- Thank you. Mahmoud Al-Turk, son of Palestine.
The message I send is just a few words - really to describe all I feel would take pages and pages – but these are just a few words because the world might not know about our lives, Palestinian people, and the lives of Gaza’s innocent children whose rights are few and even those few rights are being violated. They lost their childhood when they were born. They were born for death, not life. They are not like other children in the world. They are deprived of freedom and security. We do not ask to be like the other children of the world. We ask only to live in peace and safety and a little bit of freedom and to be away from oppression.
- Thank you. Mahmoud Al-Turk, son of Palestine.
رسالتي التي كتبتها قليلاً من كلاماً لا يكفيه صفحاتً وصفحات .. فقد لأعرف العالم عن حياتنا التي يعيشها الشعب الفلسطيني .... وحياة اطفال غزة الابرياء الذين ينتهكون من حقوقهم القلية .. وخاسرين طفولتهم منذ ولادتهم ... خلقوا من اجل الموت لا من اجل الحياة ،، محرومين القليل من الحرية والامان مثل اطفال العالم نحن لا نطلب ان نكون مثل اطفال العالم ،،،نحن نطالب ان نعيش بأمان وسلام والقليل من الحرية والابتعاد عن الاطهاد...... وشكراً ابن فلسطين ( محمود الترك)
When I heard the stories of Gaza, it made me realize that people living in Gaza are a lot stronger than us. Even if they lose everything, homes and family, they keep holding on to whatever is left….we give up on life so easily instead of trying again like them. Remembering people of Gaza reminds me of how valuable life is.
This is my house and this is my couch which was in the living room. But now, I found it in the street. I don’t know how it got out there. But that doesn't bear thinking about because it is hard for the human brain to imagine. My house used to be the most beautiful house in my eyes because all my dreams and my beautiful life were in it. But now my dreams and my life, which used to be beautiful, have turned into ashes. They all fell apart like my house did.
هاد بيتي وهادي الكنبة كانت في الصالوون بس لقيتها بالشارع... وانا ل حتى الان ما بعرف كيف طلعت بس بردو مش محتاجة تفكيير لانو هاد الاشي صعب على الانسان يتخيلو ...
كان بيتي احلا بيت في عيني لانو كل احلامي وحياتي الحلوة كانت في بس هلقت احلامي وحياتي الحلوة قصدي يلي كانت حلوة صارت رمااد انهدمت متل ما انهدم باقي بيتي .....
Some people do not know that Palestine exists and I’d like to clear that up. Palestine is as real as it gets. We are human, we breathe and eat and sleep, we love, and we fight for what we care for. I fight by my education and knowledge, which I reflect theatrically. We are human, we are not "Muslim extremists." We share a community where you WILL find a Muslim, Christian, and a Jewish Palestinian living and loving each other, eating together and laughing together.
Being a Palestinian you have to think different, you have to live different, you have to really know politics, you have to understand what’s happening…I’m not saying we are more mature, no, we could be more chaotic and not mature at all but we look at things in a different way because we have this cause, this cause...Whenever I am around foreigners, I want to tell them, this is my story, this is my country, this is what is happening. I feel responsible. I have a message that I have to spread and tell somebody about...because I know there is no hope with international media.
We know politics since we are born. …it's our everyday life… that’s why we talk about Palestine being occupied all day all night…And actually, yes there is hope, there is always hope. The youth our students Ashtar Theater students …when they go through theater and start training with us and how much change and growth they go through that’s hope for me, the plays that we do, the performances that we do and how many lives it has affected and the message that these performances convey and how many hearts it has touched, that’s hope for me. Of course there’s hope there is always hope, as long as I live, there is hope.
With acting - for the first time I discovered who I am, by playing different characters, I discovered who I truly am.
…The Gaza Mono-Logues is intense. I felt the intensity when we performed it at the UN in 2010, from the response. Actors from all over the world were crying their eyes out. And I wondered, we’ve been living all of this all along - maybe we’ve become numb to it?
Well, Palestinian youth are not different from other countries in their talents and abilities, but what differs them is their cause - which they exploit in Theatre let's say, so this cause has unfolded all that is featureless within myself, it made me become more responsible to DO something! other than that, it made me believe that everything is possible! you just have to find the way!
Every generation has had a war to talk about. Our parents had the first Intifada to talk about, our generation, my generation has the 2nd Intifada, now my brothers and sisters who are younger than me have first Gaza war and now the new generation have the second and third Gaza wars. So it’s like every generation somehow has to encounter wars to somehow be politically aware of it but also there is dilemma between living your childhood, living your age and talking about …the situation, and being a spokesperson, and taking about it and helping it and so there’s a big conflict even inside of us.
Art is ..a good platform for these young people because through art they could really become change makers … because if they see something happening that they don't agree with they will speak out. And even at home they have strength to stand up and ask for the rights as boys and girls as young people. So this is a process, a complete process and it is like Handala [the iconic character of Palestinian resistance, a refugee child] because Handala is asking for his rights, Handals is striving for change all the time, Handals is turning his back but is looking at the scene, he’s looking at Palestine, he’s seeing, he knows what’s going on, he follows what's going on but he’s turning his back to the world because the world has turned its back to him.
I believe at this moment what Gaza needs - especially when the attack stops on Gaza - everybody needs healing children grown ups men women because the atrocities of war not only leave destruction on ground buildings schools hospitals but the main destruction is going to be on souls of the people on their psychology on their balance … so what is needed is for internationals and locals to go to Gaza, to work with the people, to volunteer, to open up centers, to try and help children and adults..because everyone has lost a loved one, everyone had lost a house or a neighbor a relative.. And I want healing through art and theater - that’s the only way the only productive way…, it's healing by doing art, by raising voices, writing poetry, stories, monologues, whatever doing films - all of Gaza needs this healing…