Few days ago, a friend of mine arrived from the United States to Damascus to do some work. While we were meeting with someone, I received a text message from my sister in Baghdad informing me that my other sister had a baby. They named her Fatma. I was very happy and I wanted to share my happiness with my friend. I also wanted to share with him my frustration since I was missing everybody so much. My friend, of course, was excited for me that he wrote a poem on the birth of Fatma. However, I wanted to share with everybody this poem.
A child is born in a country flooded with tears
where rivers of blood have overflowed their banks.
A country that knows its share of shock
but little of the awe that was promised it.
A child is born amidst the rubble
delivered by nations a world away.
Where ignorant men smirk and say shit happens
as thugs and madmen crush beauty
and ancient mysteries are lost forever.
A child is born as an occupying army
watches hell takes its place on earth
and drills and hammers and batteries
and water, glorious water, become the tools
of the devil among men.
A child is born amidst the screams of the tortured
and the sadistic glee of their torturers.
A child is born in a country flooded with the bodies of the dead
discarded in soccer fields, markets, on roadsides or trash heaps.
A child is born and half a world away
I hear her cry, I am Iraqi
My people, my culture live on in me.
A child is born in a country on fire,
her mother cradles her close to her breast
And hope is resurrected from the ashes.