Nadim Sawalha explains his latest play, Rest Upon the Wind, showcased at the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival (July 10) before transferring to Dubai in October (16-20, Madinat Jumeirah Theatre).
"My play explores the life and times of the Lebanese poet and writer Khalil Gibran. His is the ideal immigrant story - he went to America when he was 12 in 1895 - and I wanted to look at what kind of life and struggles he experienced. The Prophet is one of the most widely read books of the 20th century, but what intrigued me is that nobody really knows anything about him as a person.
"Somehow, it felt easier to look at the life of an Arab 100 years ago - nowadays it's far too complicated. And it also meant I could let my imagination wonder around Boston and New York. This man had to be explained and interpreted in some ways because for me the story represents the crucial relationship between the West and the Arab world. If anything will save us, it's the way that art like his crosses boundaries. I can't wait to bring it to the Arabic Arts Festival - and for Emirati audiences to experience it in October."