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Taha طه

Theatre Work (Palestine)

TAHA is based on the story of the celebrated Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali.  His poetry tells of the experience of Palestinian refugees; his story parallels the story of a million and a half Palestinians who remained in their homeland after 1948.

This is not a play about the tragedy of a poet, but rather about the triumph of his life. What makes the story of Taha Muhammad Ali so unique and special is that it is the tale of a poet that did not for one moment stop loving.


“Amer Hlehel’s TAHA is a dramatic & lyrical tour de force. Hlehel’s epic account of Taha Mohammed Ali’s coming of age and coming to poetry against all odds is a delight for the mind and nourishment for the heart.”

(2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar)


“Pure poetry blossoms in deceptively simple show”

(The Evening Standard, Read the full review)


  • Written and Performed by | Amer Hlehel
  • Directed and Translated by | Amir Nizar Zuabi
  • Designed by | Ashraf Hanna
  • Music by | Habib Shehadeh Hanna
  • Lighting by | Muaz Jubeh
  • Supported by | A.M. Qattan Foundation
  • The play also is based on Adina Hoffman’s book “My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness”.
  • Taha was developed, in part, at the 2015 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at the Sundance Resort.
  • Translated poems are from So What: New and Selected Poems, 1971-2005, translated by Peter Cole, Yahya Hijazi, and Gabriel Levin (Copper Canyon Press, 2006) and used by permission of the translators.

Amer Hlehel

Actor, director and playwright AMER HLEHEL is based in Haifa. He has written several plays, including “Taha” (Best Production- Asian arts aword- Edinburgh 2017),   “Lanterns of The King of Galilee” (An adaptation from a novel written by Ibrahim Nasrallah), “Juha and Bahlol” (children’s play), “What the Story is All About”, and “Almushakhesati – the Player” (with Firas Khateeb and Ala Hlehel). He has appeared in numerous productions, including as Caliban in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in David Farr’s production at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-on-Avon; as Abu Altayib in “Goats” at The Royal Court Theatre, London; as Truffaldino in “A Servant of Two Masters”; as Dr. Roberto Miranda in “Death and the Maiden”; as Yusuf in “I am Yusuf and This is My Brother” by Amir Nizar Zuabi; and as The Soldier in Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” at the Young Vic (London), directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, He has also performed as Diab in “Diab” (Award for Best Actor and Best Solo Performance at the Masraheed Festival, 2005, Acco) and as Enkido in “Gilgamesh Didn’t Die”. Hlehel’s film work includes Palestinian films: “Personal Affairs”, “The Idol”, “The Time that Remains”, “Amreeka”, “Man Without a Cell Phone” and the Golden Globe award-winning “Paradise Now”. His work as a stage and film director includes “What the Story is All About”, “Breaking News”, “Finding the Dream”, “Thanks”, “Prayer” (on video) and most recently “Altagreeba”. Hlehel is the Director of the Arab Culture Association in Haifa and a Sundance Institute Theatre Program alumnus.

“Rich, vivid… acutely moving. Simply beautiful”

(The Times, Read the full review)





  • 11-12 October, Sirenos, Vilnius International Theatre Festival, Lithuania




  • Photo: Saheer Oubaid
  • Photo: Saheer Oubaid

“An inspiring piece, delicate, deeply affecting. Warmly recommended”

(Independent, Read the full review)

When our loved ones leave
as you left,
an endless migration in us begins
and a certain sense takes hold in us
that all of what is finest
in and around us,
except for the sadness,
is going away.

                                              – Taha Muhammad Ali

Taha Muhammad Ali is the beautiful optimistic picture of the Palestinian people – of all of us. In his beloved verses, Taha documents hopeful survival after 50 years of loss – loss of his home, his lover, his friends and his shop in Saffureh in Galilee.

Adapted from Adina Hoffman’s book “My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness” and based on the poet’s life and works, writer-performer Amer Hlehel has created a tour-de-force solo performance interweaving Taha’s singular and exquisite poetry with his compelling life’s journey.

Performed by Hlehel in both Arabic and English versions, TAHA powerfully communicates the sorrow, humor, resilience and tender humanity of this extraordinary man and artist.


  • Written and Performed by |Amer Hlehel
  • Directed by | Yussuf Abu Warda
  • Dramaturgy by | Ala Hlehel
  • Designed by |  Ashraf Hanna
  • Music by | Habib Shehadeh Hanna
  • Lighting by | Firas Tarabshi
  • Production | Qadita Productions, Maraia Theater