Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Carpet

Ramadan is here, and with it comes a new wave of Arab and especially Khaliji TV series and dramas.

One would expect that Gulf production companies, having produced hundreds of shows, have improved over all this time. Unfortunately that is not the case. The TV shows this year, as was the case last year, are only repetitive melodramas or nonsensical farce shows that are not worthy of the time one wastes watching them, despite the fact that they spend a year making them.

Film and TV is a lost art in the region, with the exception of Egypt, hardly any country has developed any noteworthy shows or films. The TV shows tend to play on the viewers need for tragedy and are produced in a way that dramatizes the simplest moments, they are mostly predictable and can lead to usually one of two scenarios: Everyone dies at the end; or every one is saved by some sort of far-fetched "deus ex machina" and all are happy in the end.

Despite the shortcomings of Egyptian TV series and film, they have developed a certain style and standard, unlike the Khaliji productions which are limited to over-acting by cosmetic-surgery-modified actors (I say modified and not enhanced because these surgeries did not always result in any better looking actors or especially actresses).

The sad part is that there are a lot of promising talent in the region who do not get their chance. Recently The General Organization for Youth and Sport (GOYS) organized a competition called "Red Carpet" this year - in its second edition - there were 5 teams of aspiring film makers. They started with hundreds of candidates who participated in some workshops about film, script and film making. They choose out of them 5 teams of 10, with each team working on a short movie. The end result was very promising, with short time and limited resources the teams produced 5 good movies. Granted some movies were significantly better than others and some movies had some technical issues, but all were commendable and are a testament to what the talented youth can achieve if you give them the opportunity even with limited resources. GOYS has done good in this aspect. Hopefully they will give more support to this field that is in need of much development.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lights Of War

A poem I wrote sometime ago about war. I called it:

“Lights Of War”

A Light that shone and a sound,
And people pondered the aim,
A reason said to be profound,
And what complicated claims.

Flaming fire gave light a power,
Where from does it get its fuel?
A monster that just devours
Everything, its force so cruel.

A light that shone, but it was
Not of peace and Hope,
Did not carry knowledge, alas,
It made the truth aslope.

A Light that shone and a sound,
And marching drums of war,
A place that is wrecked all around,
And darkness, then nothing more.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

قصيدة الحزن

"قصيدة الحزن" نزار قباني

علمني حبك ..أن أحزن
و أنا محتاج منذ عصور
لامرأة تجعلني أحزن
لامرأة أبكي بين ذراعيها
مثل العصفور..
لامرأة.. تجمع أجزائي
كشظايا البللور المكسور
علمني حبك.. سيدتي
أسوء عادات
علمني أفتح فنجاني
في الليلة ألاف المرات..
و أجرب طب العطارين..
و أطرق باب العرافات..
علمني ..أخرج من بيتي..
لأمشط أرصفة الطرقات
و أطارد وجهك..
في الأمطار ، و في أضواء السيارات..
و أطارد طيفك..
حتى .. حتى ..
في أوراق الإعلانات ..
علمني حبك..
كيف أهيم على وجهي..ساعات
بحثا عن شعر غجري
تحسده كل الغجريات
بحثا عن وجه ٍ..عن صوتٍ..
هو كل الأوجه و الأصوات
أدخلني حبك.. سيدتي
مدن الأحزان..
و أنا من قبلك لم أدخل
مدن الأحزان..
لم أعرف أبداً..
أن الدمع هو الإنسان
أن الإنسان بلا حزنٍ
ذكرى إنسان..
علمني حبك..
أن أتصرف كالصبيان
أن أرسم وجهك ..
بالطبشور على الحيطان..
و على أشرعة الصيادين
على الأجراس..
على الصلبان
علمني حبك..
كيف الحب يغير خارطة الأزمان..
علمني أني حين أحب..
تكف الأرض عن الدوران
علمني حبك أشياءً..
ما كانت أبداً في الحسبان
فقرأت أقاصيص الأطفال..
دخلت قصور ملوك الجان
و حلمت بأن تتزوجني
بنت السلطان..
تلك العيناها .. أصفى من ماء الخلجان
تلك الشفتاها.. أشهى من زهر الرمان
و حلمت بأني أخطفها
مثل الفرسان..
و حلمت بأني أهديها
أطواق اللؤلؤ و المرجان..
علمني حبك يا سيدتي, ما الهذيان
علمني كيف يمر العمر..
و لا تأتي بنت السلطان..
علمني حبك..
كيف أحبك في كل الأشياء
في الشجر العاري..
في الأوراق اليابسة الصفراء
في الجو الماطر.. في الأنواء..
في أصغر مقهى..
نشرب فيه، مساءً، قهوتنا السوداء..
علمني حبك أن آوي..
لفنادق ليس لها أسماء
و كنائس ليس لها أسماء
و مقاهٍ ليس لها أسماء
علمني حبك..
كيف الليل يضخم أحزان الغرباء..
علمني..كيف أرى بيروت
إمرأة..طاغية الإغراء..
إمراةً..تلبس كل كل مساء
أجمل ما تملك من أزياء
و ترش العطر.. على نهديها
للبحارة..و الأمراء..
علمني حبك ..
أن أبكي من غير بكاء
علمني كيف ينام الحزن
كغلام مقطوع القدمين..
في طرق (الروشة) و (الحمراء)..
علمني حبك أن أحزن..
و أنا محتاج منذ عصور
لامرأة.. تجعلني أحزن
لامرأة.. أبكي بين ذراعيها..
مثل العصفور..
لامرأة تجمع أجزائي..
كشظايا البللور المكسور..

