Zaray Rodriguez performs the lead role of Asakir in Mohammed Fairouz’ s Arab American Opera: Sumeida’s Song . Richard Gammon will direct performances to be held in Portland in July. The opera is based on Tawfiq al-Hakim’s play ‘Song of Death’, a classic in Arab theater. Sumeida’s Song follows the return of Alwan, a young man from Cairo, to his village in Upper Egypt. He defies his family’s expectations that he will fulfill an age-old blood feud. Instead, he reveals that the true purpose of his return is to end the violence, and bring light and enlightenment to his village.