The show reflects on life in Yarmouk refugee camp, where, according to Hayatleh, “the scent of Galilean thyme mingled with Damascus jasmine” and Palestinians and Syrians lived side-by-side.
But, as he narrates with the help of video and brief theatrical sketches, the refugee condition has colored his entire life and, as a Palestinian, he was “forced to leave his home twelve years” before he was born and then to flee yet again after repression from the Syrian regime.
Now, Hayatleh shows, his family and friends face another Nakba — a catrastrophe — as Palestinians are caught up in the Syrian civil war. And while Hayatleh himself is “safe” elsewhere in the world, “I am not comfortable while my people are killed in the camp … the camp that I love — and hate.”
Iyad Hayatleh and Tessa Ransford’s collection of poetry Rug of a Thousand Colours was reviewed by The Electronic Intifada in 2013.