Premiere of Muslim American Play, The Domestic Crusaders

Salaams Global Community,

Playwright Wajahat Ali here with a humble yet timely and important request.

As you know I wrote one of the  first major Muslim American plays “The Domestic Crusaders” [].

“Wajahat Ali is a major new voice in American literature. His play is to Muslim American theater what A Raisin in the Sun is to African American theater.”
— Pulitzer Prize nominated author Mitch Berman


Since the last time I wrote to you about our play’s progress, we’ve had some great developments.

The play is now finally having its New York premiere off-Broadway at the world famous Nuyorican Theater on 9-11-09 for a month!

A project that began in 2001 – when I was 21 – to pass a Short Story class at U.C. Berkeley has been read and loved by Academy Award winning actress Emma Thompson, who not only donated a blurb but also contributed $1000.

“The Domestic Crusaders is exactly the sort of theater we need today. The gulf that separates cultures must be bridged and Art is one of our best hopes. I’ll be supporting this all the way – please join me and Wajahat in building this bridge! …Howzat? I’ll pledge $1000 too.” – Emma Thompson.

This is our second phase asking the global community to help us in our effort to stage the play in NY and – hopefully – internationally.

Our first call raised $10,000. We need to reach a goal of at least $25,000.

We know the economic times are tough. That’s why we are asking for a global effort to help bring this important play to every major theater in America, and help us for our launch in NY this Fall.

Over 100 people internationally – some giving $5 and others giving $100 – helped raise the initial $10,000.

All donations made by check are tax-deductible because we are sponsored by the non-profit organization Before Columbus Foundation.

The election of Obama ushers in a time where the appreciation for dialogue between diverse communities resonates across borders and people appreciate the need for such endeavors, especially if such a call is undertaken through art.

I have devoted 7 years of my life to this project because I truly believe it can build that much needed bridge of dialogue in these seemingly mad times. This confidence is borne from an experience of seeing the play receive standing ovations from diverse audiences time and again, especially at our Berkeley Repertory Theater premiere in 2005.

I have come to a point where I cannot do this by myself.

If you do believe in this sincere effort and wish to support our passionate endeavor, please do contribute and spread the word.


Wajahat Ali

Mail tax-deductible checks payable to:

The Before Columbus Foundation [Domestic Crusaders Project]

The Raymond House
655 13th Street, Suite 302
Oakland, CA 94612


Wajahat Ali


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