What Do the Women Say? 2024
Our annual celebration of International Women’s Day, What Do the Women Say? 2024: Expressions of Joy honors the resilience and richness of Palestinian traditions and culture through the works of Palestinian women artists. It features Palestinian melodies sung by the Aswat ensemble in homage to the legacy of Nabila Mango; an excerpt play reading from Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali? by Raeda Taha; a traditional Palestinian dabke dance performance by Al-Juthoor; and selections from the work-in-progress musical Mornings in Jenin, written and composed by Amal Bisharat, based on the novel by Palestinian author Susan Abulhawa, followed by a facilitated conversation with audience and artists led by Golden Thread Executive Artistic Director Sahar Assaf. Pre-show activities include traditional Palestinian food for purchase, and a tatreez (traditional Palestinian embroidery) exhibit from “Threads for Belonging”, curated by Souad Amine, a Palestinian artist based in Lebanon.
March 8, 2024
Returning to Haifa
West Coast Premiere
In the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War, with the borders finally open after two decades, Said and Safiyya, a Palestinian couple, return to Haifa in search of the echoes of a home they were forced to abandon during the Nakba in 1948. But are they truly ready for the encounter that awaits them upon their return? Returning to Haifa presents a deeply human portrait of two families, one Palestinian, and one Jewish, forced by history into an intimacy they didn’t choose.
Ghassan Kanafani was one of the most prominent Arab novelists and modernist playwrights whose pen made him a target for the Israeli Mossad, who assassinated him at the age of thirty-six years old. His novella “Returning to Haifa,” one of the most important works in contemporary Palestinian literature, was first published in 1969 and was translated into various languages, including Japanese, English, Russian, and Persian.
Returning to Haifa by Ghassan Kanafani Adapted for the stage by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi Directed by Samer Al-Saber
April 12 - May 4, 2024
11 Reflections: September
West Coast Premiere
11 Reflections: San Francisco is part of a new national series of performance works, Eleven Reflections on the Nation, devised by Andrea Assaf. The project draws on her seminal work, Eleven Reflections on September, an episodic, multimedia performance on Arab American identity, Wars on/of Terror, and “the constant, quiet rain of death / amidst beauty” in a post-9/11 world. In each participating city, the project engages local artists and community members who have been affected by post-9/11 policies to contribute their stories, illuminating our collective experiences since 2001—from the fall of the Twin Towers, to the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Muslim Ban, and now to the funding of genocide in Palestine.
Created and directed by Andrea Assaf Featuring acclaimed Syrian opera singer Lubana Al Quntar and Turkish composer and violinist Eylem Basaldi
October 4 - 5, 2024