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

To Daffodils

Another one of my favorite poems.

To Daffodils
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)

Fair daffodils we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain’d his noon.
Stay, stay
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the evensong;
And, having prayed together, we
Will go with you along.

We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or any thing.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer’s rain;
Or as the pearls of morning’s dew,   
Ne’er to be found again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though; 
He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 

My little horse must think it queer 
To stop without a farmhouse near 
Between the woods and frozen lake 
The darkest evening of the year. 

He gives his harness bells a shake 
To ask if there is some mistake. 
The only other sound’s the sweep 
Of easy wind and downy flake. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sickle Cell Anemia

Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Anemia Patient Care (Website) has been trying to raise awareness about the Sickle Cell disease and the premarital tests or genetic counseling that can detect the mutation causing the disease predicting the chances of inheriting the disease in a couple’s offspring. The Society has called for more attention to Sickle Cell Patients and made recommendations to the Ministry of Health in Bahrain, among those recommendations was a study demonstrating the need for a Sickle Cell Anemia Patient Care unit and how such a unit can prevent some of the tragedies that happen to families and friends that we read about in newspapers constantly.

Having little help from the private sector, and facing the problems of the limited resources of the Ministry of Health and the public's ignorance about the disease, the society is struggling in its fight against it, while the number of people living with the disease or carrying it is increasing with more couples having or carrying the disease ignoring doctors recommendations and having children who end up with the disease as well.

Sickle Cell is a life-long disease that can manifest with many symptoms and can lead to many complications. Patients with the disease suffer attacks or what is referred to as “Sickle cell crisis”. The severity of these attacks depends on the severity of the condition and the type of the disease the patient has.

Sickle Cell is inherited from parents the same way blood type is inherited. It is caused by a mutation in hemoglobin genes. Those genes have two alleles, this means that there are 3 basic conditions for this disease, either you have it (you have 2 abnormal alleles), or you don’t (2 normal alleles) or you carry it (1 normal allele and 1 abnormal allele).

The picture above shows what happens when a couple with Sickle cell trait (carriers) have kids. 25% of their kids will have the disease, and 25% will not have it while the rest 50% will be carriers like their parents. Carriers do not suffer the symptoms of the disease while people who have the disease suffer symptoms and complications ranging from agonizing pain to lethal attacks.

The society, trying to use a different approach toward awareness about the disease, have contacted a group of the highest religious clerks and scholars from the different sects to produce a “Fatwa” that will discourage couples who have the disease or carry it from marrying or having kids. Responses from some of the scholars said that this kind of marriage is forbidden (haram), while others said it’s not haram but it is highly recommended that it be avoided.

