Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Samah Sabawi ~ recent work


Imra’a: For my sisters in the Arab world & beyond

Not a fragment of your shadow
Not a rib torn out of your torso
Not a mail order
Not a house slave
Not a fairytale princess
Not a damsel in distress
Not a genie in a bottle
Not a saint
Not scattered
Not arranged
Not lacking in brain or piety
Not a fountain of propriety
I am eternity
Lived in an instant
I am constant
I am chaos in stability
In songs you ache for me
I am your refuge and your refugee
Your barren desert and your fertile field
Your homeland
Your ‘watan’
My womb yields the fruit of life
I am your daughter
A prince of poetry wrote of me
 “Alommo madrasaton…”
A mother is a school
 When well prepared
You prepare a well-mannered nation
A thousand and one Arabian nights
I am inspiration
In the holy scriptures
I am temptation
I am your Eve in the Garden of Eden
My qualities revealed in the holy Quran
‘inna kaydahonna azeem’
I am your dream
Your ‘hoor alayn’
Your seduction
Your redemption
Your struggle
Your salvation
I am your strengths and weaknesses
All rolled into one
I am your lived reality
And all that you refuse to see
I am what you cannot define
Cannot confine
To a fantasy
I am human
Of flesh and blood
My virtue unquantifiable
My faults monumental
I am neither a reflection of you nor on you
Your ticket to paradise does not begin with my virtue
Your redemption does not begin with my submission
Your peace of mind does not begin with my conformity
Your honor is not defined by my chastity
Your vice is your own
Your honor is your own
Your fantasies are your own
For I can barely carry
My own
I am
Samah Sabawi   2013

Video: Against the Tide

Against the tide

I will not be polarized
I will not be factionized
Colonized…and fragmented
Like a heartbroken nation
I will not be moved by hatred
Or blindly pick a side
And hide
Behind a well crafted slogan
I will not place my trust
In demagogy
I will embrace ideas
Not ideology
An enemy of my enemy
When a tyrant
Is MY enemy
Choosing the best of two evils
Is choosing evil
I will not fall for this game
Of demonizing an entire people
I will not delight when pain is inflicted
On another
I will not close my eyes
To inhumanity
I will defend my enemy’s rights
Because freedom
Is not a commodity
To be had by some
And denied to others
I will not delight
In the suffering
Even of those
Who oppressed me
More importantly
I will trust
My maternal instinct
What passed through my womb
Though precious…is not distinct
A beautiful human baby
Of flesh and blood
No different from that
Born by the ‘other’
There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’
Every death will be mourned
By a grieving mother
Her tears
More powerful
Than any flag
I will not be polarized

Visit Samah Sabawi online 

Tales of a City by the Sea

(poetry, image, video source)

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