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June 20, 2017

Fools

Filed under: Poetry,Religion and society,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 3:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

clown-2392385_960_720

They fooled you; fooled you all

 

—- took the jobs of the civil servants

and attached to them hefty payments.

We call ‘em salaries

but they’re a way to appease the crazies;

the big shots, ‘men in dark suits’ —

the ones who hold the keys

to all the safes in all the banks,

to the armies, the weapons and the tanks.

 

These? There are just titles:

President, Prime Minister, among other labels;

freak shows designed to entertain,

make you forget about the others’ pain

for entertainment is the biggest distraction

for the crazies to create destruction.

No, no, no, no. They should be working for you.

You shouldn’t even have to think of a coup.

They ought to bow down to you, my friend.

But that! That is not the trend.

Satan’s got his own plans.

He’s building settlements on stolen lands

and they gave him your money to do it.

You call them on it. They say, ‘Bullshit!’

and before you can argue

you’re drowning in ‘truths’ that were never true.

They lie through their teeth.

They know you are sheep.

Sheeple, say it enough times, it becomes a reality;

so real, as real as you or me.

 

Take off those screens glued to your eyes,

and you will start to hear their children’s cries.

Pull out those earphones stuck in your ears

and you will start to see their mothers’ tears.

Your tongue’s wagging. Hold it still.

Find the evidence before it kills.

Open your ears, close your eyes.

This situation is of a much larger size.

Use that brain inside your head

before you find more people dead

just because you were brainwashed

 

while your President and his mates went golfing.

January 31, 2017

A stranger called Liberty

Filed under: Poetry,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 5:56 am

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Here lies a nation built on stolen land,

to where they brought victims

of kidnapping and called them slaves,

where chances for freedom were slim

 

if your skin was not a shade of white;

a nation that celebrates its occupation through slaughter and trickery,

to this day, feasting with mashed potato and roast turkey.

 

Here breathes a nation that screams

Freedom, Justice and Equality

and calls itself great, a place where ‘dreams become reality.

 

Yet it is this nation in which we see

the white policeman still abusing

the African American after years of fighting;

 

this great nation, in which we see the same greed

for power that fueled colonization

extending its talons into borders that are not its own and calling it liberation.

 

Here stands a nation that shows off a large green statue

it named Liberty,

while it has failed to liberate itself from its own corruption and immorality;

 

a nation that boasts an anthem everyone has heard,

an anthem that shouts out to the unfree,

and welcomes them, but does not free them, because in this nation, you can be anything you want to be.

 

Yet you are so shocked that she has turned you away?

History warns you of this every day.

For it has no secrets from those who look

up the nations that came and took.

 

October 10, 2016

Faith

Filed under: Poetry,Religion and society,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 6:42 pm
Tags: ,
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Which Islam is it you practice,

that makes it correct to burn the virgin

who knows she is too pure for your sin;

that allows purposeless battle,

dismisses the real jihad, and puts faith out like a candle;

that allows the theft of freedom,

disguised with a cry praising the Lord, and a distorted promise of heaven?

But you do not know who God is.

He is not this;

not this falseness you have created, this self destructive spiral,

a coward’s excuse to carry a rifle;

not a free pass to tarnish a little boy’s childhood,

by teaching him that to fight is good;

not that he should play,

And he should pray;

but that he should kill and die, for that is your translation

of the divine manuscript and the way of a god of your creation.

Sins you have purified,

ideologies you have manipulated, and righteousness you have denied

to build control over the minorities,

to misguide the masses.

You spread the fear of a faith, that preaches love and clemency,

that is the embodiment of rightfulness and beauty,

when it is you that should be feared, not your God,

because you lack the fear of the Lord.

What religion is this you preach? It is not of Muhammad, Abraham, David, or Moses.

You are a misguided puppet of earth’s greater forces.

A preaching, a calling, a faith that

only the will of the Greatest  Heavenly Force can combat.

September 13, 2015

The names

Filed under: Poetry,Religion and society,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 2:46 pm
Tags: , ,

I know Aylan Kurdi

and the others who came

but didn’t live,

to see the end of this game.

Game makers,

in your fancy suits,

The floor is red

but you wear boots.

I know my sisters,

Noor, Raneem and Najla.

and my brothers, Baalousha and Aslan,

Almataouq, Aashoor and Jumaa.

Game makers,

you cannot run forever,

the lives you have taken

will be avenged by another.

I cannot join them

but I know the freedom fighters,

young Ahed Tamimi,

Rachel Corrie and the others.

I have no weapons with me;

I have everything to lose

but I also have my prayers and my love,

and I have my words and my views.

If that is all I have,

then that is what I will give,

because they are fighting death

while I live.

palestine-flag-1

Image: Retrieved from http://www.worldbulletin.net on 2015.

April 8, 2015

Still

Filed under: Poetry,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 9:08 am

They were dropping bomb after bomb.

They were killing innocents every day.

They were laughing about it.

They were seeking entertainment from it.

They were merciless.

They were wicked.

And we..

We were boycotting.

