Medraga, a play that tells the story of loss, suffering, anger and hope

(Photo: Majo Tielve/Jordan News)
AMMAN — It seemed like just another day, as I headed out to The Royal Cultural Center to watch Omar Dmoor’s latest play, “Medraga”. For those unfamiliar with this place, it is where great talents who have put their hearts on stage come to perform. I can only hope my words do justice for what my eyes experienced on the night of October 27.اضافة اعلان

Twenty-four-year-old Omar Dmoor strives to create a strong space for art, especially for the theatre. A graduate of the University of Jordan, with a degree in theater and arts, Dmoor grew up in an artistic family, where he learned the love of art from his actress mother and director father.

(Photo: Majo Tielve/Jordan News)

The name “Medraga” is derived from the name for the traditional, embroidered female abaya worn in Karak. The story is set during the revolt or “Al Hayye” of the people of Karak against Ottoman authorities in 1910, when the people rose up against Ottoman conscription, taxation and disarmament measures. The revolt was brutally suppressed by Sami Pasha, governor of Damascus at the time. His brutal repression greatly angered the Karakis and contributed to their support of the Great Arab Revolt in 1916.

The story continues on from there to show how the men of Karak were taken to fight for their people. Some lost their lives, their loved ones, they were fighting against the British invasion, they were fighting against the occupation, some just went off to fight and never came home.

From acting to directing, theater it is where Dmoor belongs, where he feels free. His life is based on art, and theatre is where he finds what is inside his heart: "Theatre is life, and the people who are with you in the same room sharing the energy we make and receive is unique,'' Dmoor said.

(Photo: Majo Tielve/Jordan News)

For the young director, the most challenging part when doing a new play is finding the right team. He said that theatre is more like a family, people are together daily for months, so they become family. “I usually start by including people very close (to me) in the project, and then I like to find new talents, make way for new people,” Dmoor said.

There was a specific moment when art changed his life forever. Dmoor remembers it well, that moment he saw his parents performing on stage, it was especially about the spark he saw in their eyes. "I wanted to feel that too, and I only found that spark in the theatre when I was directing the play Turoq,” he said. The play was his graduation project.

“Theatre in Jordan is not so common or as well supported, for you to make a living as an artist, you have to work on yourself,” Dmoor said.

The cast of “Medraga” tells a story that may have been forgotten by the passage of time, but it can still make us feel deeply. The play is based on the novel "Wadi Al Sefsafeh", written by Ahmad Altarawneh.

(Photo: Majo Tielve/Jordan News)

Palestinian actress Rania Fahed was unforgettably amazing in the role of Zaina, the mother. She embodied the suffering felt from losing loved ones, showing us the tragedy that only comes with war, and all the emotions that make us who we are today.

The play is a love story between Faris, played by actor Mohamad Al Jizawi, and his wife, Henna, played by actress Doaa Edwan. During their wedding night, the Ottomans take Faris away, and all the sadness and anger comes to the fore. The power of this story comes from the woman who rejects war and fights for what matters in life. The power of “Medraga” flooded over the audience, there were tears, bodies breaking, souls suffering loss. We felt it in our bones sitting in those red theatre chairs.

From the costumes, created by Reema Shatat, to Sara Yaghmourian’s choreography, that sent those sumptuous fabrics dancing in the air, the play was a beautiful, artful celebration of the traditions of Jordan. Seven amazing women, and five amazing men stamped their energy on the boards of this stage, among them Lour Madanat, Batool Jobrael, Adam Barghouthi, and Mahmoud Abu Rozz. The play celebrated the fight, the hope, and the freedom

(Photo: Majo Tielve/Jordan News)

Medraga was not only an enriching experience but also a way to tell us the history of the Kingdom of Jordan. It teaches us about humanity, and how despite all these years of occupation, occupation remains. But there is something bigger than all that, there is still hope and there always will be.

We learn to connect with the past and the emotions it bring out in us, in the process we learn to be human, as vulnerable and as alive as the tears we saw that night, the night “Medraga” not only taught us history but also made history come to life.

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