‘How can anyone speak of peace when they deny the rights of others?’
In the play Souls, this is the question asked of Sarah, a Jewish Canadian women grappling with ideas of justice after she and her husband move to an Israeli settlement, displacing a Palestinian family from their home. Through the couple’s differing reactions to the move, the play explores the complex emotions and opinions that swirl around the ongoing conflict in Palestine and Israel.
About 50 people recently gathered at the MCC Alberta office to listen to a reading of Souls. People snacked on hummus and falafel while readers from Calgary area Mennonite churches brought the play to life. The playwright, Aksam Alyousef, was present to share about his inspiration behind the play and answer questions during the talkback. An experienced writer, Aksam moved from Syria to Canada a couple years ago with his Palestinian wife. He hopes the play will help share the story of Palestinians suffering under occupation.
At the end of the evening, everyone was invited to listen, learn, advocate, and engage in MCC’s A Cry for Home initative. A Cry for Home comes from the idea that we can all relate to – that everyone needs a safe and secure home. As we learned through Souls, that is not the reality for many Palestinians — or even for some Israelis.
MCC has worked in Palestine since 1949, and currently supports the efforts of both Palestinians and Israelis committed to nonviolence and to a future of peace, justice and reconciliation for both peoples. In response to our partners’ call for our advocacy and solidarity, A Cry for Home seeks to raise public awareness about current realities in Palestine and Israel and to promote the conversation with the Canadian government.
MCC invites you to listen, learn, advocate, and engage. You can visit the A Cry for Home website to learn more, view videos, download factsheets, and sign up for email updates. An MCC staff person would be happy to walk alongside your community group, church, or school in learning more about Palestine and Israel through group study materials, inviting a speaker, or hosting a facilitation of the interactive Palestine Land Exercise. Please contact the MCC Alberta office for more information on these resources - we hope this is the beginning of a continued conversation!