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Olive Jar Cast Interviews: Majida & Hafiza

As weekend rehearsals kicked off before tech week, we caught up with Majida and Hafiza to discuss their roles, experience and thoughts on Olive Jar. Both Hafiza and Majida touch upon different generational experiences and impacts of family life of Palestinian refugees, that on cultural identity and the keeping of names, and the challenges of refugees trying to secure nationality for their children.

Who would you like to see this show?

Majida: Firstly, I would like my family, my friends and anyone (everyone) to see it, because it’s very special event that’s happen to me in my life. A real story, when I delivered my son in the airplane.

Most enjoyable experience?

Majida: I have got lots of experience. First of all, I’ve become more confident, this was first time I’ve been on a stage and the first time when this happen (performed Olive Jar) I was very shy. To be honest, when I’ve seen all the people, the audience, I was very shocked, and I felt that I was brave (to perform).

Is it any different doing it the second time?

Majida: It’s the story, because I’m Palestinian, and what is happening now in the moment with Gaza, my story little bit links with what happened, so I feel more emotional. Sometimes I feel like my story is a little bit… not silly, but it is nothing for what is happening at the moment (genocide in Palestine). But it is still special to me my story.

Is there more weight to perform it now?

Majida: I would like more people to come. When they said we were going to do it for the second time, we were very, very excited, because this means that we succeeded, and that people like it. Still, I’m happy and hopefully it be more successful the second time.

How did you feel to bring part of your own character to the stage?

Hafiza: This is a very exciting experience for me, it was my first time on stage telling me story to an audience and the experience itself is very rich. To bring a character… it’s me, this story is real life, and they live in me. So, to say aloud to the people and feel like my story got shared, something (performing) really makes me feel accepted.

Favourite Moment in the Show?

Hafiza: I never felt that I can be on stage without being shy. Being on stage and being myself there, without acting my story, that was something I connected with me. It really reflects that I can do that without knowing that I’ve got this, as they say ‘talent’. I discover a talent without knowing that I have it, and that’s really enriched my experience (within this and other projects).

Why should people watch Olive Jar?

Hafiza: It is good to be there (at the show) to listen to stories from the Middle East and for people who misunderstood why they make their journey, some people been judged for asking and seeking a better life, a financial (secure) life.

From hearing these stories, you can share the pain and (find) why people leave their land and come to a safter place, so it gives more understanding, especially for refugees from the Middle East where the war zones force them to leave their country.

What does Olive Jar mean to you?

Hafiza: Olive Jar, as explained once from Elias Matar, the Director, he said its stories, like olives, but in one jar, that we open, and we share these stories. So, it’s like stories being capsulized into this Jar and we open it (this jar Jar) to share it with the audience. I think this title of the storytelling is very powerful. Olive Jar is something very previous in the Middle East, it is popular of olive, it (each) has its own zest.

Interviews conducted by Anayis N. Der Hakopian and Tasalla Tabasom

To hear more about Majida and Hafiza story make sure to grab you tickets to Olive Jar for performances taking place on Thursday 25th to Saturday 27th at the Grand Junction.