Thursday, 2 April 2009

Je suis un Arabe

Here is a performance by four girls from Ahmed Showki School:
'Je suis un Arabe' par Mahoud Darwis.
Mahmoud Darwish is the very much revered national poet of Palestine, recently dead and heading for a special place in Palestinian consciousness.
Translation below.

Je suis un Arabe - I am an Arab (poem by Mahmood Darwish)

Identity Card


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 engaged
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 plough
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 ursurper's flesh will be my food.

Of my hunger

And my anger!

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