Syrian playwright commemorated by Tagammu party in Cairo

Ahmed Shawky, Tuesday 17 May 2011

During a commemoration ceremony for the late Syrian playwright Saad Allah Wanous, organised by the creative workshop of the Tagammu party in El Zeitoun, Egyptian critics voiced their opinions of his work

The critic Mohamed Abdel Motelleb said that the "Arab Spring" that we are witnessing had long been predicted by the late Syrian playwright Saad Allah Wanous, and maintains that if Wanous was still alive he would say: “I am the god of all of these uprisings," adding that Wanous never feared dictatorship or the police state he lived in all his life.

Abdel Moteleb also pointed out the effort that Wanous made in preserving the Arabic heritage, and attributed the discovery of Ibn Khaldoun’s hypocrisy to Wanous. He said that Ibn Khaldoun had worked with the Mongolian leader Taymour Lenk at the end of his life and helped the invasion of Damascus.

The poet and critic Mohamed Naseem, sees that Wanous’ revolutionary ideas were not direct, yet described his plays as distinctly rebellious.

Theatre critic Abla El Roweiny describes his work as a mixture between hope, defeat, and pessimism.

“Many describe Wanous’ work as such because of the defeated characters he portrays in his work; however this is a very shallow view,” she continued, “because desperate characters are those that mostly aspire to an optimistic future.”

“Some critics believe that he had turned from strict Marxism to individualism, but that was not the case,” El Roweiny argues. “In his earlier writings he was concerned with the relations between the oppressor and the oppressed and the need to change the authorities, but then he started calling for social change, which constitutes a person changing from the inside.”

The workshop also released a statement condemning the atrocities that are inflicted upon the Syrian protestors and declaring their solidarity with them.


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