I am waiting for you

A film by Paloma Yáñez Serrano and Benjamin Llorens Rocamora

In a room, a group of women (and one man) sit waiting. Some have been waiting for weeks, others for years, still others seem to have been waiting forever. They wait patiently and impatiently, nervously and calmly, hopefully and resignedly.

Wasafuli al-Sabr (I am Waiting For You) is the first dramatic staging of Arab women’s experience of cancer. Based on interviews with real-life female cancer patients from the Arab world, the play explores women’s cancer from the inside out. What does it feel like to ‘have’ – or be had by – cancer? How does it impact upon one’s relationship with oneself and with others – doctors, husbands, lovers, children, fellow sufferers? Why is women’s cancer so often defined as a period of interminable waiting with neither beginning nor end? Why do we insist on perceiving it as “end-of-life” narrative rather than a journey towards recovery?
That disease, that thing, the bad disease: these are just some of the terms we use to name and shame cancer and cancer patients in the Arab world. Wasafuli al-Sabr ( I am Waiting for You) aims to break the taboos we have put in place vis-a-vis cancer, to contemplate our fears and disavowals and to listen to experiences we have for long rendered unspeakable.

The film of Wasafuli al-Sabr (I am Waiting for You) was recorded at the World premiere at Nuha al-Radi Hall in Madina Theater on July 21st 2017, Beirut , Lebanon. The production is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK and as part of their Open World Research Initiative, and Durham University, UK the Lebanese American University- Performing Arts Program, and the theatre company.

A play directed by Lina Abyad
Written by Abir Hamdar
Media Dareen Shams Aldin

Nama’a Al Ward
Aliya Khalidy
Dima Al Ansari
Soha Choucair
Saif Ahmad
Hiba Sleiman
Lina Abyad
May Ogden Smith
Marianne Marroum

Camera and Sound:
Paloma Yáñez Serrano
Benjamin Llorens Rocamora