Poetry Depot

February 28, 2011

Again About Poetry and Arab Revolution

Filed under: Egypt, Egyptian — Tags: , , , , , , , — razvan @ 7:16 pm

CNN presented this image where Egyptian popular poet Ahmad Fu'ad Nigm rallies attendants during a public meeting organized by the opposition movement 'Writers and Artists for Change' in a main plaza in Cairo, August 2005.

According to CNN, poetry is an important part for the revolution from Egypt too. A venerable contemporary poet being in the cener of public protests.
Monday night at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, writers Reza Aslan, Azar Nafisi and Nathan Englander will take part in a panel, “Literature and Revolution in the Middle East” – on how poetry and novels have been used to fight for revolution throughout the Middle East—from Israel to Iran to Egypt.

ONLY ON THE BLOG: Answering today’s five OFF-SET questions is one of those panelists, Dr. Aslan, a contributing editor at the Daily Beast, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of “No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam and How to Win a Cosmic War” and editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East.”

By now we’ve heard that protesters in various Middle East countries are using Twitter and Facebook to coordinate anti-regime activities. But are you saying that demonstrators, including the many young people who have been protesting, are being informed by literature—by poems and novels?

What I am saying is that their very identity is being formed by the literature that is so much a part of the cultural awareness of the peoples of the Middle East. They are using social media to communicate and organize, but using poetry to define who they are. (more…)

Poetry and Arab Revolution

Filed under: Africa, Arabic, Tunisia, Tunisian — Tags: , , , , — razvan @ 1:25 am

The Will of Life

by Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi

If the people will to live
Providence is destined to favourably respond
And night is destined to fold
And the chains are certain to be broken

And he who has not embraced the love of life
Will evaporate in its atmosphere and disappear

Translated by As’ad Abu Khalil.

فلا بــدّ أن يستجيب القــــدر             إذا الشعب يوماً أراد الحيـــــــاة
ولا بـــدّ للقيـــد أن ينكســــر                ولا بدّ للــــيل أن ينجلــــــــــي
تبـــخّر في جــوّهـا واندثــــر                 ومن لم يُعانــقه شوق الحيــاة

image and poem from HERE

John Lundberg wrote for huffingtonpost.com

The words of a Tunisian poet helped spark revolution in his native country, then spread to help fuel the revolution in Egypt, and continue to inspire protests flaring up throughout the Middle East. Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabi’s poem “Will to Live,” written when Tunisia was struggling under French colonialism in the early 20th Century, captured the emotions of Tunisian protesters in their most recent struggle for democracy, and proved a powerful, unifying cry for freedom. “Will to Live” includes the following lines, which are memorized by school children throughout the Arab world (translated, of course): (more…)

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