We were writing ‘Free Palestine’.

and ‘Free Gaza’.

and ‘Remember Gaza’.

and we were praying for the innocents.

and we were crying for them.

Now it’s died down.

Some days there is no news;

some days they spend a couple of minutes on it.

They still have no homes.

They still have no family.

They still have no food.

Blood has still been spilled.

And we…

We have stopped boycotting.

We have stopped writing.

We have stopped praying.

We have stopped remembering.

Have we really stopped caring?

November 4, 2014

Forgive me

Filed under: Poetry,Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 3:46 pm

shrapnel-school

Oh Palestine. Forgive me

for I have allowed this to occur.

My brothers and sisters are divided;

many not realizing sooner

that we have wronged you.

Oh Gaza. Know my regret

for having not done more

for you and your people.

We let them bomb you and make your soil sore

With agony and destruction.

Oh people of Palestine. Know my sorrow.

We should have come to your door;

we should have fought harder by your side.

Palestine, but you know,

We did nothing.

Oh sisters of Palestine,

let me mourn with you

for the brothers and fathers

and husbands you have lost

and all the others

that you have loved.

Oh brothers of Palestine,

I look up to you

for your bravery;

the same bravery you pass on to your sisters and wives

and make the rest of the world look cowardly.

Oh Palestine.

Image: Shrapnel holes in a decorated wall in the heavily damaged Sobhi Abu Karsh school in Gaza City’s al-Shejaea neighborhood on August 5, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED ABED) Retrieved from <http://www.google.com.bh/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnow.mmedia.me%2FPages%2FImageStreamer%2Fparam%2FMediaID__bd07a288-f5d4-4cfe-91d7-dbdbabea81ee%2Fw__616%2Fh__394%2Fshrapnel-school.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fnow.mmedia.me%2Flb%2Fen%2Farchive%2F559006-charity-lists-dead-gaza-children-in-british-paper-ads&h=394&w=616&tbnid=7qT8WMPz7HI8fM%3A&zoom=1&docid=YvK-Qyw0M6rCLM&ei=gPNYVKfVKtOHsQSi2YG4CQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CHwQMyhXMFc&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=696&page=5&start=77&ndsp=23&gt; 04/11/2014.

April 14, 2013

Dearest Srilanka 2

Filed under: Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 8:42 am

I ask you this, Srilanka. You may have men and women of different religions and different ethnicities but are they all not Srilankans? Is that not what unites them? Is it not powerful enough to be a Srilankan? What I mean to ask is ‘Is the force of being a Srilankan so weak that it is brought down by differences in faith?’ Here’s your answer, Srilanka. My faith is you. You are me and my sister and my brother. And it does not matter if my ancestors were Arab and my brother’s ancestors were Indian or vice versa. What matters is that now we are Srilankans and one day we will be the ancestors of those Srilankans to come.

Now is the time to build on this fact. Look to the future. Many countries have been divided because they have forgotten that their people are the same. Srilanka, you cannot let that happen, not to us. We are all yours and we are proud to be yours.

Your leaders might tell you it is one man, two men or 10 men for the sake of a cause. But what about your cause? What about the life for which you live? Do you not wake up everyday to send your son to school? Do you do so, so he will grow up to turn away his fellow countrymen, and decide he hates another because of difference in belief? Do you work so hard to pay for his education only to watch him abuse his brothers without him even entirely understanding why?

What’s that you say? He understands? What does he understand? Do you really think that when you tell a child to harm his neighbor because he prays to another god, he understands you? Of course he doesn’t. The first thought that comes into his mind will be ‘what if my neighbor’s god is the right god?’ Then he will ask himself, ‘Does my neighbor dislike me too because my god is different?’ And you will answer this sometimes unasked question not with your own words but with the words of some reporter or some politician on the television, people whose names your child will not even have heard.

Your child will listen to you say his neighbors are teasing and taunting others like him and although your child will believe you because he thinks it is coming from you and not the television, you know at the back of your head that those were not your words. So, I present to you the same question. Do you think your child really understands? What’s more important is do you understand?

You listened to the reporter; you read the paper. So what? How can you be certain the reporter is right? Is he not just saying what he has been told to say; what his superiors want him to say? So are his superiors correct? Have you thought that they might be saying what they think will increase their popularity and their funding? Finally, how can you listen to someone who does not even say what he wants to say but what someone else wants him to say?

And now you will ask how you can be certain that you should listen to me. I will give you a fair argument to that clear that doubt. You do not have to listen to me but I hope you do. I hope you do because what I am telling you comes from the soil of Srilanka, the same soil that runs through my veins in the form of blood. I am not speaking for money or for fame. It does not matter if you don’t know who I am. All you need to know is that I’m a Srilankan and so are you and I am here because I love you, Srilanka.

Sri Lanka, if all the questions I have asked have not crossed your mind, I ask you to pause for a second and think of them now before it’s too late; before you have done too much damage, not necessarily physical damage but psychological damage.

