State of Seige
Standing here. Sitting here. Always here. Eternally here,
we have one aim and one aim only: to continue to be.
Beyond that aim we differ in all.
We differ on the form of the national flag (we would have done well if we had chosen
o living heart of mine, the symbol of a simple mule).
We differ on the words of the new anthem
(we would have done well to choose a song on the marriage of doves).
We differ on the duties of women
(we would have done well to choose a woman to run the security services).
We differ on proportions, public and private.
We differ on everything. We have one aim: to continue to be.
After fulfilling this aim, we will have time for other choices. […]
Mahmoud Darwish, March 14, 1941 – August 9, 2008
Mahmoud Darwish laid to rest:
The streets of Ramallah were lined with flags and posters quoting Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry.
A giant banner bearing his photograph hung over the central square.
Darwish was ever-present as thousands paid their last respects to the beloved national poet.
Not just a globally-acclaimed writer, he is famed for giving an eloquent voice to the Palestinian national struggle.
Many Palestinians spoke of the loss of much more than a great poet.
“He was our words, our voice,” many mourners told me. […]