Of course, the need to get such a Fatwa to get the point heard in the first place is absurd so I won't comment on that, you gotta do what you gotta do, and if it works then great. But parents with this disease should keep in mind the price they’re making their kids pay and if the majority of the responses from religious clerks do not discourage this, then that doesn’t mean throwing caution and reason to the wind and making their future kids suffer the consequences.

 * Edited picture (Original is courtesy of

Saturday, June 21, 2014

نزار قباني

قصيدتين من قصائدي المفضلة لنزار قباني 

حارقة روما

. كفي عن الكلام يا ثرثارة
.. كفي عن المشي
على أعصابي المنهارة
ماذا أسمي كل ما فعلته ؟
.. سادية
.. نفعية
.. حقارة
ماذا أسمي كل ما فعلته ؟
يا من مزجت الحب بالتجارة
.. والطهر بالدعارة
ماذا أسمي كل ما فعلته ؟
.. فإنني لا أجد العبارة
أحرقت روما كلها
.. لتشعلي سجارة

* * * * * * *

حبيبتي هي القانون

أيتها الأنثى التي في صوتها
تمتزج الفضة . . بالنبيذ . . بالأمطار
ومن مرايا ركبتيها يطلع النهار
ويستعد العمر للإبحار
أيتها الأنثى التي
يختلط البحر بعينيها مع الزيتون
يا وردتي
وتاج رأسي
ربما أكون
مشاغبا . . أو فوضوي الفكر
أو مجنون
إن كنت مجنونا . . وهذا ممكن
فأنت يا سيدتي
مسؤولة عن ذلك الجنون
أو كنت ملعونا وهذا ممكن
فكل من يمارس الحب بلا إجازة
في العالم الثالث
يا سيدتي ملعون
فسامحيني مرة واحدة
إذا انا خرجت عن حرفية القانون
فما الذي أصنع يا ريحانتي ؟
إن كان كل امرأة أحببتها
صارت هي القانون

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Road Not Taken

Another one by Robert Frost.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,   
And sorry I could not travel both   
And be one traveler, long I stood   
And looked down one as far as I could   
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,   
And having perhaps the better claim,   
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;   
Though as for that the passing there   
Had worn them really about the same,   

And both that morning equally lay   
In leaves no step had trodden black.   
Oh, I kept the first for another day!   
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,   
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh   
Somewhere ages and ages hence:   
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—   
I took the one less traveled by,   
And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

When Plans are Laid

Another one of my poems, I called it When Plans are Laid.

She stood alone in an empty field,
Her clan is gone from this plain land
Old and battered her ancient shield,
A warrior alone in a battle ground.

She stood proud in an empty field,
Where green giants gave way to stone,
A fair maiden whose fate is sealed
As time the fairest queens dethrones.

Once she stood tall in a beautiful field,
Amidst the clans of trees and flowers,
But now she will go it was revealed,
And her place houses will devour.

A million palm trees wither and fade,
When urban developers’ plans are laid.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

إلى طغاة العالم

 قصيدة للشاعر التونسي أبو القاسم الشابي

ألا أيها الظَّالمُ المستبدُ
حَبيبُ الظَّلامِ، عَدوُّ الحياهْ
سَخَرْتَ بأنّاتِ شَعْبٍ ضَعيفٍ
وكفُّكَ مخضوبة ُ من دِماهُ
وَسِرْتَ تُشَوِّه سِحْرَ الوجودِ
وتبذرُ شوكَ الأسى في رُباهُ
رُوَيدَكَ! لا يخدعنْك الربيعُ
وصحوُ الفَضاءِ، وضوءُ الصباحْ
ففي الأفُق الرحب هولُ الظلام
وقصفُ الرُّعودِ، وعَصْفُ الرِّياحْ
حذارِ! فتحت الرّمادِ اللهيبُ
ومَن يَبْذُرِ الشَّوكَ يَجْنِ الجراحْ
تأملْ! هنالِكَ.. أنّى حَصَدْتَ
رؤوسَ الورى ، وزهورَ الأمَلْ
ورَوَيَّت بالدَّم قَلْبَ التُّرابِ
وأشْربتَه الدَّمعَ، حتَّى ثَمِلْ
سيجرفُكَ السيلُ، سيلُ الدماء
ويأكلُك العاصفُ المشتعِلْ

Monday, June 16, 2014


Another poem of mine telling of a time when Bahrain was famous for pearls and nicknamed the land of a million palm trees, keeping with the environmental theme.

