Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Political Arabic Poetry for you: (3) Don't Reconcile!

Mid Ramadan
July 2014
Cairo, Egypt

Gaza is being massacred again and Cairo feels more Zionist than ever.
 And I'm supposed to be just siting here. They even took away from me my right to speak about Palestine.

Once upon a time when -for the first time- direct action was possible and did cause things to happen.
That only time I could consider abandoning the feelings of shame for being an Egyptian I grew up with. That only time we could actually express how we have always felt about Israel fiercely and openly through direct action. Real actual physical direct actions. 
Thousands walking and driving towards physical Egyptian/Palestinian borders..
 Egyptian youth swimming across the Mediterranean to get there..
 Egyptian protesters bringing physical walls built by the US funded junta down, and eventually kicking ambassadors out of the country.
 And what the world thought then didn't matter. 
This felt so right after years of suffocated, tiny, shy expressions of disagreement. 

How does the world want me to sign up for less than this in 2014?
It's 2005 all over again, and Cairo is painfully quiet and too complicit that it feels more Zionist than many other Zionist places around the world. 

The comrades who could do these things are gone or hiding, and the shameful helplessness is back to being as bitter as it has always been. 




Outside what used to be the Zionist embassy in Cairo.
Ramadan 2011.
We were there.

***************
Political Arabic Poetry for you: Don't Reconcile:

The Egyptian poet Amal Dunqul wrote his most well known poem “Don't reconcile” لا تصالح to denounce Sadat's decision to sign the Camp David accord with Israel against the will of the Arab and Muslim nations and that of the Egyptian masses whose wounds were still fresh from the war.
Egypt's role in the region and specifically in regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict has changed forever since this treaty was signed. The shameful reality of today's Egypt is a natural consequence of this move.
While Egypt is becoming more Zionist diplomatically than any other time in its modern history, this piece has become the voice which represented the voiceless Egyptians who never wanted to reconcile with the killer of their brothers. And now, as Arab regimes have cracked down on popular uprisings, people have come to relate to the piece in a different light, viewing it as a call to neither reconcile nor negotiate with their own tyrannical regimes. 

The poem was used in different artistic forms whether street art (Graffiti), Arabic calligraphy designs, caricature, and others. This is the poem recited by the author with a dedication to the Egyptian martyrs of the revolution 40 years after it was written:


This was a very challenging poem to translate. It's an honor to introduce such an important piece in the revolutionary Arabic collective subconsciousness to the non-Arabic speaking reader. It is part of the translation initiative I mentioned in my previous posts.

More works and info could be found here:


*********



1.

Do not reconcile
even if they give you gold
I wonder
if I were to gouge out your eyes
and replace them with two gems
would you see?
These things are priceless.

Childhood memories
between you and your brother
when you - suddenly - felt like men.
Bashfulness suppresses your yearning
when you embrace him
the silence with a smile
while your mother blames you
as if you’re still two kids.

Eternal comfort between the two of you
such that two swords are your sword
two voices are your voice
such that if you were to die
there is a guardian to the house
and a father for the child.

Would my blood turn to water in your eyes?*
Would you forget my clothes covered in blood?
Would you wear - over my blood - clothes adorned
with silver and gold?

This is war!
It may wear heavy on the heart
but behind you will be the shame of all the Arabs.

Do not reconcile.
Do not reconcile.
Do not try to find ways to hide.

Don't reconcile even if they said a head for a head. Are all heads equal?
 Graffiti in the West Bank, Palestine
2.

Do not reconcile over blood
even with blood.
Do not reconcile
even if they say a head for a head
Are all heads equal?
Is a stranger’s heart
equal to your brother’s?
Are his eyes your brother’s eyes?
Is a hand whose sword was your sword
equal to a hand whose sword caused you to mourn.

They will say:
We came to you to stop the bloodshed
We came to you, o’ prince, to mediate.
They will say
'Here we are cousins'
so tell them
they had no such consideration
for he who has perished.
Instill the sword into the forehead of the desert
until the nothingness tells you
that I was for you
a knight
a brother
a father
and a king.

