Echoes of Revolutions Past
There’s a review of a play put on by students at Ain Shams University by Mona Hashish of Suez Canal University in the latest issue of Middle Eastern Literatures.
Entitled “Echoes of the January 25th Revolution,” it describes an 8 Dec 2011 production of Rijal Lahum Ru’us (Men Have Heads). Written in the 1960s by Mahmud Diyab, the play describes the disillusionment of a couple with the 1952 revolution in ways that resonate strongly with many peoples disillusion over the 2011 revolution.
In his play, Diyab tackles a couples disillusionment with the reality of the 23 July 1952 revolution. The collective will crushes the individualistic demands of the people, and justice is not realized. Mubarak’s regime was as corrupt as that of Nasser [does she mean King Farouk's regime? That was the one overthrown]. The 2011 revolution has not helped people any more than the 1952 revolution did because both revolutions have been foreclosed by the armed forces who recognize only dictatorship. In both eras the army enjoys complete authority, hinders democracy, and transforms the country into a police state.
The play starred Iman Mansur and Majdi al-Mansub. It was directed by Umar Tawfiq.
(Interestingly, they did this play in 2005 at the National Underground Freedom Center in Cincinnati, just down the road from here.)
(You can read this play in English in Short Arabic Plays: An Anthology edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi (2003, Interlink Books)).