This letter has come from playwright Nahil Mohana who has been working with the Royal Court since 2013. She was invited to participate in our ongoing workshop with emerging Palestinian writers which first took place in the West Bank in November 2013.
Nahil was one of four playwrights from Gaza who were refused entry on two occasions to the West Bank by the Israeli authorities to take part in the workshop. Nahil continued to work on her promising new play and we invited her to take part in our International Writers Group in London in July 2014. At this time her visa was declined by the UK Border Agency.
We have been anxiously trying to contact her throughout the siege of Gaza and thankfully have just heard that she and her daughter are safe. She has given permission to publish the letter below which was translated into English by Muhammad Abu Shaban. We are determined to bring Nahil to the Royal Court in the near future.
Elyse Dodgson, International Director
Richard Twyman, International Associate
Dear Elyse and Richard,
First of all I would like to thank you deeply for the so much beautiful words and your rich feelings!
I have been and am still under strict feelings as well as still trying to understand things going on around!, it seems that the fate which disabled me from joining you in LONDON is the same which forced me living such a real play here with such a massive sound tracks raising up and getting wilder and wilder; meanwhile, I am so lucky to live such difficult days with my daughter and my family.
It`s been more than 29 days of war still going on slowly, full of slaughter and such difficult moments of fear and waiting for death.
Till this very moment; there are more than 1875 Palestinian people killed (martyred) and more than 9593 injured people the majority of them are children and women, more than 5300 attack , and more than 10,604 houses, in 1724 have been totally demolished and level with ground!
Gaza Strip is under attack from the Israeli Army, considered as the strongest and the wildest, it’s totally destructive, demolishing and full of massacres. Thousands of families have lost their members, their houses and most of their relatives. They have been forced to evacuate their houses and living areas without taking a thing with them, leaving to nowhere, because they have been threatened to leave their houses just because Israeli forces want to destroy them without any excuse or justification.
A city of such situation living now for more than a three weeks with totally no electricity, no water supplies and no aid! And this is the 3rd war since late December 2008, they are doing their best to disarm the resistance.
Dears, I’ve been doing all my best since the very beginning of this war to keep myself calm and logical in my reactions, at least for my precious daughter who is less than 3 years old, I am doing my best to keep her out of the difficult situations trying to convince her that the huge massive explosions outside are just fireworks, keeping her busy in watching TV or a cartoon on my laptop and so on, just doing the best to keep her away from fear!
At the time of ceasefire I used to leave my home going to the supermarket buying some sweets and candies for her, or some toys, because I know that we are going to spend such long times at home without leaving to anywhere.
Today, I succeeded to keep the two of us safe; I will keep watching my precious daughter’s dreams, covering her innocence with my feelings to keep her living in peace and natural life same as every other child in the whole world.
And as for myself I will spread the world with plays and poetry talking about peace and love and I will spread the flowers through everywhere in my inspiring beloved city Gaza – even in the time of war it is the most beautiful and the closest.
I would like to thank and appreciate all demonstrators in London against these massacres caused against humanity and against our children, this great nation that I do completely respect and love.
As well I wish to see you my friends in better situations and days.
All love and respect,
Nahil Mohana (Translated by Muhammad Abu Shaban)
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