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    Monday
    Sep032012

    When you are a Palestinian 

    A poem by Shadi Abdul-Kareem
    Translation by Nahida Exiled Palestinian
    source: http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/when-you-are-palestinian.html

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You would need daily practice of hiding tears 
    And swallowing huge chunk of wishes 
     Overflowing from your reality
     In front of which you stand flabbergasted 
    Wondering who’d find the genie’s lamp 
    That would bring back your olive tree, 

    the straw tray and the sea fragrance?  






    When you are a Palestinian 
    You wouldn’t dare to broaden your smile 
    The ghosts of Alaqsa would encircle you 
    And the blood of Saladin which runs in your veins 
    Would remind you whenever you attempt to smile 
    That your smile is a betrayal… punishable by history  


     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You cannot dream solo 
    There is always someone with you 
    Rather taking control 
    And whilst others dream of wealth, power, wife, children 
    Your dream is 
    A nap beneath an orange tree in Haifa 
    A cup of coffee by the shore of Tabareya 
    A prayer that rises up to heaven
     Following the footsteps of the beloved  

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You’d live in a state of unceasing absence of normal life
     No wakefulness… no sleep 
    No work… no rest 
    No awareness… no unconsciousness 
    Without the remembrance of Palestine;

    How was Palestine!
    What became of Palestine!
    And what will happen to Palestine ?

     

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You would live a stranger in your homeland 
    And a stranger outside your homeland 
     You would provoke all kinds of feelings
    You’d be an instigator of pity, some times 
    An instigator of sadness, some times 
    An instigator of curiosity, some times 
    An instigator of admiration, many times 



     

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You’d work tirelessly 
    Promoting a redundant commodity 
    Called DIGNITY
    No longer in circulation 
    Since new dictionaries of morality have been invented  




     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
     You will unavoidably get an illness called melancholy 
    You will infect all those who know you
     And those who gaze at the caged tears in your eyes 
    And those who’d listen to the howl of mosques, churches and stones in your voice  





    When you are a Palestinian 
    You would enjoy an extraordinary memory 
    You’d remember the number of sand grains under the sea
     The voice of every muezzin 
    The laughter of every child 
    You’d remember the colour of dawn 
    The flavour of sleep
     The scent of rain 

     

     

     

    You’d also remember those black nights 
    The voices of their monsters and their moves 
    You would remember the smell of death mixed with gunfire 
    You’d remember the wailing of widows
     And the moaning of little girls 
    You’d remember your footsteps towards the oblivion 
    Every tear, and over which soil granule it fell  

     

     

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You’d discover the value of numbers 
    You’d fall in love with them 
    Or hate them 
    A strong bond will anchor you 
    Since your name became a number 
    Your history, a number 
    Your home address, a number 
    Your lost-family members, a number 
    Those who died, who imprisoned, who were torn to pieces… numbers 
    The days you squandered -or squandered by- in refugee camps… a number 
    Your dreams and failed prophecies of the day of your return… a number
     You’d appreciate indeed the value of numbers 
    You’d be filled with gratitude to those who invented numbers 
    Otherwise your life would’ve been lifeless, and numberless  

     

     

     

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You’d live in chronic yearning to a past you never knew 
    And to future you would never know  

     

     


    When you are a Palestinian 
    Words of love would not matter to you 
    Nor the stock market
     Nor festival celebrations here and there
     It would not matter to you if nights became endless 
    Or if days disappeared forever
     It would not matter to you if the year is twelve months 
    Or twelve watermelons 
    It would not matter to you if people ascended to the moon 
    Or if the moon descended to them 
    It would not matter to you if a party loses the election and another wins 
    It would not matter to you if a country is triumphant and another defeated 
    All what matters to you is that 

    PALESTINE WAS STOLEN
    And 

    IT MUST BE OBTAINED BACK 

     

     


      

    When you are a Palestinian 
    You would abruptly stop talking
     And leave the story unfinished 
    The poem without an ending 
    As most likely the ideas in your head would become overcrowded 
    So much so that they’d run over each other 
    And you’d have to stop writing or talking immediately 
    To attend the funeral of those thoughts which have been squashed 
    And died before even being born 

     

     

    Therefore I will cut short my speech 
    Leave to give my condolences in exile
     Where thoughts pass away 
    Because they refuse to survive 
    Without a HOMELAND



    The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

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