As published in Volume 9, No 1, March. 2012
First of all, I wish to send a short message to those who think they are able to dance over our pains and base them upon sectarian strife and above all to the one-eyed channel (Bahrain TV): We do not wish to live in a palace nor do we yearn for leadership, We are a nation that slays humiliation and assassinates misery, We are a nation that demolishes injustice peacefully from its foundations, We are a nation that doesn’t want this nation to remain at a constant setback, (I shall start reciting my poem and will prey upon an individual who is one of the main causes of injustice in this country: Yes, it is their king Hamad!) At the dining table of this nation’s calamities sit Satan and Hamad, And from there this conversation takes place: Satan: O Hamad! Fear Allah when you deal with them! For my heart is breaking over what you are doing to them, Despite being Satan you have made me side with them! Do so now before I turn against you and prostrate to their Prophet! And return to my Lord I shall for I am bewildered by their struggle. Hamad: O partner you have taught me of how discredit them, With humiliation, insults and calamities I have learnt from you to bestow upon them, And now O Satan you have come to intercede for them?! It seems their awareness and ability to disobey has shaken your identity! Satan: Yes O Hamad your nation has shocked me! And yet you do not pay any attention to what they say! You do not pay any attention to their chants, calls and the sound of their horns. “Down with Hamad!” Do you not see the masses of people gathered together? I will not be surprised if the Messiah is amongst them! Who listens to their complains, their struggle, Their each and every footstep, Be careful O Hamad! For I warn you. With all your wealth you will never be able to bribe your nation. Hamad: Hold on O dear Satan, I have not yet finished filling my stomach with their blood, I have not yet naturalised the rest of my family, friends and their women, I have not yet instructed all my fellow thugs, To become birth-giving machines where mother and father work together while my other thugs collide with them also! I have not yet finished forcing every candle of dreams (youth) on this motherland, To each traffic light he stands, Begging each passerby, “Please buy these water bottles from me” While nobody responds to his call, I have not yet finished torturing every turbaned man on this land, Every youth and child, Nor have I yet finished stamping upon the flowers of youth inside my prisons, I have not yet finished opening a million routes to humiliation, Nor have I yet finished putting this entire nation into a state of lamentation, Not yet O Satan has the number of youths with martyrdom upon their chests heightened! With no job nor occupation held Forget them! They deserve it! I have not yet finished paying each south-Asian on this precious land, To hold our flag up (at pro-government rallies) shouting *in a poor Arabic accent*: Long lives the father of Salman! I have not yet finished sucking blood from flat to flat with the burden of bills, Meanwhile the thugs have lands and houses, But not to worry those affected don’t exceed 120 in number, I doubt anyone will be able to hear their cries. (*Sarcasm* Hamad hasn’t yet received the new figures from Bahrain TV. He still thinks we at Pearl square are only 120 and doesn’t know we’ve actually increased to 320!) Satan: Who are you kidding buddy? Are you saying all these people are just 120 and no one hears their cries?! Look here my over-confident apprentice O father of Salman, O he whose level of treachery has exceeded that of his teacher, And made his heart soften over their cries, Your revolutionary unified nation has worn me out fully! Sunnis and Shias are brothers there are no conflicts for Allah has preserved them, Sunnis and Shias are brothers and we shall never sell this nation! They have sacrificed seven martyrs from amongst them, Seven for the sake of this land, Hasn’t your stone-heart softened yet over their bloody uprising?! Can I as a partner make a suggestion? Gather up that trash of a useless regime which has brought no satisfaction, Because your nation O dear beloved one, They are way out of your league!! Translated by Mohamed Al-mahro
In the issue at hand, the first in the 9th year of our magazine’s life, we feature the moving poem by 20-year old poet Ayat Al-Gormezi from Bahrain.
Her lengthy poem – a shrill cry and a courageous protest against the oppression of human rights in her homeland and elsewhere in the world, wherever human values are humiliated and persecuted – led the poet to prison and placed her poem among the nominations for this year’s International Freedom to Create Prize.
We present an excerpt from the poems along with the story of the young poet’s arrest and suffering for daring to raise, through her lyrics, the standard of freedom, democracy and the need to respect the inviolable human rights.
Ayat Al-Gormezi, a 20-year old poet and student at the Faculty of Teachers in Bahrain, was put on trial for merely expressing her opinion peacefully and openly. She was arrested in February 2011 because she recited a poem which criticised government policy in Pearl Square. Ayat was subjected to harassment, defamation, intimidation, and threats of rape and murder whilst in prison, where she served two months of a one year sentence as the first female prisoner of conscience in Bahrain. She is currently out on bail and back with her family, although awaiting further information on future punishment.
During her detention she was whipped across the face with an electric cable, held for nine days in a tiny cell with the temperature near freezing, and was forced to clean lavatories with her bare hands. “She was jailed by a security court without any legal argument or having her lawyer permitted to speak,” said a family member who was present at her trial.
Ayat has become a symbol of resistance to repression in Bahrain, encouraging thousands of young people and women to take to the streets to express their opinions and stand up for justice. Many women believe that ‘they are Ayat’ and feel inspired by her use of creativity to demand justice and equal rights. Ayat’s bravery, courage and willingness to take a risk in the struggle for justice has raised awareness of the numerous political prisoners in Bahrain. Ayat’s call for justice was no more radical than that heard on the streets of Tunis, Cairo and Benghazi at the same time, but her severe punishment has been one of the most sinister attacks on free speech in recent times.
More information: http://www.freedomtocreate.com/prize-previous-winners