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Elias Hezeineh, Palestinian Magician
submitted by Arab Educational Institute

PNN Newsletter 11.04.09 - 12:11

PNN exclusive / Hiba Lama – Elias Hezeineh is a magician performing throughout the Arab world and Europe. With piles of books and magazines on magic and the corners of his home stacked with the equipment of new tricks, the 30-something Palestinian is a sight to behold.

With an easy smile he says, “Want to see something?” while rolling silver half-dollars through his fingers. This is when he usually comes up with a remarkable illusion. Tricks have included sawing his wife in half and working with doves.

The couple is from Bethlehem, but saw each other during a performance in Spain. After years of a cold Arab response to the art of illusion, now Hezeineh spends a great deal of time performing in Amman. He also performs here in the West Bank’s Bethlehem, but Spain is where he really made his move from amateur to professional.

“During my studies in Spain I took courses in culture which included the simple topics of witchcraft and the laws of physics. I couldn’t find courses in magic so I began attending outside conferences and seminars, anything to learn about the tools and new tricks.”

Hezeineh said it was a hard lesson to learn that it is virtually impossible to make a living as a musician, but that does not dismantle his passion. For 15 years the Bethlehem native has perfected the trickery of illusion. “There is no room for error. For a 10 minute show you need a year to prepare because you simply cannot make a mistake.”

He also tells PNN that part of the illusion is in the story-telling. “It’s comedy too. The idea is to convey to the public that it was not a trick at all but as based in reality as anything else. People like it more when you are a full entertainer. Jokes and stories push the magic along and help the audience interact with the magician.”

PNN Newsletter
April 14, 2009

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