Salaam-Shalom by Stephen Orlov
SALAAM-SHALOM is a comedy drama in two acts. The Jewish-Palestinian diaspora play is set in Montreal just before the outbreak of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
High school basketball teammates, Omar Hamid and Abie Stein, get into a heated argument in class over the Israel-Palestine conflict. Their teacher, Ms. Moore, assigns them both to formally debate the topic but they must defend "the other" side. This provokes problems with both of their grandfathers, caretakers while both sets of parents are away on work. Both Kassem Hamid, a Palestinian immigrant, and Solomon Stein, a survivor of the Holocaust, do everything they can to pressure their grandchildren not to debate. Abie's sister, Deborah, tries to mediate, but her friendship with Omar fuels the flames of intolerance. They boys fight it out with their fists and both grandfathers challenge Ms. Moore to no avail. The impending debate creates havoc for all, especially when the grandfathers show up at the main event.
Keywords: comedy-drama, Jewish-Palestinian relations: two families and two cultures between three generations
Year Printed: 2011
First Produced: 1992 at Chicago Dramatists, Chicago, IL.
Running TIme: 110 minutes
Male Cast: 4
Female Cast: 2