Home » Reviews » Edinburgh Festival » How I Brought Peace to the Middle East: A Tragicomedy, theSpace on the Mile (Space 1) – Review
David Kaye 2

How I Brought Peace to the Middle East: A Tragicomedy, theSpace on the Mile (Space 1) – Review

Pros: Professor Kaye is a mesmerising storyteller, able to generate laughter and tears amongst the audience.

Cons: The monologue is steeped with information and requires a steady attention span, which could be challenging for some.

Pros: Professor Kaye is a mesmerising storyteller, able to generate laughter and tears amongst the audience. Cons: The monologue is steeped with information and requires a steady attention span, which could be challenging for some. Recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Israel for six months, David Kaye – Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Hampshire – decided to relocate with his entire family to the Middle East. Thanks to his Jewish background, he expected integration to be a smooth process, but his first troubles started at the airport, when he was immediately confronted…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Drawing entirely from personal experience, American-Jewish professor David Kaye uses comedy to highlight the contradictions of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.

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Recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Israel for six months, David Kaye – Professor of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Hampshire – decided to relocate with his entire family to the Middle East. Thanks to his Jewish background, he expected integration to be a smooth process, but his first troubles started at the airport, when he was immediately confronted with Israel’s heightened security policies.

Embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, accompanied by his wife and his two young daughters, Professor Kaye had the priceless opportunity to observe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from both sides of the border and learn about many stories of intercultural brotherhood which survived the construction of the West Bank barrier in 2000. Considered by Israel a security measure against terrorism and by the Palestinians a segregation wall, the barrier, built during the Second Intifada, prevents many friends from shaking hands but, sometimes, things are not as grim as they might seem.

In search for a common denominator between both cultures, Kaye uses a fitting metaphor and refers to the days when yards of fabric were measured by armlength. In those times, two different people might have ended up measuring two different quantities of fabric and yet, be both right. As such he sees the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, where both sides are technically right, although supporting different solutions.

Kaye has also a heavy-handed response for those who criticise the use of violence in the Gaza Strip and recalls the ethnic cleansing of the native American populations, as well as the carpet bombing on two countries that threatened the national security of the Unites States. If Israel and Palestine were to use the same approach, both countries would be long gone.

The professor from Vermont gets to the conclusion that a common denominator should be found in common sense and that most people of both nationalities are just ‘normal people’ who long for peace between a free Palestine and a secure Israel.

Written and Performed by: David Kaye
Directed by: Jeff Kinghorn
Produced by: Actor’s Collaborative Theatre of New England
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run

About Marianna Meloni

Marianna Meloni
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.