I walked around the beach at dusk,
Alone I was though the day was fair.
Looking at waves and smelling their musk,
I heard a soft noise, awash in despair.

The sea was calling to tell a tale,
And I listened to his sad tale in awe,
As the sky wept in her mourning veil,
We wept together man, sky and sea.

We listened to the wailing waves bemoan,
A hundred miles of beach outstretched,
A thousand pearls that glittered and shone,
And a million palms that poets sketched.

I walked around the beach at dusk,
To share my sorrow with the sea,
But it was the sea who after my walk,
Has thrown his sorrow unto me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

 Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

زيدي العناق والتقبيل

إحدى محاولاتي الشعرية (العربية) القليلة.
زيدي العناق والتقبيلا
إني راحلٌ زمناً طويلاً
واكتبي لي رسالةً
لا أضل بعدها إليك السبيلا

ما لقلبي والسرور وأنا أنوي الرحيلا ؟
فالروح تبكي والجسم قد أمسى نحيلاً
فكيف لنار الشوق أن تهدأ
ببعدي عنك كثيراً أو قليلاً

زيدي العناق والتقبيلا
واقتربي .. لأرى ملامحك الجميلة
لأذوب في حسنك العربي
تلك العيون السود والعنق الطويلا

يا بنت شيخ القبيلة
أرى نورك غطى النجوم في كل ليلة
كفاني! لم أعد أنوي الرحيلا
فإني الآن أعد الفراق أمراً مستحيلاً
ولكن .. زيديني
زيدي العناق والتقبيلا

Thursday, June 12, 2014

World Cup

The World Cup has started today. Football enthusiasts are really ecstatic about this important event, and people who don’t care much about football (like me), well, they usually don’t care but since it is an international event you can't avoid hearing about it.

This time the Brazil world cup comes in an awkward time. Between political problems in the middle east and wars everywhere, it is competing for coverage with news about Syria where the civil war is still raging on and have spilled into Iraq where the political system seems to be disintegrating. And while it seems to be an opportunity for the world to rise above political problems in the spirit of sportsmanship, it only served to draw attention to the political and social problems in Brazil.

On the level of games played, I'm no expert, but everyone seems to be discontent with the performance of whichever team they support and so far it has been disappointing even tho it just started. Even the opening event seems to have not lived up to the hype and anticipation it generated.

In our region, where hardly any Arab county qualified for the world cup, the hype is even more feverish, leading to the question of why it is so? I think in other places of the world where there’s a large range of things to do, you can choose to not care about such an international event, however in a our region and especially in a small place like Bahrain where you don’t have much to do for fun you can't make that choice.

While the insanity this year has not lived up to the level seen in South Africa, it is still noteworthy. Maybe people need something like the world cup to show them that people around the world live and can play together to make them forget about the horrible things around the world. But with the commercialization of the event and its coverage even this aspect of sports is losing some of it's value because now the poor cannot afford to even watch it on TV since it is only broadcasted by private networks who hold exclusive rights to show it.

Football was considered the poor man's sport at some time, but now between clubs who buy players with obscene amounts of money (more than the annual budget of a small state) and networks who buy exclusive rights to show games, maybe it's time the poor invented a new sport.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


A bit of experimentation..

Summer wind blowing
Hot dust all over the place
Inside, cool again.

*   *   *   *   *

Sea waves smelling fresh
Dance to laughs and cries of joy
Bright smiles, then nothing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

إرادة الحياة

قصيدتي المفضلة لأبو القاسم الشابي، وربما تكون قصيدته الأشهر.

