From the Angry Arab

You Shall not Pass

From the Land Poem by Mahmud Darwish (As’ad’s translation):
“O you who are crossing over my body
You shall not pass
I am the land in a body
You shall not pass
I am the land in its splendor
You shall not pass
I am the land
O you who cross on the land
in its splendor
You shall not pass
You shall not pass
You shall not pass!”

State of Siege

From Mahmud Darwish’s State of Siege (As’ad’s translation):
“Standing here. Sitting here. Always here.
Immortals here. And we have one one goal:
To be.
After that, we disagree on everything;
on the shape of the national flag
[You will do well, o my living people, if you choose
the symbol of a simple donkey]
on the words of the new national anthem
[you will do well if you select a song about the marriage of doves]
on the duties of women
[you will do well if you select a woman to head
the security apparatus]
we disagree on the percentages
on the public and the private;
we disagree on everything. We have one goal:
to be…
After that, the individual will find
the space to select the goal.”