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July 5, 2005 > The Domestic Crusaders - Play about a Pakistani American Muslim Family

The Domestic Crusaders - Play about a Pakistani American Muslim Family

by S. R. Yunus

"When those two towers fell, we fell them," remarks Salman, the father of the Muslim South Asian family at the heart of a Wajahat Ali's brave and groundbreaking new play, "The Domestic Crusaders." (

The Domestic Crusaders, a major new 2 act family drama about a Muslim American family living in a post 9-11 America, will premiere this July 15th and 16th at the Tony award winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

This exciting production is directed by author and theater scholar Carla Blank and produced by MacArthur Award winning Fellow and Pultizer prize nominated author Ishmael Reed. Performed by members of the Bay Area's South Asian community, it offers the public an extraordinary, blunt, no holds barred look into the everyday lives and mindset of a Muslim South Asian American family dealing with the impact of 9/11 on their family and community.

The Domestic Crusaders was received with great acclaim in its 2004 staged readings at Oakland's prestigious Art & Soul Festival, the Mehran Theater Restaurant in Newark, and the Main Branch Auditorium of the Oakland Public Library.

The Domestic Crusaders chronicles cultural, political, and religious conflicts of a fictional modern Pakistani American Muslim family living in post 9/11 America. Its brutally honest, politically incorrect depiction focuses on one day in the life of one family composed of six unique members, who convene at the family home for a birthday celebration. With a background of 9-11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the humor, tensions and sparks fly among the three generations. The day culminates in an intense family battle as each "crusader" struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions while still attempting to maintain and understand that unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.

As an alternative to the cardboard stereotypes regularly offered in today's world of marginalizing people, the Patriot Act, the popularity of Fox News style, and the belief that if you look different, then you might be a threat, the Before Columbus Foundation presents The Domestic Crusaders to enlighten the public on issues of multiculturalism, racism, and the need for tolerance in a changing world.

The Mehran, a Newark restaurant that is an important center of the Bay Area's South Asian community, will serve refreshments. They are included with ticket purchase.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 510.647.2949, toll free: 888.4BRTTix (427-8849) or online: www.berkeley For more information visit The box office is open Noon-7PM, Tuesday-Sunday, closed Monday, and located at 2025 Addison Street, between Shattuck and Milvia, in downtown Berkeley, a half block from the Downtown Berkeley BART. The price of VIP tickets is $35, General admission $25, and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets for Saturday's matinee are $20.00. All sales are final, and there are no refunds or exchanges. Student and senior discounts (65 years and up) available for evening performances with proof of eligibility. Public parking is available across the street from the theater.

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