إذا الشّعبُ يَوْمَاً أرَادَ الْحَيَـاةَ         فلا بدّ أن يستجيب القدرْ
ولا بُـدَّ لِلَّيـْلِ أنْ يَنْجَلِــي         وَلا بُدَّ للقَيْدِ أَنْ يَـنْكَسِـر
وَمَنْ لَمْ يُعَانِقْهُ شَوْقُ الْحَيَـاةِ         تَبَخَّـرَ في جَوِّهَـا وَانْدَثَـر
فَوَيْلٌ لِمَنْ لَمْ تَشُقْـهُ الْحَيَاةُ         مِنْ صَفْعَـةِ العَـدَم المُنْتَصِر
كَذلِكَ قَالَـتْ لِـيَ الكَائِنَاتُ         وَحَدّثَنـي رُوحُـهَا المُسْتَتِر
وَدَمدَمَتِ الرِّيحُ بَيْنَ الفِجَاجِ         وَفَوْقَ الجِبَال وَتَحْتَ الشَّجَر
إذَا مَا طَمَحْـتُ إلِـى غَـايَةٍ         رَكِبْتُ الْمُنَى وَنَسِيتُ الحَذَر
وَلَمْ أَتَجَنَّبْ وُعُـورَ الشِّعَـابِ         وَلا كُبَّـةَ اللَّهَـبِ المُسْتَعِـر
وَمَنْ يتهيب صُعُودَ الجِبَـالِ         يَعِشْ أَبَدَ الدَّهْرِ بَيْنَ الحُفَـر
فَعَجَّتْ بِقَلْبِي دِمَاءُ الشَّبَـابِ         وَضَجَّتْ بِصَدْرِي رِيَاحٌ أُخَر
وَأَطْرَقْتُ، أُصْغِي لِقَصْفِ الرُّعُودِ         وَعَزْفِ الرِّيَاح وَوَقْعِ المَطَـر
وَقَالَتْ لِيَ الأَرْضُ - لَمَّا سَأَلْتُ :         " أَيَـا أُمُّ هَلْ تَكْرَهِينَ البَشَر؟"
"أُبَارِكُ في النَّاسِ أَهْلَ الطُّمُوحِ         وَمَنْ يَسْتَلِـذُّ رُكُوبَ الخَطَـر
وأَلْعَنُ مَنْ لا يُمَاشِي الزَّمَـانَ         وَيَقْنَعُ بِالعَيْـشِ عَيْشِ الحَجَر
هُوَ الكَوْنُ حَيٌّ، يُحِـبُّ الحَيَاةَ         وَيَحْتَقِرُ الْمَيْتَ مَهْمَا كَـبُر
فَلا الأُفْقُ يَحْضُنُ مَيْتَ الطُّيُورِ         وَلا النَّحْلُ يَلْثِمُ مَيْتَ الزَّهَــر
وَلَـوْلا أُمُومَةُ قَلْبِي الرَّؤُوم         لَمَا ضَمَّتِ المَيْتَ تِلْكَ الحُفَـر
فَوَيْلٌ لِمَنْ لَمْ تَشُقْـهُ الحَيَـاةُ         مِنْ لَعْنَةِ العَـدَمِ المُنْتَصِـر!"
وفي لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ لَيَالِي الخَرِيفِ         مُثَقَّلَـةٍ بِالأََسَـى وَالضَّجَـر
سَكِرْتُ بِهَا مِنْ ضِياءِ النُّجُومِ         وَغَنَّيْتُ لِلْحُزْنِ حَتَّى سَكِـر
سَأَلْتُ الدُّجَى: هَلْ تُعِيدُ الْحَيَاةُ         لِمَا أَذْبَلَتْـهُ رَبِيعَ العُمُـر؟
فَلَمْ تَتَكَلَّمْ شِفَـاهُ الظَّلامِ         وَلَمْ تَتَرَنَّـمْ عَذَارَى السَّحَر
وَقَالَ لِيَ الْغَـابُ في رِقَّـةٍ         مُحَبَّبـَةٍ مِثْلَ خَفْـقِ الْوَتَـر
يَجِيءُ الشِّتَاءُ، شِتَاءُ الضَّبَابِ         شِتَاءُ الثُّلُوجِ، شِتَاءُ الْمَطَـر
