Meramieh rekindles Palestinian memories at BZU

“An old man and an old woman, refugees, expelled or displaced. It does not matter.
What matters is that they are two Palestinians waiting to return to the homes which they were expelled from in 1948.

Here they are, dreaming of that day, thinking about their right to return to their homes. Sometimes they wait, other times they lose hope, but they keep on waiting.
The nostalgia boils in their hearts just like the meramieh [sage] boils on fire.

The scent of meramieh carries them to the homeland, where they lived. They recall personal stories which are still rooted in their memory.”

It is with such masterful, visceral scenes and moments that the “Meramieh” play whisked Birzeit University students away on a journey through memories to the days of the 1948 Nakba.

“Meramieh,” directed by Palestinian director and playwright Mirna Sakhleh, was performed in Kamal Nasir Hall at Birzeit University on February 14, 2018. The play took its inspirations from Faiha Abdulhadi’s “Living Memories — Testimonies of Palestinians’ Displacement in 1948.”

Specifically, the play chronicles six testimonies: Hamdi Matar, “Abu Sameer”; Ameen Mohammad Abdel Moti, “Abu Arab”; Rashida Hussein Fadilat; Firyal Hanna Jom’a Abu Awad; Labiba Rasheed Abdel Rahman Issa; and Mohammad Hussein Al-Qadi, “Abu Nasser.”

The play, under Sakhleh’s direction, probed all five senses with members of the audience. They listened to the buzzing of fighter planes and the sound of bullets whirring overhead; saw scenes of barbed wire, uprooted olive trees, and an old cresset; and smelled the gentle smell of boiling sage throughout the performance.