Sara Shaarawi’s ‘Day One’: Egyptian Theatre, Debuting in Glasgow

Arabic Literature (in English)

Raphael Cormack was at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre on May 21 for a performance of “Day One” by Sara Shaarawi and Maryam Hamidi, directed by Nicola McCartney, a show that he says is like an Egyptian “Everyday Sexism“:

059_303__dayonesmall_1394721389_standard“A woman wearing a niqab, whose face cannot be seen, is the equivalent of a car moving through the streets without a number plate,” Mourid Barghouti writes in I Was Born Here, I Was Born There (trans. Humphrey Davies).Although I don’t think Barghouti meant it as such, this is an unorthodox way to look at the niqab, neither based on religion nor on “protection,” but on subversion and an anti-societal kind of liberation. It is this aspect of the niqab that Sara Shaarawi’s Day One exploits to great effect.

Shaarawi’s work presents, on one side of the stage, a volunteer with OpAntiSH and HarrassMap being interviewed by an unseen and unheard British…

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