(Posted January 19, 2015)

Actor Fadl Mustapha, left, and playwright Idan Meir bring "Bassam" to Juniata College at 7:30 p.m.. Friday, Jan. 30
Actor Fadl Mustapha, left, and playwright Idan Meir bring "Bassam" to Juniata College at 7:30 p.m.. Friday, Jan. 30

--News Release--

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- "Bassam," a one-man play inspired by the experiences of Palestinian activist Bassam Aramin, will be performed at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 30, at Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The event, which is sponsored by the college's Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, is free and open to the public. The following day, the playwright for "Bassam," Idan Meir, and lead actor Fadl Mustapha, will lead a group discussion and workshop focused on conflict transformation between Israelis and Palestinians from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31, in Sill Boardroom in the von Liebig Center for Science. The workshop is open to the public as well.

"Both Idan and Fadl are experienced dialogue facilitators and have first-hand experience of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians," explains Polly Walker, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Juniata, who also will take part in the workshop. "This is an opportunity for interpersonal engagement on issues that students may have only encountered through the media or written texts."

"Bassam" was produced originally in Israel by the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv and has since toured throughout Europe and college campuses in the United States. The play is based on Aramin's story of activism sparked by the death of his 10-year-old daughter, Abir, who was killed by an Israeli soldier. The core message of the play is: "What motivates people to say not to violence and choose the road to peace?"

The play was written in 2008 by Meir, who served five years as an Israeli soldier and witnessed members of his unite being killed during uprisings in southern Lebanon in the late 1990s. In 2006 he refused to serve in the army in the Second Lebanon War and subsequently joined Combatants for Peace in 2007.

Actor Fadl Mustapha was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in East Beirut. During the Lebanese civil war, Mustapha's family relocated to the United Arab Emirates in order to escape the violence of their native country. In 1991, Mustapha returned to Lebanon to study politics at the American University of Beirut. During his studies he became more involved in studying the physical and psychological damage caused by the war.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.