منفيون | "People of Exile"
by Ahmed Matar
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.
Original Arabic poem:
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.