Des Moines Theater Stages "My Name Is Rachel Corrie"

By Gillespie, Michael | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2014 | Go to article overview

Des Moines Theater Stages "My Name Is Rachel Corrie"


Gillespie, Michael, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Des Moines Onstage presented "My Name is Rachel Corrie," the award-winning one-woman play composed from the writings of Rachel Corrie, before a sold-out house for all three performances on Jan. 10, 11 and 12.

Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American college student, lefther home and school in Olympia, WA to work with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) in Gaza as part of her senior-year college assignment to connect her hometown with Rafah in a sister cities project. On March 16, 2003, less than two months after her arrival, while she and seven other ISM volunteers were protecting the home of the Nasralla family, which was threatened with demolition by an Israeli military Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozer, Corrie, wearing an orange vest and clearly visible to the bulldozer driver, was run over and crushed to death.

In the decade since her killing, Corrie has been widely recognized as a martyr and, along with other young, nonviolent ISM activists targeted and killed by the IDF, has become a powerful and enduring symbol of nonviolent international resistance to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, ethnic cleansing, collective punishment, and other Geneva Conventions war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Craig and Cindy Corrie, Rachel's parents, traveled to Des Moines to attend all three performances of the play. During the question-and-answer period following the Sunday matinee, they responded to questions about the play and about the progress of the civil lawsuit they brought against the government of Israel for Rachel's death.

"We had a long-term conversation, offand on, with [Chief of Staff] Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was our contact when [Secretary of State Colin] Powell was in office," said Craig Corrie.

"Somebody from the family, Cindy's sisters, visited every office on the Hill in both the Senate and the House over the ensuing couple of years," he added. "Talking, you get to know not only members but staff, which is sometimes more important. …

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