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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From his grave, Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish responds to Newt Gingrich's anti-Palestinian bigotry

Long before Newt Gingrich made his repeated bigoted statements that the Palestinian people are an "invented" people, renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote two poems challenging this hateful genocidal rhetoric against the Palestinian people, their identity, their heritage, and their future.

Newt Gingrich is not the first nor is going to be the last person to engage in such Nazi-like revisionism that attempts to deny a people their existence, past, and dignity. As if robbing a people of their homes, land, freedom, and rights is not sufficiently immoral, Newt Gingrich and those who share his views want to intensify it  with an assault on their past and memories.

Mahmoud Darwish responded to the similar racist Israeli campaigns to erase the Palestinian identity and culture through his poems. The world lost this genius on Saturday, August 9, 2008. His poetry remains celebrated around the world by all those who value human rights and support justice and freedom for the Palestinian people.

Read and/listen to the two poems below and you will understand the pain, hope, perseverence, and aspirations of the great real and un-invented people called the Palestinians.

Passport - By: Mahmoud Darwish
(Song performed by renowned Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife)
They did not recognize me in the shadows
That suck away my color in this Passport
And to them my wound was an exhibit
For a tourist Who loves to collect photographs
They did not recognize me,
Ah . . . Don’t leave 
The palm of my hand without the sun
Because the trees recognize me
Don’t leave me pale like the moon!

All the birds that followed my palm
To the door of the distant airport
All the wheatfields
All the prisons
All the white tombstones
All the barbed Boundaries
All the waving handkerchiefs
All the eyes
were with me,
But they dropped them from my passport

Stripped of my name and identity?
On soil I nourished with my own hands?
Today Job (The Prophet) cried out
Filling the sky:
Don’t make and example of me again!
Oh, gentlemen, Prophets,
Don’t ask the trees for their names
Don’t ask the valleys who their mother is
From my forehead bursts the sward of light
And from my hand springs the water of the river
All the hearts of the people are my identity
So take away my passport!


Identity Card - By: Mahmoud Darwish
 (Arabic and English read by Souhad Zendah  - English begins at: 3:55)

I am an Arab
And my identity card is number fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth is coming after a summer
Will you be angry?
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks..
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father.. descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather..was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman's hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks..
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!
Record on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper's flesh will be my food
Of my hunger
And my anger!

1 comment:

S.E said...

both are beautiful poems, when were they published?