The Gaza Monologues


New play on gender-based violence

"All the stories we heard were of violence, of the land and of the occupation and how we oppress each other – like a pyramid with the few and powerful on top, and people on every level toward the bottom are kicking downwards."

With support from UNESCO Ramallah Office, through the activities of Palestinian Women’s Research and Documentation Centre, PWRDC, funded by the Government of Norway and in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Women's Affairs, the creative team of Askadinya has held interactive theatre workshops with women in marginalized communities throughout the West Bank. Based on the women’s stories a play was devised, which centers on the issue of gender-based violence.

“Gender-based violence is not only physical violence”, notes Mo’min Switat, a 2011 graduate of The Freedom Theatre School who has spent the last years studying at the London International School for Performing Art (LISPA) and now returns to The Freedom Theatre to work as creator on this production. “It has been on the rise in Palestinian society over the past years, which has raised alarm bells among several Palestinian organisations, including The Freedom Theatre."

The name Askadinya is a play on words; Askadinya, the loquat fruit, and azka dinya, the tastiest life. The creative team explains where the name comes from: “Throughout our improvisational work on stories, the Askadinya tree accompanied us. It became an important element in the plot of the play that we developed. The name of the play is taken from a true story told by a woman who came to represent both the women that we met in this project and the symbolism of the tree in our culture. It is also a question; what is the most tasty life? To be together, men and women, as equals, or not?”

Askadinya will open at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp on the 5th of November.


November 5th, at 16:00, The Freedom Theatre - Live streamed (

November 6th, at 12:00, The Freedom Theatre - Special performance for women November 6th, at 16:30, The Freedom Theatre November 7th, at 16:00, The Freedom Theatre - Special performance for Sebastia community November 8th, at 16:30, Cinema Jenin, Jenin city

November 9th, at 11:00, Cinema Jenin - Special performance for Qalqiliya community November 9th, at 16:00, Cinema Jenin - Special performance for Tulkarem community

November 28th, at 12:00, Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem November 28th, at 18:00, Dar al-Kalima College, Bethlehem

December 9, at the Cultural Palace, Ramallah

More performance dates will be added, please check for updates.

Read more about the play. ( Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for interviews and images.

Come back to the same tree, carrying the green diary. Sit with the beautiful silence, open the green diary. Then the words will transform to pictures from the pages of the diary. Scattered photos, she is trying to arrange them in a correct, chronological order.

The night she went with her husband to the cinema ended with a fight.

The playing in the yard, the car racer of the cars made from sardine boxes, the pictures of her children or what remains of her children, the school uniform, the flyers that she distributed during the first Intifada, the wheat fields and the harvest season, the question her neighbour asked: “Did you really get engaged?” and all the things that remain in her vivid memory. "I looked at my life and asked, how did it pass?”

She had almost finished arranging these pictures, then she realised that still, under this tree, there was a small dream that she could play with.

For more information on UNESCO Ramallah office and PWRDC, please see and ( .