3.
Do not reconcile
even if they bestow leadership upon you.
How can you step over the corpse of your father’s son?
How can you become king with such phony joy?
How can you look at the hands of those who are
shaking your hands, and not see blood on them?
If it was one arrow that stabbed me in the back
for you it will be one thousand
because blood has become a decoration and a badge.
Do not reconcile.
Do not reconcile
even if they bestow leadership upon you.
Indeed your throne is a sword
and your sword is a sham
unless it witnesses moments of honor.

4.
Do not reconcile
even if those who retreated during the fighting said,
'We don't have the energy to wield our swords'
when the truth fills your heart
you will breathe fire
and the tongue of betrayal will be silent.

Do not reconcile
regardless of how much they talk about peace.
How can you look into the eyes of a woman you know you cannot protect?
How can you become her lover?
How can you wish for tomorrow for a sleeping newborn?
How can you dream about the future of a young boy
while he’s growing up in your hands - with a broken heart. 

Do not reconcile
and don’t share food with those who have killed you.
Water your heart with blood…
and water the sacred lands…
and water your ancestors who lie there…
until their bones respond back to you!

5.
Do not reconcile
even if your tribe calls upon you
to be deceptive and show acceptance to those who came to you.
Your tribe will say
'You're asking for vengeance
that is quite distant.
So take what you can right now.’

Let us be honest
in these few years
this is not your vengeance alone
its generations’ after generations’
and tomorrow
there is one who will be born
who will wear full armor
who will kindle the fire fully
who will bring about truth
from ruptures in the impossible.
Do not reconcile
even if it is said that reconciliation is deceit.

It is vengeance.
The flames fade in the heart…
as the seasons pass…
the hand of shame will leave a mark (with its five fingers)
on the humiliated foreheads.

6.
Do not reconcile
even if its written in the stars
and the astrologers break the news to you.
I would have forgiven if I died inadvertently.
I was not a conqueror.
I never snuck close to their trading post.
I never came close to the fruit of their grapevines.
I never came close to the fruit of their grapevines.
their verdant lands - I never came near them.
My killer never shouted ‘Watch out!’ to me…
he was walking alongside me…
then he shook my hand..
then he walked ahead
into the bushes to hide.

Suddenly
a shiver punctured me between two ribs
my heart swelled
then burst
I struggled until I could prop myself on my forearm
and saw my vile cousin
rejoicing over my suffering with a cruel face.
I did not wield a dagger
or even an old weapon
nothing but a rage borne of hunger.

7.
Do not reconcile
until existence returns to its moving cycle
the stars to orbit
the birds to their song
the sands to their grain
and the martyr to his awaiting daughter.

Everything was destroyed in a fleeting moment:
youth, the joy of family, the sounds of horses, getting to know a guest,
the humming of the heart upon seeing sprouts in the garden,
the prayer for seasonal rain,
the elusion of the heart when it sees the bird of death flying over deathly duels.

Everything was destroyed upon a licentious whim
and the one who assassinated me was not a god
such that he could kill me with his will
he was not more noble than I
such that he could kill me with his knife
he was not more clever than me
such that he could kill me through deceit.

Do not reconcile
for reconciliation is nothing but a treaty
between two equals
(by the honor of their hearts)
otherwise it cannot be true
the one who assassinated me was just a thief
who stole my land right in front of my eyes
as the silence was sarcastically laughing!

8.
Do not reconcile
even if all the sheiks stand against your sword
along with the men with no integrity
and those whose turbans dangle over their eyes
and their Arabic swords have forgotten the years of glory.

Do not reconcile
for there should be nothing but what you want
you are the only knight of this time
and the rest are ‘Musookh’.*

Do not reconcile.
Do not reconcile.
__________________________________________________________________________
* For blood to turn to water: An Arabic saying referring to the impossibility of blood transforming into water, and the bonds of blood, family, and brotherhood being lost.

