Revolution Days

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Bijli Productions presents

Revolution Days WORLD PREMIERE A riveting tale of trauma and survival based on Mariem Omari’s real-life
experiences as an aid worker in the Middle East during the Arab Spring

Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 November 2021, 7.30pm

Revolution Days- Pre Revolution ( Credit Mariem Omari)

A 360-degree all-encompassing experience, the play will include film footage and surround
sound to immerse the audience in the world of this true story

A multi-media exhibition, featuring the voices and stories of those who experienced the
revolutions, will accompany the play in venue foyers

From the sounds of the above, it sounds this immersive experience will be something to book a ticket for.

Staged as the 10th anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising draws to a close, this powerful one-woman
play is told through the eyes of a young aid worker straddling both ‘her Scottishness and Arabness’.
Inspired by Scottish-Arab playwright Mariem Omari’s real-life experiences of working with the United
Nations and Médecins Sans Frontières, Revolution Days combines the telling of a lived ordeal with a
critical look at news stories portraying the revolutions in a half-light.

Revolution Days follows Samira, an Aid Worker from Scotland, who goes through a baptism of fire
during the ‘Revolutions’ in the Middle East. Believing she can make a difference, she takes on every
mission, until, against a backdrop of war and violence, she is confronted by her own vulnerability. The play will be accompanied by a multimedia exhibition of interviews with people from Syria, Egypt,

Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Tunisia who experienced the Revolutions first hand. Together they create a
platform for the real stories behind the headlines, giving audiences a unique insight into what those
affected by those events had to endure.

Mariem Omari, Artistic Director Bijli Productions and writer, said: “Nothing prepared me for what I saw
and felt during my five years as a humanitarian in the Middle East and North Africa. The Middle East
felt like a pressure cooker – conflict, militant regimes, and corruption. So when the ‘Revolutions’
started, it came as no surprise. What was a surprise was how far reaching they were. It was like a
domino effect – country after country engulfed by protests. People were full of hope that their actions
could bring about change. But with their actions came the violence of regimes desperate to hold on to
power. This is what I saw first hand as I went from camp to camp interviewing people fleeing the
brutality of their governments.

“I struggled to write Revolution Days. I wanted to give up, finding the personal nature of some of the
material challenging. It was only because of a strong desire to convey to audiences the strength,
resilience, and humour of the people I met – people in the most dire circumstances – that I pushed
on. What we are seeing in Afghanistan now – people fighting for democracy, and women’s rights – is
a reminder that what happened during the Revolutions ten years ago, is as profound and important as

Shilpa T Hyland, Director, said: “A decade on from the ‘Arab Spring’ Mariem Omari’s play
Revolution Days brings us a story of pain, resilience, and empathy.”

“Drawing from her real experiences as a humanitarian, it explores the act of witnessing, investigating
the effect that second hand trauma and violence can have at a personal level, as well as the nuances
of what it means to be part of the mechanisms that report on global revolutionary events. The story
struck home with me in its exploration of personal cost and responsibility as bystanders. In this age of
information overload where we cannot be ignorant of the crises of the world, what can we do and how
do we look after ourselves when we do it? It is also a joy to direct a story with a mixed race
protagonist with all the complications that brings her, in this case a dash of naivety that her family
holidays will have prepared her for humanitarian work, but also an openness and determination.

Perhaps most of all I love that the play celebrates the many people our protagonist meets along the
way, in Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Syria and Egypt. Ordinary people living their lives through through extraordinary times.

Performance listings
Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9SU
Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 November 2021
£13 (£10)
Box office: 0131 623 3030 |

Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE
Friday 26 – Saturday 27 November 2021
2pm (Saturday only) and 7.30pm
£9 (£7) TBC*

Box office: 0141 429 0022 |
*phone and online booking subject to transaction fee
Age restriction: 14 + some strong language and adult themes | Running time: 70 minutes (approx),
no interval

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