فَيَنْطَفِئ السِّحْرُ، سِحْرُ الغُصُونِ         وَسِحْرُ الزُّهُورِ وَسِحْرُ الثَّمَر
وَسِحْرُ الْمَسَاءِ الشَّجِيِّ الوَدِيعِ         وَسِحْرُ الْمُرُوجِ الشَّهِيّ العَطِر
وَتَهْوِي الْغُصُونُ وَأَوْرَاقُـهَا         وَأَزْهَـارُ عَهْدٍ حَبِيبٍ نَضِـر
وَتَلْهُو بِهَا الرِّيحُ في كُلِّ وَادٍ         وَيَدْفنُـهَا السَّيْـلُ أنَّى عَـبَر
وَيَفْنَى الجَمِيعُ كَحُلْمٍ بَدِيـعٍ         تَأَلَّـقَ في مُهْجَـةٍ وَانْدَثَـر
وَتَبْقَى البُـذُورُ التي حُمِّلَـتْ         ذَخِيـرَةَ عُمْرٍ جَمِـيلٍ غَـبَر
وَذِكْرَى فُصُول ٍ، وَرُؤْيَا حَيَاةٍ         وَأَشْبَاح دُنْيَا تَلاشَتْ زُمَـر
مُعَانِقَـةً وَهْيَ تَحْـتَ الضَّبَابِ         وَتَحْتَ الثُّلُوجِ وَتَحْـتَ الْمَدَر
لَطِيفَ الحَيَـاةِ الذي لا يُمَـلُّ         وَقَلْبَ الرَّبِيعِ الشَّذِيِّ الخَضِر
وَحَالِمَـةً بِأَغَـانِـي الطُّيُـورِ         وَعِطْرِ الزُّهُورِ وَطَعْمِ الثَّمَـر
وَمَا هُـوَ إِلاَّ كَخَفْـقِ الجَنَاحِ         حَتَّـى نَمَا شَوْقُـهَا وَانْتَصَـر
فصدّعت الأرض من فوقـها         وأبصرت الكون عذب الصور
وجـاءَ الربيـعُ بأنغامـه         وأحلامـهِ وصِبـاهُ العطِـر
وقبلّـها قبـلاً في الشفـاه         تعيد الشباب الذي قد غبـر
وقالَ لَهَا : قد مُنحـتِ الحياةَ         وخُلّدتِ في نسلكِ الْمُدّخـر
وباركـكِ النـورُ فاستقبـلي         شبابَ الحياةِ وخصبَ العُمر
ومن تعبـدُ النـورَ أحلامـهُ         يباركهُ النـورُ أنّـى ظَهر
إليك الفضاء، إليك الضيـاء         إليك الثرى الحالِمِ الْمُزْدَهِر
إليك الجمال الذي لا يبيـد         إليك الوجود الرحيب النضر
فميدي كما شئتِ فوق الحقول         بِحلو الثمار وغـض الزهـر
وناجي النسيم وناجي الغيـوم         وناجي النجوم وناجي القمـر
وناجـي الحيـاة وأشواقـها         وفتنـة هذا الوجـود الأغـر
وشف الدجى عن جمال عميقٍ         يشب الخيـال ويذكي الفكر
ومُدَّ عَلَى الْكَوْنِ سِحْرٌ غَرِيبٌ         يُصَـرِّفُهُ سَـاحِـرٌ مُقْـتَدِر
وَضَاءَتْ شُمُوعُ النُّجُومِ الوِضَاء         وَضَاعَ البَخُورُ، بَخُورُ الزَّهَر
وَرَفْرَفَ رُوحٌ غَرِيبُ الجَمَالِ         بِأَجْنِحَـةٍ مِنْ ضِيَاءِ الْقَمَـر
وَرَنَّ نَشِيدُ الْحَيَاةِ الْمُقَـدَّسِ         في هَيْكَـلٍ حَالِمٍ قَدْ سُـحِر
وَأَعْلَنَ في الْكَوْنِ أَنَّ الطُّمُوحَ         لَهِيبُ الْحَيَـاةِ وَرُوحُ الظَّفَـر
إِذَا طَمَحَتْ لِلْحَيَاةِ النُّفُوسُ         فَلا بُدَّ أَنْ يَسْتَجِيبَ الْقَـدَرْ