** Musookh (sing. Maskh): Creatures that are partially human, and part monster. Originally a term to describe creatures such as Dracula and Frankenstein, Maskh is used as a derogatory term to describe people - rulers, “Uncle Toms,” etc. - who betray their own people and humanistic values in order to attain fame, fortune, notoriety, etc. Also translated as metamorphosis and transformation.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Political Arabic Poetry for you: (2) "Renunciation" and "Revolution"

“Poetry is not an Arab regime that falls with the death of the ruler. And it's also not an alternative to action. It's an art form whose job is agitating, exposing, and witnessing reality, and aspiring beyond the present. Poetry comes before action. Then poetry catches up. Poetry lights the road, and guides our deeds.
Back in the day, Nassr Bin Seyar said, “Indeed, war begins with speech.”
In reality, speech surrounds war from its beginning to its end through awareness, instigation, and glorification.

Indeed, action needs the influence of sincere speech. Because its absence means filling the space with contradictory speech. And we know that this contradictory speech is always present and active, even while truth exists. So, imagine that the space was entirely void of truth.

There is no resistance on the face of earth that would dispense the poet for the fighter. Every living resistance realizes that there is no use for bloodshed without a moral conscience. The history of our people is the greatest witness to the importance of the poet’s role in war. The fighter has always sharpened both his sword and tongue.” [1]

Ahmed Matar is known as “The Poet of Freedom and Exile.” Several times in his life, he has been forced to live in exile because of his poetry - from Iraq to Kuwait to London, where he currently resides. Constant forced migration, the yearning for home, and the cruelties of exile, and those who impose it, are reflected through his work. [2]

The following poem is the fifth poem in the collection of translated poems we chose from his work. 
You can find them in the following website:
 ( Political Arabic Poetry in English )

"Renunciation and Revolution" is a statement of rejection against most of the poets and the poetry of nowadays made by Matar who paid a very high price when he utilized his poetry as a tool for resistance.
It reflects his deep frustration at how many poets manipulate poetry in order to please the rulers and avoid speaking the truth then eventually betray their own people's struggles when they don't pack them with resistance poetry. 

"Renunciation" and "Revolution" 
التكفير و الثورة

By: Ahmed Matar أحمد مطر

I renounce pens and notebooks.
I renounce the Arabic language,
That gives birth while it is barren. 
I renounce poetry,
That doesn't stop injustice,
And doesn't move the moral consciousness.

I curse each word,
That doesn't result in a march,
After it is uttered.
And in the wake of which,
The people don’t write their destiny.

I curse each poet,
Sleeping over comfortable verses,
While their people are sleeping in the graveyards.
I curse each poet,
 Who’s inspired by tears,
To talk about drinking.
And inspired by bitterness,
To talk about their desires,
And inspired by death,
To talk about their chills.

I curse each poet,
Who flirts with lips and braids,
In the times of cops and police stations.
And doesn't see the muzzle of the rifle,
When he sees lips appealing for help,
And doesn't see the noose,
When he sees braids.

In times when rulers arrive by a tank,
or upon the tribe’s camel.
I curse each poet,
Who doesn't have a bomb,
In order to write their last poem!


*****

The original poem in Arabic:

The poem and the quote are translated and edited to English as a part of this initiative to translate political Arabic poetry to the English reader.


Related posts in this blog:


__________________________________________________

[1] An introduction to political Arabic poetry and its significance in the Arabic tradition.

[2] Ahmed Matar speaking in an interview after the uprisings in 2011 about the significance of Arabic poetry as a form of resistance.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keys to understanding the developing situation in Iraq


I wanted to write this post because I'm tired of having to read all these analysis and watch all these self claimed experts on the situation in Iraq once hell broke loose. As always, most of the writers and commentators on the situation are westerners, non-Arabs, non-Iraqis. Most of the writings and analysis are reflective to their authors and this is problematic.

I do an effort to look for sources on the ground and I fortunately speak/read both Arabic and English and that makes things a lot more easier. I still prefer to keep my opinions for myself when things are complicated and when my sources are not adequate. Unfortunately, so many people don't choose to do this. That's why we are witnessing an analytic circus on Iraq these days because everyone thinks they're entitled to saying something even while they don't know enough to form an opinion about the matter.

