Why didn’t we act….?

Normally a scarecrow is placed in the open fields. His function is to discourage birds to eat planted seeds and growing crops. In “Scarecrow” a monologue, the hay man is locked up in the barn of a farm. The play, written by Khalil Al Balushi and directed by Jalal Jawad both based in Muscat, is the last performance in a theater contest in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Salalah and fits in the 10th Dhofar Cultural Forum launched at the end of last month.

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The story goes like this: In the barn the scarecrow comes alive. He asks himself why he was left behind and locked up. During his quest he uses a radio, a television, a shovel and a rope as tools and he find out that the farmer blames him for all the wrongdoing the farmer did. The farmer killed his wife and child after he discovered that his wife was cheating him. Why do I have to be blamed for that, he asks and asks. What could I have done? I am a scarecrow. A scarecrow is not supposed to move. If I could move I would be free to act. Out of protest of the injustice done to him, he puts oneself on fire.

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Before the play starts, people were invited to sit on the stage, in the barn of the scarecrow. By this invitation the audience became part of the quest. The feelings and the desperateness of the scarecrow to find the answers was tangible. When the scarecrow started to put oneself on fire we just looked but didn’t act, although we are not scarecrows. In fact afterwards I realized that I became a scarecrow too. But the reality is that I could have acted, I could have stopped the action. Why didn’t I act?

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