Monday, June 9, 2014


A while back I remember reading many articles about Arab unity from various sources and with different views as to how it should look like. It is one of the oldest topics dating back a century or more, even before the establishment of modern states in the Arab region.

In a conversation I had with some of my friends, one of my friends was against Arab unity considering it to be racist and unfair to certain groups within the Arab world who do not identify themselves as Arab, while the rest of us who were supportive of Arab unity each had a different view regarding that issue.

Some believe because Arabs have a common language and history that it should be the foundation on which unity can be achieved. While the others believe that the problem is not the way you go about dealing with Arab unity, it’s that other major powers in the world won’t allow it.

Personally, I don’t agree with either view. I believe it’s a goal that we as Arabs can work for, and that efforts of unity should take the European model as a successful example. It’s not a matter of wanting to unite it’s a matter of needing it and it’s better for us regardless of our differences. Therefore building a union on the basis of common political and economic interest. That said, a shared language and history will help facilitate the effort, though the problem with relying solely on that is simple, the recent shared history Arabs have is not perfect - to put it mildly - and the ancient history is just ancient and more things happened since then to divide than to unite us.

As for the language, Arabic have deteriorated into a gazillion dialects. Most countries have more than one dialect most people can’t understand when other Arabs talk. And it’s not only a matter of pronunciation either, dialects developed their own vocabulary and structures as well. Some people will say but despite all of that, “Fus'ha” or Standard Arabic is a shared language. That claim is partly true, though it neglects to mention that the vast majority of Arabs, the common people we can say, do not speak standard Arabic and can barely understand it, and that Standard Arabic is reserved to the educated elite a large part of which are shifting to other languages namely English and French.

The point I’m making is simple, once upon a time, Arabs had a shared language and history, arguably not anymore, but now mutual interests are still the same and there is a large room for economic co-operation which will serve as a good start for any Arab unity efforts.

The problem that faces Arabs now is that the so called "Arab Spring" has led us to more fragmentation and new challenges, a civil war raging in Syria, and problems in Tunisia and Egypt which keep them busy trying to achieve national unity again, to name a few. Talking about Arab unity at this time is getting a bit tiresome, repetitive and annoying, especially when it is limited to a mere recitation of the same historical and logical facts and arguments with the vast majority of writers only calling for unity, stopping short of providing any details or vision of how it should be done nationally or regionally.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

We Doomed the Day

A poem I wrote, it’s titled  “We Doomed the day”.

The flying days and nights go swift,
Until there is no more,
Glad or gloomy the times will drift,
Crossing to the other shore,
But whether life is a curse or gift,
It’s hard to be sure anymore.

With pain and sorrow the world will shift,
And shift from war to war,
And when no man or woman is left,
And the earth is hurt and sore,
The suffering, which on earth has crept,
Will Stop, but not before.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Godless, Perverted, Liberal, Communist etc …

It’s astonishing how some major actors on the political scene in Bahrain (and elsewhere) call for unity and claim they advocate for the people, yet they vigorously attack and blame people who they call Godless, Secular, Perverted, Liberal, Communist – and I don’t know what else – for everything wrong that had happened, happening or ever could happen.

Everyone talks about unity but tackling this from a "religious" perspective leave you with a narrow sector of so society that, after eliminating the list of labels forced on people, leaves no one except Muslim fundamentalists, for in this view non-Muslims are either godless or perverted, non-fundamentalist Muslims will fit in at least one of “secular, liberal, communist” and just like that, no one is left to unite with or advocate for except a small segment of society.

I wonder if people will come the simple realization that they’re being manipulated by power-hungry religious leaders many of whom really don’t care about the people or even the religion they preach.

On this topic I leave you with these beautiful lines:

A little black thing among the snow,
Crying "'weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
"Where are thy father and mother? Say!"--
"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

"Because I was happy upon the heath,
And smiled among the winter's snow,
They clothed me in the clothes of death,
And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

"And because I am happy and dance and sing,
They think they have done me no injury,
And are gone to praise God and his priest and king,
Who make up a heaven of our misery."

