Saturday evenings after work here in Libya are usually the liveliest evenings of the week. Yes that was sarcasm. Saturday being the first day of the working week for me and my colleagues usually involves not doing much as our bodies refuse to acknowledge the day as anything but a weekend. However this past Saturday was different.
A colleague of ours at work sent round an email about a musical show to be held at Sabratha’s ancient Roman theatre. This immediately sparked my interest for various reasons but most of all as it would it would mean a break from the tedium of going home and spending my time on the internet!
I haven’t been to the ruins at Sabratha yet and was curious to see the Roman theatre which everyone talks about. This would also be an opportunity to reinsert some culture in my life here in Libya. The lack of cultural events is starting to get to me and it another thing I miss from London and Abu Dhabi/Dubai.
So off we all went after work to Sabratha.
We arrived to see the ruins of the theatre with the Mediterranean as a backdrop. This view once again reminded me of the beauty of this country and why the Romans built there cities here. The theatre itself was something which left me in a awe filled silence. The theatre at Leptis Magna was stunning but seeing as this one was in such a better state, it gave the place a feel of majestic grandness. I walked in, sat down and just looked on.
The theatre was filling up. The once great theatre was once again brimming with excitement. The musical show on offer was sponsored by the French Cultural Institute and would be two modern contemporary opera’s.
I don’t speak French. But I didn’t care, I was sitting in an ancient Roman theatre enjoying it as the Romans once did. The two shows were quite long but the magic of the experience meant that I not once looked at my watch, I was so wrapped up in the moment, that time didn’t matter. For two and a half hours, I was a Roman citizen. I was enjoying the pleasures which the opulent Roman empire enjoyed.
When the show ended I was thrust back to reality. I was a mere South African enjoying a French musical show at a Roman Theatre.
I live for these experiences. These amazing moments where your mind transports you to another world, where you are in fact a Roman.
Now to await another of these experiences… hopefully sooner rather than later.