So, I'm not offering a whole other analysis here, it's more like a guideline based on my observations and readings. These are things I think you need to be aware of and keep in mind while looking at the situation in Iraq right now. It might help you understand a little bit before jumping into conclusions you have already.

The historical context: The peaceful uprising of 2012 that turned into an armed rebellion:


A Friday rally in al Anbar Jan 2013

I started paying close attention to Iraq again in early 2012 after I found out randomly through some of my contacts in Iraq that a popular peaceful uprising started in February 2012 in most of the Sunni major parts of Iraq. The whole thing started in Al Anbar. This came as a response specifically to the targeting, imprisoning, and raping of women in Al Maliki's prisons and the general targeting of the Sunni Iraqis using terrorism laws to persecute the Sunni population. 

 These designs on several days of actions and event are from Herak English, one of the Iraqi English Facebook outlets I followed closely. 





The mobilization was widespread across more 13 major Sunni Iraqi regions, it was incredibly inspiring and was met with so much aggression but for some reason it didn't pick up any media attention. I coordinated with some revolutionary Iraqi Facebook pages and started an English page to translate and post updates from there on a weeklybasis.

We don't give up, we win or die. From an anti-Maliki rally in 2013

A series of attacks and massacres took place at some of the protesters camp sites, and Al Maliki's armed forces used excessive force against protesters. Al Hawja massacre is one example. The situation escalated and eventually several insurgent groups were formed and people picked up arms whether individually or through their clans and tribes. You can check this interview with an armed rebel in Ramadi on why this ended up happening.



  In July 2013, more than1,000 Iraqis were killed in several contexts whether in attacks by the regime forces or in explosions. This is the largest number of deaths the country has witnessed in years, yet it didn't pick up enough attention. Check out this figure.

Civilian Deaths in Iraq from 2008-2013

The conclusion here is: People need to consider the uprising in the Sunni major cities in 2012 and the context in which this uprising emerged and how things were under the US installed puppet regime of Al Maliki.

Contextualizing Syria and Iraq: Shared borders, history, and present:
Guess what? Iraq and Syria share geographical borders. You can look at a map and make sure this is a fact. The development of the Syrian revolution has definitely reflected on the Iraqi scene. Al Malik's regime is allied with Bashar Al Assad's, and Al Maliki's security forces have been involved in operations with Bashar's against the anti-Assad protesters and rebels since 2011. Naturally, several groups and individuals from Iraq were also allied with the anti-Assad Syrian rebels.
The formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham came through some of these shared efforts. A while before that the Islamic State of Iraq was operating in Iraq. This was the mother group from which (ISIS) was born.

The conclusion here is: Syria is relevant to Iraq. Iraq is relevant to understanding Syria. If you can't fully understand what's been taking place in Syria (And I don't blame you, it's complicated), then you shouldn't expect yourself to fully grasp what's been taking place in Iraq. But at least make sure you're connecting the dots.

The over-generalization and bogey-men blaming:
The recent developments in Iraq reaffirmed the fact so many people in the west think of themselves as experts in Islamic groups. Way too many people think they can have a valid opinion about this subject, mostly non-Arab non-Muslim white males who reside in the northern American continent. The western narrative on Iraq hasn't been any different from the general narrative on the Middle East. This are some common mistakes:

1- Reducing the situation into black and white binaries and overlooking the diversity and the wide spectrum of parties involved and emphasizing the sectarian aspect of the conflict. (Islamist and secular, Sunni and Shia, Muslim brotherhood and military, rebels and state security forces.. etc).
Most of the time this results in the common Arab man who might be affiliated with neither parties not given any credit. It also doesn't give any room for imagining a third gray area.

In case of Iraq it should be recognized that The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) is not the only sole rebel group that's involved in the current conflict in Iraq with Al Maliki's army and security forces.

Although their role in turning the situation can't be neglected, claiming that (ISIS) is the only group involved is as ridiculous as the Egyptian military's claim that everyone in the Egyptian #AntiCoup movement is a Muslim Brotherhood member or a Morsi supporter. The Iraqi people should be given credit for their participation in resisting this US funded puppet regime and people should do an effort in finding more keys to understanding this.

