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Marie et moi

No, this isn't us. For one thing, her husband was sitting right next to us.

And the mood was quite different.

After the Ramallah show, we were zooming down the road back to Jerusalem and we were talking about Le Rive Gauche and I Love Paris In The Spring and stuffs like that. Then, out of the blue [actually out of the twilight] she started talking about abuse.

Physical abuse, sexual attacks, oppression of women. Her face, for two days had been smiling and performing and beguiling, now was ... I guess 'stricken' is the best word.

We got there by talking about how much Fawath had 'adopted' us for the two hours and then how great it was that so many of the girls enjoyed the shows, and how important it was to be encouraging to kids --- because we are not their parents, guardians, brothers, sisters, relatives --- the people who in many cases are going to attack them. In so many areas, all around the world. Right here in Israel, too. Amazing.....

What we also talked about is why Marie and I are in theatre at all. And that's one big reason. Maybe the biggest. Although most of my work with kids is in dance theatre and [presumably] they are not nearly the at-risk groups that some are, being from rich American suburbia and all ---- encouragement *anywhere* is so important. In theatre might be the only place some of them can approach our table to get it.

What we can try to do is to set the best examples we can of positive adult involvement in their lives....to show each one how important they are, how valuable their contributions are, and how welcome. In that way we might be able to provide some strong memories for them which they can have when they need them. She and I agreed with each other about a million percent. Off the charts.

Marie and Tonio are going on to Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Ankara: all the fave tranquil and empowering spots for women and for the international peace process you can imagine in these parts. It's a wonder they aren't playing Teheran or Baghdad. In fact there is an International Street Theatre festival in Amman. Wonder if Americans are welcome.

By the time I hopped out of my diplomatically immune van, she had cheered up a bit and now only looked half-stricken. A sad smile. We exchanged Emails and they invited me to come visit them in Paris.

Godspeed.

And guess I ought to thank Kiota again. She's the only reason I'm here at all.

Otherwise I would have missed so much.

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kiota too late for the stars
silverplate88
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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