Reflections of New Minnesotans: Arab American super heroine fights for justice; with olive oil


Kathryn Haddad’s Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior looks at what would happen if Arab and Muslim Americans were held in internment camps just as Japanese Americans were in the ’40s. In this haunting play, school teacher Vicki, played by Taous Khazem, is emboldened by her alter-ego, Zafira. I interview Haddad and Khazem on the making and performance of the play. 

Haddad says, “It’s ten years later, and what does the world look like in a time of ‘peace’ in America? Young people recruited for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The general public is willing to accept racial profiling and infiltration of private communications of its citizens now. This is ten years after the attack on the Twin Towers during a quiet time in our country. The impetus of the play is to wonder what would happen during a time that was not ‘quiet’—during a time of another attack. Could something like the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII happen again—this time to the Arab American and Muslim community?”

[Audio below]

Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior
September 10, 2011–October 2, 2011
Avalon Theatre (In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre)
1500 E. Lake St. – Minneapolis

Pay-as-you-can on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011