Ahmed Masoud’s new dark comedy Camouflage to explore how young Palestinians survive military conflict


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rarely out of the news. Beyond the headlines are a host of human stories, people trying to not only survive military occupation, but move beyond it.

How do young people caught up in the conflict see the situation? Do they try to resist it? Run away? Give up?  What do they care about most? Four young Palestinians had the right ideas; they survived through staring danger in the face.

Camouflage is a daring new play, which looks at the experience of a Palestinian refugee trying to flee the conflict in Syria, a young girl in Ramallah falling in love for the first time, a boy in Gaza trying to find a date, and an aspiring actor in Haifa who has to come to terms with the unjust society he lives in.

The play is a dark comedy by acclaimed Palestinian writer Ahmed Masoud, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli military occupation in Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank, looking at the issues that really matter for young people. The play also commemorates the 69th anniversary of the Nakba (Palestinian exodus of 1948).

Thaer is a thirteen year old boy on a boat in the waters between Turkey and Greece, something is troubling him and it is not the fact that he might drown any minute.  Nibal is a seventeen year old girl finishing her SAT exams in an American-style school in Ramallah. She is constantly refusing marriage proposals from well suitors, but she can’t resist one guy. Twenty year old Zeid is a taxi driver in Gaza who is using Tinder to try to find a date. Sami’s dream is to become a famous actor. First he has to play a few roles in Haifa in order to build his CV and get known with Israeli established directors.

Actor James El Sharawy stars in Ahmed Masoud’s new one person play Camouflage

Starring James El Sharawy, Camouflage is a one person show, which presents a collage of theatrical genres taking the audience on a journey of what it means to live under occupation.

The play is being staged in the auditorium at Amnesty International’s UK headquarters in Shoreditch, East London. Space is limited – just 250 seats. Amnesty has been at the forefront of highlighting human rights abuses in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

About the play’s writer and director Ahmed Masoud 

Masoud released his debut novel Vanished – The Mysterious Disappearance of Mustafa Ouda in in 2015. The author and director grew up in Palestine and moved to the UK in 2002.

His theatre credits include: The Shroud Maker (London 2015), Walaa, Loyalty (London 2014, funded by Arts Council England), Go to Gaza, Drink the Sea (London and Edinburgh 2009), Escape from Gaza (BBC Radio 4, 2011). He is the founder of Al Zaytouna Dance Theatre (2005) where he wrote and directed several productions in London that subsequently toured Europe.

After finishing his PhD research, Masoud published many journals and articles including a chapter in Britain and the Muslim World: A Historical Perspective (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).

Play details

Title: Camouflage

Date: Thursday 18 May 2017

Event times: doors open 7.10pm. Performance starts 7.30pm and ends 8.30pm

Venue address: Amnesty International, 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

Tickets: £14.50 + b.f. available online from Brown Paper Tickets