Dearest Sri Lanka, what do you think all this amounts to then; all this shame and all this humiliation? Have you not abused each other enough? Do you not think of what you have done Sri Lanka to your people? Does it not keep you awake at night? If it does not, then know that it keeps awake the hungry orphan; and the grieving mother whose son died before her hair turned white; and the soldier who was forced to ignore a suffering man because he was on the other side; and the earth as it tosses and turns in its wet, unnatural soil, as it conceals the bones of those who have died in vain and as it begins to be aware of the stench of shame in itself.

March 28, 2013

Dearest Sri Lanka

Filed under: Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 1:28 pm

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Dearest Sri Lanka,

I am terribly disappointed in you. Have you not fought long enough? Wasn’t 30 years of civil war enough for you? Why must you start another?

Sri Lanka, you were once known as Serendib, named after serendipity, meaning a pleasant surprise. You can proudly boast to be one of the most desired holiday destinations because of your beautiful scenery. More than this though, you can boast a friendly population.

You have come a long way, freeing yourself from British imperialism and rebirthing yourself in 1948. You have all sorts of people that call you their mother country and their home; people from India, Arabia and Southeast Asia. While countries like America and those of the Middle East can also boast an ethnic diversity, you, Sri Lanka know that these races are not foreign to you but are a part of your culture and identity.

I know Sri Lanka that I am not the only Sri Lankan who took pride in you but now I am embarrassed. I wish you would be what I expect you to be; the tiny island with a soul as large as the ocean on which it sits.

***

I am not oblivious to the fact that unrest is a part of your history, Sri Lanka. I am also aware that you might at times have felt the need to be forceful, to be heard. But Sri Lanka, there are always political forces within any nation and, assuming you still have the heart that bred the heart I have, I humbly request that you not build barriers between your citizens but that, if you are to build anything, let it be walls between true citizens of Sri Lanka and those with higher political motives.

Is this too much to ask for? Let’s face it! Sri Lanka, you will accuse and protest and demonstrate but will you really benefit from it? If so, what have you benefited from past conflicts? All that has come of your history of violence is more violence. When will you stop to think that violence is not the answer?

I walk the streets of Sri Lanka and see children walking to school with smiles on their faces. I see them buying candy from smiling shopkeepers. I see a young girl helping an old man cross the street. I see neighbors lending a hand. Are not those of other religions your neighbors too? Are they not the children of your soil? Sri Lanka, your simple man knows where his heart is. Guide him and let not corruption seep through the back door of his home, his temple, his mosque or his church.

Yes, the back door. Do not all religions preach peace? If so, intolerance will not enter through the front door because intolerance knows he is not welcome. But Sri Lanka, you have let it come to the point that you invite conflict through your front doors and your windows. Why? What will you gain from it? Are you really willing to lose another brother, another son? And I don’t just mean your brother by blood but also your brother who was born of your nation.

To be Continued….

Image: Retrieved on 12/06/2013 from www.freeflagicons.com

March 25, 2013

Modern Slavery

Filed under: Sociopolitics — by Zuhair @ 6:19 am

I found this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DiBCqMvidBg4%26oref%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DiBCqMvidBg4%26has_verified%3D1

The abuse of migrant workers is not something that can be ignored any further. Although a number of newspapers are covering the issue, the situation is far from changing. The video on YouTube is only a piece of the story. The most common abuse is suffered by housemaids who have been raped, stabbed, and murdered.

Firstly though, in response to the video, all I can say is that it is madness. A child is beating up an older man. Is that what the world has come to? The fact that it is a child makes it even scarier than if it was an adult. All innocence is lost.

But is it really the child’s fault? Sure, the child is holding what looks like a whip, the child is doing the whipping and seems happy about it. But let’s face it! This is a child. I blame the parents. Where does this kind of attitude come from? From society and from upbringing.

We live in a cruel world, a world where newspapers talk about abuse and governments do nothing about it, a world where countries take land like they’re taking candy and people can’t do anything about it. Although watching something like this breaks the heart of anyone who has humanity in them, I at least cannot be entirely surprised. After all, it is only a matter of time.

If parents are hostile and racist, how could one expect the children to be different? The situation is very much similar to the early racism that plagued American society all through its history of slavery and segregation. Except in this case, it’s more global than that. Racism is a disease and all the laws in the world may not be able to stop it at the end of the day.

This does not however, mean that we should give up trying to remedy the situation because if laws cannot cure racism, they can fight against it. This is what the world lacks.  The fighting spirit exists only when it is personal and migrant workers are too weak to fight, so it is our duty to fight for them. Furthermore, fighting against it will reduce it and hence, the psychology of the racist changes as generations come and go.

But do we see that happening? No, because instead of addressing problems close to home, on a socio political level, enactors of laws are addressing other problems, which may be just as important, but one is not more important than the other. Before deciding which country you want to ally with before World War III begins, solve your current problems at home. This has always been the attitude of those in power. One example of this is British imperialism

Of course this was a very long time ago. But perhaps we can apply the same situation. Here’s an interesting thought. .. Monarchies and governments, instead of thinking about how allying with the world’s superpowers will benefit you, think about how saving migrant workers from your people will make your nation better.

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