Devenir un acteur à Hebron, par Raed Shyoukhi

26 août 2013

This video also has been recorded in English. Here is the transcription.

Merhaba, my name is Raed Shyoukhi and I’m a theater actor since 15 years, and the main story that affected my life was the story of how I joined the theater. In 1988, I was seriously injured in the chest, it was the first Intifada, it was the last year for me in the school and things were going worse and worse in Palestine and Hebron especially. People were so depressed, they don’t know what to do, no jobs, they can’t go from city to city easily, can’t find food. Year after year, my situation as a young man was getting worse. I couldn’t finish school because of the Intifada, having been injured, and I decided to get rid of my life. I was depressed, frustrated. But I wanted to finish it in a good way, by not losing my life only but also by making the other side lose lives.

I had good reasons to be depressed. One day the soldiers burnt my father’s office. He is an advocator, and they took my eldest brother to the desert prison, Ketsiahot in Hebreu, and they took my two uncles to prison and also my cousin. They claimed that he wanted to kidnap a soldier’s weapon. The most painful was my grand-father, he was handicapped and tied his hands and they hit him with a stick until the stick was broken. He was screaming terribly and the neighbors heard the screams, they damaged the house, broke everything, the cupboards, and mixed everything together, salt with oil, with sugar, with flour with maze together, they used to do that a lot in the first Intifada. All that and more made me day after day take that decision to finish my life, because like many others in my age, I didn’t have any hope left, and I always say a man without hope is a dangerous man, and it is the truth.

So I started to think how can I do it. I can’t do it alone. It was also after the Abraham mosk massacre in 1994 in Hebron and I lost two of my best friends. So I discovered that the best way is to join Hamas. I started to pray five times in the mosk, especially at the morning prayer, for people how are really committed to religion and to Hamas. So I started to make contact to them, to talk to them, to convince them that I am good and I can do something, please, help me do it. But noone gave a shit. Noone cared about what I wanted. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t do it alone.
At last, in 1997, by chance a friend of mine, a neighbor working in the Ministry of Culture in Hebron told me : Raed, would you like to be an actor ? I said : yes !! At the time I was a house painter, I had my clothes full of paint, with all kinds of colors, like a rainbow. I said yes ! And he said : next thursday at the sporting club. I said ok.
That thursday I was arranging a party because I got a second kid. In the middle of the party I wispered to my wife : listen, in a certain moment I will disappear, you will not see me. If someone asks for me, you can say he died, you can say somebody called him, he went to buy something, say whatever you want but I’m going to this appointment. And that was the beginning, in theater from the first day, when I joined that group of people who wanted to be actors that I discovered that I was completely wrong, that I can have stronger weapons to fight the occupation. I discovered that day after day what is theater. Theater is not easy, be careful.