2- The Bogeymen, the terrorists, the bad (usually bearded/Jihadi) guys who get all the attention, who are usually portrayed in an exaggerated representation and are blamed for everything.

In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham happened to be playing this role. I have my own reservations about the group based on the firsthand accounts I have heard and read from people in Syria and Iraq. I also have been following multiple (ISIS) supporting sources. In addition, like many Jihadi groups, (ISIS) does have a remarkable Arabic and English online media presence because they depend on this in recruiting and building a populace ground. The fan boys of (ISIS) are everywhere on the web, their HD youtube videos, statements, and articles get translated into several languages. While you can always read what the terrorist expert white dudes in Washington DC think about these people, I guess it could be beneficial to you to read their own productions to get more perspective.

I'm not going to get into details about what I think of it personally but I do think that people need to be doing more reading about it in multiple context. There's a need to be familiar with the older group (The Islamic State of Iraq), and the manner in which (ISIS) operates in Syria verses how it has been operating in Iraq and things like this.

3- Blaming the victim and undermining the role of the oppressor.

Just like with Syria and Egypt, the protesters, the rebels, the anti-government elements get more criticism than the forces they are fighting against.
The protesters in Egypt are violent, the rebels in Syria are foreigners, the Sunnis in Iraq are armed, the (ISIS) is torturing people, and thus as a result of this the whole body of the given movement is illegitimate and these people deserve to be punished. This is a very common trend in many of the analysis and in the news coverage about mobilizations in the Arab world.

In Iraq, while nobody said anything about what Al Maliki's regime has committed against his own people and against the Sunni population specifically for years, everyone is talking about the violations (ISIS) was involved in. Similar to the arguments about Rabaa's sit in being an armed sit in and what's been said about Syria that I don't want to get started about. The same thing appears in the argument “Both sides are guilty” with the Palestine/Israeli conflict.

I'm not saying we should remain quite about the mistakes of those involved in a struggle. This is important and necessary however, I'm against equating two sides when the power dynamics are clear.

The conclusion here is:

1- Undermining the real forces that are crushing their people and the international players while giving too much attention to the opposition leads to justifying the oppression on a larger scale.

2- Focusing on and amplifying the violations the (ISIS) is involved in while totally ignoring the atrocities committed by Al Maliki's sectarian regime that used terrorism laws to crackdown on civilians and fulled sectarianism to further its control is unjust.

3- Picking up on the mistakes of the rebels while totally ignoring the role of the American, Iranian, Syrian and other governments which have geopolitical and financial interests in Iraq have responded recently and in the last few years is unjust. 

I have been generally quiet about my opinions regarding what's taking place in the region even in my own country for a multitude of reasons but I felt the need to say something about Iraq especially because we all failed it in many way. As Muslims and Arabs and as anti-war advocates. All the people in the countries that supported the invasion of Iraq which started this all shouldn't act like it's over. Learn and educate yourself before talking. Speak a word of truth against injustice or stay quiet, and everything will be ok. We have so many struggles to deal with to be struggling with orientalist self proclaimed wannabe middle east experts. 


Sunday, June 08, 2014

Political Arabic Poetry for you: (1) People of Exile

منفيون | "People of Exile"

Translated and edited by:
Alshimaa Helmy
Matthew Graber



To whom should we complain about our suffering?

And who is out there who would listen to our concerns,

and help us resolve them?

Should we complain about suffering to death to our rulers?

Would we become alive through death?

We are a flock of sheep and our shepherd is the butcher.

We are exiled as we walk in our home lands.

We are forced to carry our coffins with our own hands.

We are expressing our condolences of our deaths to ourselves.

Our ruler, God Bless Him, in all his justice, took away everything we have in this life and the life thereafter.

Our rulers, you neither betrayed us nor showed mercy for our enemies,

May God reward you for sparing our land from the disasters of our enemies, and granting our wishes.

