September 11, 2006

To Arab Americans in their Ghaflah

I dedicate this poem to you , Arab-Americans .

Ghaflah - The Sin of Forgetfulness

born by the mediterranean
our mothers bathe us in orange -blossom water
olive trees and cedars...
we come to america where they call our land
the East meaning different/dark/dirty
we soon forget....
we know that barbie
looks better than Scheherazade...
proud of our colonizers tongue
we forget the Qur'an sings in arabic...
we stared at pictures of our children
eye sockets carved out by rubber bullets
on the 10 o'clock news
our brothers and sisters spit up blood and teeth
and CBS declares them "terrorists"
now we turn away from bruises and broken bones
body counts and funerals
we know we cannot help anyway
we forget we once stood on the same ground
they die on ...
we look for the arabia packaged by the west
we eat pasty hummous at eight dollars a plate
and tell each other
how much we miss home .

( Extracts from the Poem by Dima Hilal , from the Poetry of Arab Women , N.Handal, 2001)