In LANGUAGE ROOMS (which won the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award in 2010), Ahmed is a shining example of the American Dream, working as a translator in a Homeland Security detainment facility. His workplace “frenemy” Nasser, a Muslim of Asian descent, soon brings him some bad news—that his loyalties are being called into question. As office politics take a turn for the absurd all around him, Ahmed realizes that much more than just his job hangs in the balance.
LANGUAGE ROOMS is an unexpected juxtaposition of a comical political thriller and an American immigrant family story. It specifically looks at the question of ‘home’ and ‘fitting in’ from the perspective of Arab Americans and Asian American Muslims, but the issues it raises and the stereotypes it skewers are universal to every American’s experience. El Guindi explains further: “The wonderful optimism of this country, the propulsion to keep going, to reinvent, that weightlessness, the acceptance that you can change your name, your history, kick your past to the curb as you gun for a new beginning, I think all those good things end up gutting you of a center, a wholeness. What becomes of your touchstones, your anchor, your story, after you leave so much behind? Who are you when you’re always in flux?”
LANGUAGE ROOMS was originally developed at ACT Theatre, Seattle, WA and Playwrights Foundation In the Rough series, San Francisco, CA. Further developed by New York Stage and Film Company and the Powerhouse Theater in a reading at Vassaron June 29, 2009. The World Premiere of Language Rooms was produced by The Wilma Theater.