Taking the Peace

25 Sep, '04

Imagine a person in full Arab dress walking in front of a few hundred people in Scotland and declaring “I am an Arab” and pointing at his attire continues “and I am NOT armed!”

This is how “Taking the Peace” revue starts with Nader Shaheen commanding the stage and commanding an inordinate amount of laughs throughout the one hour monologue.

Fed up of Arab stereotypes which have always been present since Europeans came to this part of the world, and fed up of the increasing anti-Arab sentiments in the West, Nader and Jonty Crosse both decided to at least try to shatter some myths, especially that none of the Arab governments or civil organisations did anything to correct some misconceptions particularly towards the Gulf Arab people and cultures after the 9/11 attacks and The War on Terror, T.W.A.T. as he continues to refer to it, ascribing the acronym to its leader!

Both of these gentlemen decided to take matters into their own hands to correct the situation, and what better way than through poking fun at these idiosyncrasies in front of Western audiences?

It took both Nader and Jonty (who has been living here for over 30 years) about a year to write this stand-up/revue hybrid and then took it to the Edinburgh Tattoo. Both of these gentlemen are bankers, and a play like this is farthest from their minds, however they felt that it was their duty to do something about the situation, especially when you take into consideration how bad we Arabs are at communicating our feelings to the outside world. We have seen countless comments even here on mahmood.tv asking why “we do nothing” to demonstrate our opposition to heinous crimes done in our name.

So how did they elicit laughs? By pandering to the base instinct, how else? If you ever get your hands on the script, you will probably get over a thousand one-liners, almost all of which have something to do with gayety, various bodily functions, sex organs or acts, showing the similarities or differences between our culture and the West’s. The revue is certainly something you don’t want your children to attend, but is hilarious for more mature audiences. I wouldn’t dare repeat some of these one-liners here, but you’re more than welcome to buy the DVD (they were on sale last night at BD 6 a copy and well worth having I can tell you! They’re available from the Rugby Club, call them to reserve your copy on 1769 5809)

They brought the performance to Bahrain after they finished the Tattoo (they performed from August 6 – 28) for two nights only and the proceeds of both nights went to the Palm Association, a local charity organisation whose membership includes Nader’s wife Kirsti as the chairperson, where they successfully raised BD 2,800 for the charity!

Frances and I were invited to last night’s performance by Nader and for that we both thank him very much. We really enjoyed ourselves and for that hour we completely forgot the cold that we are both currently suffering from (I’m down with pneumonia at the moment as well, thanks to my stupidity for walking all around Amsterdam in the rain! But that’s another story).

I hope that we get to see many more of these plays, stand-ups, revues in the future. There is no medicine better than laughter which universally brings people together and through these laughs some might understand our culture a bit better and more importantly get to know that like them, the majority of Arabs are “two-children-and-a-mortgage” kind of people as well.

Thank you again Nader and Jonty for a wonderful night!

update Frances just pointed out that it wasn’t at the Edinburgh Tattoo that these fine gentlemen were at, but at the Fringe Festival! Sorry!

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Comments (4)

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  1. mahmood says:

    Re: Taking the Peace

    That’s probably true regarding the cold, but surely being drenched in the rain also contributed to my ills. Normally if I do get a cold then it almost never goes beyond 3 days! I’m lucky like that, but this one has been going on for more than a week, that’s why I decided to hit it on the head and go see a doctor, who decided that I actually have not only a cold by pneumonia as well!

  2. esraa says:

    Taking the Peace

    Sounds delightful — the show, not the cold. So sorry Mahmood; please take care.

    As for the DVDs, I would love one if I can arrange to have the Rugby Club mail it? Anybody a member and know about this?


  3. anonymous says:

    Taking the Peace

    My dear Mahmood,

    The cold you are suffering from is not caused by waling about in the rain or even being chilled. Colds are caused by a virus as you know there isn’t a cure for a virus… its something your body has to fight off.

    Before the white man the Innuit of northern Canada never suffered from common colds. It is interesting to note though that once the white man did introduce the common cold virus it nearly wiped out the Innuit who, because of not building immunity, got very sick.

    Being around a large crowd of people is how you contracted the cold you are suffering from now. This is why many school children suffer from common colds the first week or two of school.

  4. anonymous says:

    Re: Taking the Peace

    Ha ha, I was a bit bewildered about how this managed to be performed at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, though they do have the Omani pipers performing at the Tattoo so there is a Tattoo-Arabs connection there somewhere. Jolly good those Omani pipers are, too.

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