And, here’s Jerusalem thanking you for bringing America to her knees through your threats and denunciations,

As she has not moved her embassies, and God forbid if she did, we would have lost Palestine!

Oh, our rulers, this victory is enough for you and for us.

Congratulations!




Source: 

Original Arabic poem:
منفيون

 *****
With Sisi winning presidency in post-revolutionary Egypt and Assad winning presidency in post-revolutionary Syria.
With my arrival back to my home that always felt like an exile after a year of forced displacement.
I thought this will be relevant now more than any other time.

Congratulations.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Revolution will be tragic: Reclaim your feelings

It’s the end of April in the year 2014, I’m still in the United States of America and I ended up somehow in Philadelphia, PA. Philadelphia is the last stop here that I’m trying to make feel like yet another home in the collection I have so far for “Cities I could call home”. 
This was an unplanned move that luckily helped me in the process of thoughts re-arrangement, healing, and self reflection that I’ve been experiencing as I’m preparing for my departure towards what used to be the only home I have known for a while. 

I know for sure that in the very near future -due to circumstances outside of my control- I won’t have the same amount of clarity and positivism I do have right now regarding the world and life. And so, as I’m still not so overwhelmed, I wanted to talk a little bit about healing and maintaining an inner well-being in a world that pushes you towards denial as the only coping mechanism with disaster and turmoil. 

Frankly speaking, I haven’t been feeling very well for quite a while regardless of my outside environment. Both the disorienting constant mobility and the sharp contrast between my outside and my inside made healing a very difficult process.

I wake up at days not wanting to wake up. I wake up at others feeling an immense amount of anger and frustration towards the whole world and everything in it without an apparent immediate reason sometimes. I still struggle quite often with the intense sleeping experiences that I should have gotten used to over than 3 years ago. I think about the friends and the stories I witnessed from Egypt and Syria obsessively, I remember the old and the fresh, I miss a lot of details but I see it reflected in everything around me even the unrelated.  



The journalists don't and will never get it, the political careerists in general lack the basic human compassion to even try with it and they expect you to not expect anything from them, the family chose to be in complete denial to cope, and whatever is left of the friends is mostly scared to death because it’s too much for what they can handle. 

It’s not what they signed up for when they chose to be revolutionaries. It’s not what the white journalists and their assimilated POC counterparts signed up for when they decided to save these brown people in the Middle East with their work. Hundreds of empty spirited Rudyard Kiplings walking with so much pride, so much white men burdens, and next to them are colonized wanna be white people from your own, stabbing at the back when they could be of help to their own people with less money than what they get paid to ruin everything.

Nobody wants to deal with it but it's all very fresh still, it doesn't go away, and it won't because it needs to be dealt with wisely and patiently. I chose the awareness of the sickness that comes with the pain over the denial that comforts you for a little bit and then eventually backfires.

In the past I used to hide when I could when that would happen to spare myself from the questions. I also used to put the positive/inspirational/everything is okay mask on for occasions. 
Eventually I got tired, it wasn't working, and I learned the hard way that I shouldn't do this to myself to comfort people over my personal suffering and struggle. I learned that we shouldn't censor these feelings, we should let them be out there fully and wholly even if it scared people away and even if it resulted in limiting your social circle and your professional career aspirations.

I learned that nothing else matters if you’re not feeling okay because of what you've encountered. You shouldn't be expected to act all normal when everything around you is not, when your whole world is falling apart and when your own self is breaking into pieces.

I’m talking about losing a handful of your classmates in army attacks one after the other and seeing their killers freed and laughing. 

I’m talking about your recently graduated best friend getting a life sentence over a series of false accusation and not getting a single one journalist interested in writing about them.

I’m talking about the fact your son's dead body will never come back home.

I’m talking about the flashbacks and the memory loss from your Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the scenes coming back to you at night in the daily nightmares for the first three years of your early twenties or adolescence. 

I’m talking about waking up everyday with the idea of possibly experiencing incarceration for life for your mere existence, for being Black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, poor, or having the wrong nationality this year and wondering about the days you have left to walk the streets freely and see the sun and the grass.

