“My Home is a Suitcase” is a play by Rzgar Hama about individuals who sought new lives as immigrants. It is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. These are real stories. The next few interviews will be from some of the individual readers of their stories of beginning new lives in Canadian society. Hama is known for several plays, including “Soldierland” with some professional commentary by Dr. Marvin Westwood and Dr. George Belliveau of The University of British Columbia in “Dr. Marvin Westwood & Dr. George Belliveau on SOLDIERLAND a play Written and Directed by Rzgar Hama.” Here I speak with Mida on “My Home is a Suitcase.”
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We’ll keep this focused on an initiative by Sky Theatre Group under Rzgar, “My Home is a Suitcase.” How did you find the Sky Theatre Group?
Parmida Maleki: I actually heard about the Sky Theatre Group from Rzgar himself through the “My Home is a Suitcase” project. It has been amazing to work with the group.
Jacobsen: How did you become involved with “My Home is a Suitcase”?
Maleki: Hila Graf, who was the Assistant Director on the project let me know about this opportunity to tell my story and I jumped on it. My story has seen many ups and downs, and I was very excited about having a chance to talk about it and bring it to life for others to see.
Jacobsen: What was the experience of telling the story – without telling your story – to some of the public and peers who made a new life for themselves?
Maleki: It was so inspiring to hear about other people’s journeys, and humbling to talk about my own. I believe it’s very important for the world to know these stories, put a face on the “Immigrant” and the “Refugee.” Many have no clue as to what exactly is happening to people around the globe, and knowing we were able to get the word out, about our truth, is just amazing.
Jacobsen: What was working with a seasoned, veteran playwright and director like for you?
Maleki: Oh absolutely great. It was amazing to sort through my own life events, bring them on paper and have someone else’s perspective on it. The process of fitting the story in 10 minutes, without dropping the ball on what is actually important, was brilliant.
Jacobsen: What are you hoping some of the audience takes home with them when the final production comes out?
Maleki: Perspective and context. I believe that is the most important thing in our world today. We are so used to having our perspectives being shaped by the media, seeing and realizing that people’s lives shouldn’t be a propaganda, and that everyone has the right to seek a better environment to live in.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Parmida.
Maleki: Of course. Thank you for your time.
Image Credit: Soran Mardookhi, and Rzgar Hama/Sky Theatre Group.