Date(s) - 07/23/2022
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Returning to Haifa
adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi.
The play shows a Palestinian couple returning to Haifa in 1967 in search of the house and son they were forced to abandon 20 years previously during mass evictions by Israeli forces. They constantly debate whether they are right to make the journey. When they arrive, they find their old home occupied by the widowed Miriam who fled from Poland after her father was sent to Auschwitz and who adopted the couple’s son and brought him up as a naturalised Israeli.
This could easily be a propaganda piece. Instead, it offers a moving confrontation between two sets of displaced people and an utterly unsentimental exploration of the complexities of home, history and parenthood. Said, the aggrieved Palestinian father, is a truculent figure whose aggression is matched, possibly to excess, by that of the son he lost. Surveying the Haifa house he once owned, Said also says, more in prophetic sorrow than in anger, that it will take a war to settle ancient wrongs.