Personal response by Sarah Abu-Sharar, developed in workshop/rehearsals in January and February 2013. Incorporated into Ouster Remixed performance in Toronto, March 1, 2013 at A Space Gallery.
“Bomb, bomb Libya,” the British children chanted in their school yards while I waited. I was six, lying in my bed, a pillow over my ears, waiting to die. My Brother and I were sleeping in my parents’ room in case we were bombed. It was two in the morning.
I hear the window next to me bursting open. I am the first to wake up. I roll over, place the pillow over my ears, focus on my mother’s breathing and wait to die. My brother wakes up screaming and crying. “We’re being bombed!” My mother points at the lights and the explosions. “No, we’re not being bombed; it’s just fireworks.” We go to the basement. It’s full of people. We sit on the floor. The girl across from me has snakes for legs. “Mama zasto su njene noge takve?”
People are crying, wailing. I whisper to my brother, “Am I being rude? Should I be crying too?”
Twenty years later I met a British man who remembered chanting with other school children in 1986 “Bomb, bomb, Libya!”
My Father could not go back to Palestine as a Palestinian. He could if he adopted another nationality, so we moved to Canada. I was seventeen when I went to Palestine for the first time. I clenched my Canadian passport, watching Palestinians taken out by soldiers and interrogated. Westerners passed through without a care.
My brother and I shared a room again fifteen years later in Dora, Hebron while visiting our uncle. Gunshots echoed on the other side of the mountains. My brother stood looking out of the window. I put the pillow over my head and tried to sleep. Our baby cousin Mohammed had been kept awake all night. He tumbled out of his bed, toddled over to the window, pointed his finger in the direction of gunshots and angrily and yelled “da da da da da.” Then he crawled back to bed. What would become of brave Mohammed who was woken up by gunshots?
I joined the festival of tears.