believe in the yin and the yang, am fundamentally optimistic and make it a firm, constant choice to go for whatever good there is in things, so all I rationally wanted was to stick to hope and to the idea that each of us can produce positive change NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

Unfortunately that proposition of mine wasn’t going very well (except during my much-needed afternoon nap, since I barely slept last night and still went to class this morning)… until I watched this exquisite French theatre play at the Institut Français here in Amman – “The two refugees”.

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The Malas brothers propose a theatre play at the same time funny and touching on two refugees in France. Their one and only link is the French language, which they strive to learn since their arrival. Despite all that seems to oppose them, homesickness, their refugee status and the numerous difficulties they have to face will bring them closer. A theatre play the universal character of which refers us to a particularly strong reality in this region of the world. 

As I described it to a friend:

So. Two young men. They are both refugees but from different countries, you’ll never find out which ones exactly, and French isn’t their mother tongue but it’s the only language they can communicate in. They live in Paris. You see them in their house – they share it. They are very different from each other: one (you don’t know their names nor ever will, either) is quiet, cultured, and finds pride in respecting French grammar and using elaborate sentences to fit in his new society; the other is lively, emotional, loves dancing and telling stories, and he’s in love. Both have mixed feelings for France and the French people and mock them, envy them, criticize them, want to be them. They play around, have suicidal thoughts and express their wishes for the future, they dress up and imagine parallel lives, they sing to Jacques Brel songs, fight, drink tea… Life in a nutshell, really well done

I really, really loved it. These (Syrian, btw) guys are GREAT actors and… I don’t know. It’s like this story brought me back to life on a day when everything felt numb and surreal. Hooray for the right medicine at the right time and place – the future needs us to be strong.

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