4 out of 4 stars
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Divided World: Plays of Occupation and Dispossession by Kenneth Pickering is a compilation of plays that show the issues surrounding Middle Eastern countries and refugees. There are also plays that exhibit the historical involvement of other nations in these issues.
The book includes plays by different authors with Middle Eastern backgrounds; these authors are Hannah Khalil, Kate Al Hadid, and Hassan Abdulrazzak.
I will not summarize all the plays, but I will talk about the ones that I liked the most. In the first play, "Exploring the Boundaries", we see how the characters, Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Picot come to an agreement that would shape the future of the Middle East. Through funny and dynamic dialogues, these two characters divide the territories in the Middle East between their respective countries, Britain and France. I loved this play because it was both educational and engaging.
Another play that I loved was "A Negotiation", a monologue of a woman talking about her experience as a refugee in Britain. This play touches on heritage and the connection that someone can have with their country of origin. It also talks about how occupying countries have stolen plenty of cultural assets from Middle Eastern nations.
The last play that I will mention is "Jump"; this was the lengthiest play in the book, containing many acts. This one revolved around a young man who has big ambitions; he wishes to participate in an international competition of parkour that takes place in Greece. However, his dreams will encounter many difficulties. The military and political situation of his country does not make it possible for him to leave. Throughout this story, we see how he and other young people are willing to fight for their dreams, even if they put them in dangerous situations sometimes.
There were many things I liked about this compilation. All the plays were fantastic and enjoyable, plus they all touched on critical issues from different perspectives. It is books like this that will allow people from different backgrounds to understand and empathize with the people affected by war. There was not anything that I necessarily disliked; I would have liked to see a conclusion as we saw an introduction. However, I do not think that this takes away anything from the contents seen throughout the book.
Divided World: Plays of Occupation and Dispossession does contain some explicitly erotic scenes. Therefore, I would recommend it to an older audience. To anyone old enough to read it, I highly recommend you read it, it will teach a lot, and you will feel more aware of the world around you. I will gladly give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars; it has made me feel more informed while still being engaging and easy to follow.
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