Revolution, political unrest, and systemic oppression are not a fun experience, it is not a career choice or a life profession, it is a bloody, traumatizing, and heart wrenching event that nobody wishes to have to go through, it’s not something you wake up one morning and choose to sign up for or do for living. 

Assata Shakur brilliantly says: “People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”

Trauma, suffering, pain, and sadness are natural results of oppression, and as people get used to oppression they can also internalize all the suffering that comes with it eventually too. 

Some people resort to denial when encountered by such “negativity”. Denial was meant to be a temporary defense mechanism your system resorts to sometimes to help you deal with tough events you might encounter in your life, it wasn't meant to be a long term coping mechanism or a lifestyle. This is something a lot of people fail to see, forgetting that these negative feelings are what makes our existence real. These very feelings are the proof to the injustice you've encountered. It is actually what makes your human experience complete because life wasn't meant to be a dance party or a series of positive accomplishments alone. 

Don't shy from expressing these unpleasant feelings regardless of how much your outside circumstances will make them seem irrelevant.

Don't censor yourself in the name of professionalism and political correctness or fearing the stigma because none of these people you're trying to please will be there for you when things get out of control. 

Don’t remain silent and die a little by little inside in order to fit into the pretentious positive bubbles they are trying to create left and right in workplaces, educational institutions, and social gatherings.

If you need to heal, and you surely will need to heal at some point, don't try so hard to blend in with all the insincere people who are not strong willed enough to face real life experiences like the ones you're going through.  

Don't try and appropriate yourself to the falsehood because you will feel the real deal when you see it, it is there, you just need to be patient while looking for it.

A lot of people will freak out, a lot of people will be shocked when they ask you how are you doing and you don’t answer with the casual expected cheesy fake answers, when you say: “I’m not doing very well actually, do you want to know what’s up?” and when they hear stuff they wish they didn't hear.  

There will be some people who will appreciate your realness however, in this ocean of madness and denial there will be people who will listen in and possibly try and help out. And even if all the people in the world let you down -which might be a very possible scenario for those who choose to be too real- you should know for sure that the Lord of the people will not abandon you.

You will be comforted by God, the all knowing who feels your pain and spoke to the prophets and the believers in his book about it.
"And don't be weak-hearted in pursuit of the enemy, if you are in pain they surely are in pain like you, and you hope from God what they do not hope, and God is all Knowing Wise". Quran 4:104
It’s like when Jacob peace be upon him cried his eyes out over Joseph for years and when he was blamed by his sons affirmed that: 
"I only complain of my suffering and my grief to God, and I know from God that which you do not know". Quran 12: 86 
He was patiently persevering for God’s promise until it was fulfilled and they were reunited again.

And it’s like Moses feeling this fear in his heart from the sight of the magicians possibly winning over him, and from all the might and power the Pharaoh and his retinue seemed to have gathered against him. 
“And Moses conceived a fear in his mind. God said: Don't be afraid, for indeed it is you who are the superior". Quran 20:Verses 67-68.
You're the highest and you're the triumphant by holding to your faith in the Almighty and in the noble message you're carrying along, for standing up for justice against injustice and tyranny, even if you're not equal in the material worldly sense.

At times of adversity and loss, whether people liked it or not, whether they understood it or not,  you have all the right to be angry, fearful, sad, and depressed. You have all the right to feel and express these very legitimate normal human feelings, channel them in their natural course as needed, and use them as a force for good. Stigmatizing and repressing traumas is neither revolutionary nor spiritual. If you think otherwise, show me your book. 
"Say: O my servants who believe, observe your duty to your Lord, for those who do good in this world there is good, and God's earth is spacious, those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure". Quran 39:10
Readings that inspired this post and further readings:

1- Moses story in the Quran, in different chapters.
2- Joseph and Jacob’s story in the Quran in Surah Yusuf.
3- Milestones on the Road by Sayyid Qutb: The chapter on the concept of "Faith Triumphant".
4- “Every time you ask me: How are you doing?” By Ziyad Al Rahbani.