A Review of the Play Sunlight at Midnight

Natasha Tsangarides in Electronic Intifada:


Despite the promise of the international community, the camp [Shatila] was later desecrated. Using oral histories, Naji and the audience are taken into the world of Shatila refugee camp, where it is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,500 people were murdered in 1982. Here, we learn of the testimonies of a population displaced not once, but several times, who endure hardship within a hostile environment.

The play [Sunlight at Midnight] is thought-provoking, bringing into question many themes such as identity formation, exile and the power of memory, while simultaneously highlighting the failures of the international community and the need to commemorate this tragedy.

As we are introduced to different characters throughout the play, we gain an insight into selective memory and historical narrative. The process of exile has affected each person differently, with the sense of belonging to a Palestinian heritage stronger within the camp. History adopts two meanings in the two worlds we enter: one is associated with power, knowledge and purity, and the other with something threatening or irrelevant.