Breaking the silence: WMNF 88.5 FM’s broadcast of the Gaza Monologues

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In a world often dominated by noise, where narratives are shaped by the loudest voices, there arises a profound need to listen to the stories that often remain unheard. It is within this ethos that WMNF 88.5 FM, dedicated to serving the Tampa Bay community and beyond, embraces its role as a platform for diverse voices committed to a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.

One such endeavor that exemplifies this commitment is the airing of the Gaza Monologues, a powerful testament to the resilience and creativity of the human spirit. These monologues, originally penned by youth from Gaza in 2010 and 2014, were crafted in response to the ongoing crisis in the region. Created by ASHTAR Theatre, a Palestinian NGO established in Jerusalem in 1991, the Gaza Monologues offer a poignant glimpse into the lives of individuals who refuse to be mere statistics or victims relegated to the margins of history.

In November 2023, ASHTAR Theatre issued a global call for theaters worldwide to join in reading these monologues, amplifying the voices of Gaza’s youth on an international stage. On February 13th, 2024, Tampa Bay area artists and community members brought these monologues to life for the first time in Tampa at the USF Oval Theatre, directed by Andrea Assaf and accompanied by live music.

You will have the opportunity to listen to the heartfelt testimonies of the resilient youth of ASHTAR following the initial conflict in the Gaza Strip. Sadly, these Monologues remain as relevant and poignant today as they were when first crafted.

 

The significance of this event lies not only in its artistic expression but also in its capacity to foster empathy, understanding, and solidarity across borders. As Iman Aoun, the driving force behind the Gaza Monologues, eloquently states, “Theatre is a will that becomes an action, claiming victory for life, raising us from the ruins of destruction.” Through the power of storytelling, the Gaza Monologues transcend geopolitical divides, inviting audiences to bear witness to the human experience in its rawest form.

For the youth of Gaza, the Gaza Monologues represent more than just a theatrical production; they serve as a means of catharsis and healing in the face of unimaginable adversity. As Afif Safieh, former Palestinian Ambassador, observes, “The Gaza Monologues project is a theatrical event of crucial importance, tapping and guiding the creativity of young Gazans and promoting openness towards the world.”

When WMNF 88.5 FM broadcasts the Gaza Monologues to its audience, it reaffirms its commitment to amplifying marginalized voices and fostering dialogue that transcends boundaries. In a world where divisions often overshadow our shared humanity, initiatives like the Gaza Monologues remind us of the transformative power of storytelling and the importance of listening with empathy and compassion.

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