Like in Le café d’Yllka and L’atelier des Strésor, Cécile Oumhani goes back in time to evoke lives made of exiles and hasty departures. Her words echo the crash of History on human destinies. They pay stirring homage to the men and women who had to rebuild their lives in another country, in the exile colonization forced upon them, or in times of war. What is identity but a multiplicity of facets forever unforming and forming themselves anew throughout life?
Who is this wounded soldier on one of the Oise roads in 1918, after he landed with American troops? A Tunisian, thirsting for freedom, Dawood left his country to break free from colonial rule and patriarchal authority. He arrives in New York, in bustling Little Syria, where Kahlil Gibran is about to found the Pen League, the first association of Arab-American writers. But World War I soon changes the course of his dreams. (Elyzad)