24/06/2024 10:45 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has invited the public to watch the ‘Haji Murat’ theatre performance, scheduled to run over four days at Balai Budaya Tun Syed Nasir, Wisma Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), starting Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said the play, based on the significant novella and final work of renowned Russian author Leo Tolstoy, emphasised how war and ruthless power only breed many evil and treacherous characters.

“Tolstoy successfully evokes a sympathetic feeling towards a Muslim hero and warrior Haji Murat, especially at a time when the world is grappling with oppression and the politics of dispossession currently ongoing in Palestine,” he said in a social media post.

The work was derived from Tolstoy’s short novel, translated into Malay by orientalist  Dr Victor Pogadaev and edited by National Laureate Datuk Dr Anwar Ridhwan before its publication by DBP in 2001.

It explores the theme of jihad and national struggle, based on true events from 1851 involving Chechen fighter Haji Murat, who forged an alliance with the Russians he once opposed for revenge.

In fact, Anwar said he had brought the novella depicting the Russian empire’s conquest of Muslim territories in Dagestan, North Caucasus, during his teaching tenure in the United States, amidst global discussions on Islamophobia and terrorism post-Sept 11.

“Haji Murat is the right-hand man to Imam Shamil, a key leader in the region. They fought against the Russian empire led by Tsar Nicholas I, and the clash between the fighters and the colonists stemmed from his desire to save his beloved family.

“The character of Haji Murat is an individual caught between two tyrannical powers and acts solely to save his family,” Anwar said.

The staging of ‘Teater Perdana’ Haji Murat, directed by A Wahab Hamzah and managed by Badan Budaya DBP, involves around 100 actors, including big names in theatre such as Che Kem, Dr Rusdeen Suboh and Ard Omar.


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