Abedalrahman Elderawi is a
Palestinian poet and teacher who lives in Gaza City. He is 32 years old and has
already lived through three devastating wars. He says, "These experiences have
had a dramatic effect on my life's outlook, which will be apparent through my
poetry. Having graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor's degree in the English
Language, a diploma of translation, I have been utilizing my qualifications and
skills as a teacher. As an admirer of the depth of poetry, I have recently taken
to writing my own, which has been greatly influenced by my own in-depth
experiences." As we publish his poetry, Abed has just
opened a school for
gifted student writers called
Voice of Gaza. The
students of Voice of Gaza receive training in English writing, poetry and art.
We are happy to announce that Michael R. Burch, the editor of The HyperTexts, is
helping with fundraising for the school, and will be publishing the best poems
written by the students, so that they truly can become Voices of Gaza, speaking
for their people to the outside world.
We are one!
Come to me and leave no space,
Let me breathe your beauty,
And draw on my heart all your wishes;
This is how they will come true.
Knock on the door of my soul,
Swiftly it will be opened to you,
And my soul will unite with yours,
As my soul delights in you.
My soul curves toward you;
It flies to your mercy.
The moment when I see
Your light in the darkest nights,
then in the world there is nothing
but Your love and me.
When I feel Your kind words,
Your love whispering deeply inside,
at that moment I forget myself
and Iím speechless and out of words.
Your bountiful clouds of mercyĖ
they swamped and revived my soul
and Your genial words of wisdom
left me in a lovely daze.
You always grant me
more than what I can hold!
I need to release all my fears,
Iím clearly very much in need
of a heart thatís pure indeed.
Iím Gaza, listen to me;
Through my face you will see
A neverending story of pains
That cuts deeply through my veins.
My winks, my shrinks,
My wrinkles twinkle.
Who would dare
To lift my veil?
To touch my essence?
I am a riddle,
On my forehead, a full history.
Beneath my mountains,
To know me well,
Come, visit me,
Touch my wreckage,
Live under my rubble,
Imbibe my air.
In your ignorance you doubt,
My natural traits and merits.
But when I'm so oppressed,
Confronting unjust tyrants,
With a strong voice I shout,
With dignity and reverence.
The sun no longer shines
On my pure stolen dreams,
Obscured by their bleak guns.
They even poisoned the air,
And they hung the doves of peace.
Through constant remembrance
My soul became stronger
And among heroes will ascend