William Blake "The Chimney Sweeper" from Songs of Experience.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Here’s a poem of mine called:


O, colored roses of this lovely site,
What a sight you are to greet!
Bathed in waves of the sun’s light
Your scent enthralls the streets.

Crowned with dew and shining bright,
I beg of you, join me in my retreat,
I will wait there for when the time is right,
My love and I, again shall meet.

The sun has fallen from its height,
And I heard not my lover’s feet.
I saw ravens Black and White,
I listened to my heart pound and beat.

I prayed and as day turned into night,
My prayers again I did repeat.
“Be it nothing, no harm or plight,”
Thought I, while burning with defeat.

Then came strutting with a lamplight
A creature with a smell so sweet. 
Its beauty would have given delight,
But I am not one for lies and deceit.

My love is gone, I was told outright,
Forever our times to be incomplete. 
For fate is fast and hard to fight,
And death is even harder to cheat.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Raven

This is one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite authors Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;–vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more.”
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”–here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”-
Merely this, and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
‘Tis the wind and nothing more.”
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door-
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered–not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never–nevermore’.”
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he
hath sent thee
Respite–respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!–prophet still, if bird or
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted–tell me truly, I implore-
Is there–is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil–prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us–by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
“Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,” I shrieked,
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted–nevermore!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Waste Land

It’s interesting how some writers and journalists capitalize on sectarian tensions in the country (and I assume it’s the same in other countries at least in this region) spreading their venom tearing down the country for the sake of their own political agendas. And yet rarely will anyone call them on the nonsense they publish under the name of free speech. 

Surely if such people are allowed to write, others have the right to respond. It is increasingly tiresome to read the same old historical arguments that are not even relevant to current times.

Whenever I encounter something of this nature, it reminds me of the poem by T. S. Eliot called The Waste Land, and I start to wonder, for how long will people continue to dig in the waste lands of history, recalling the worst that have or haven’t happened, clinging to outdated things that separate people, imagining conspiracy theories and thinking the world is conspiring against them and against their religion or sect?

It’s very egotistical to think people have nothing better to do other than conspire against you or that every little move is about you and is a part of a master plan. In other words: Seriously, get over yourself!

Some writers and newspapers used to balance the score between the different ideologies and extremes, unfortunately they either gave up or got dragged to one side or the other and for now, we’re left with the extremes. I wonder how long will moderate voices remain silent? How long will they remain so dispersed that no one is able to hear them behind the screams of extremism ?

Do we need a major catastrophe to wake us up ? Do we need to suffer the waste land Eliot talked about ?

Many people are digging in history for whatever reason suits or motivates them, unfortunately few are learning from what they see in there because history is repeating itself!

A wise man said: “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

I wonder if I should laugh.

Monday, June 2, 2014

God Will Damn Those Who Doubt

This is one of my older pieces that I wrote a while back after a conversation with a group of “religious” people. I published a different version of this before in my old blog. Sadly the conversation seems to repeat itself, if in different forms, or with different people, so here it goes.

God Will Damn Those Who Doubt

"God will damn those who doubt." I say:
Or damn those who follow like sheep.
"Doubt makes your faith weak." Okay,
But blind faith puts people to sleep.

"Christians, Jews and infidels will burn."
I laugh, well done, medium or rare ?
"Don't laugh, it is written." I return,
so what, most people don’t care.

God made earth, heaven and hell,
Then put us to live in his domain.
When to punish or forgive is God's will, 
Then why our hubris still remains ?

Stop judging! Just leave your hubris behind.
Just live, let others live and let God decide.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Here we go, again!

One of my friends asked me about my blog and if I stopped blogging because I got bored. The truth is I had so many things on my plate and something had to go, between work, family/social obligations and trying to exercise and get back in shape little time is left. Of course losing my web-host and having to start over didn't help matters.

I suppose I never realized that I enjoy blogging and that it was my hobby as well as a way to practice my writing and publish some of my works, until I stopped. And that's how I came to realize that I don't want to close my blog and so I made it again on a more reliable host. Here we go (again).