a monologue by Darina Al Joundi
translated by Helen Vassallo
‘A stunning manifesto for freedom’ Zybeline
Noun, the heroine of The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing, has left Lebanon to make a life for herself in Paris. Marseillaise My Way follows Noun’s adventures as she flees her home country and arrives in France, a place she believes to be the most secular country in the world, only to find her freedom threatened there too by soul-destroying red tape and the reality of cultural segregation. After having survived civil war, drug addiction, violent assaults, and enforced incarceration in a mental asylum, Noun embarks on a new struggle: to obtain French citizenship. To the refrain of ‘La Marseillaise’, which she has learnt by heart for her citizenship test, Noun pursues her quest for a new life, calling into question the secular foundations of her new home and paying homage to women freedom fighters from across the Arab world.
A bittersweet tragi-comedy La Théâtrothèque
A beautiful piece, necessary for our times, our politics and our humanity Inferno magazine.
Anyone who remembers The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing will make a date with Marseillaise My Way Le Monde
Darina Al Joundi is a critically acclaimed actor and writer of Lebanese-Syrian origin. The daughter of notorious Syrian journalist, freedom fighter, political activist and exile Assim Al Joundi, Darina Al Joundi is known throughout the Arab world for her television and film roles, and has also played occasional roles in popular English-language series such as Homeland and Tyrants.
Al Joundi is also co-author with Mohamed Kacimi of a novel-length version of The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing (Actes Sud 2008), translated by Marjolijn de Jager (Feminist Press, 2010), and author of Prisonnière du levant (Grasset 2017), a fictional biography of feminist pioneer May Ziadeh which is currently being adapted into a film.