Damascus, What Are You Doing to Me!

1
My voice rings out, this time, from Damascus
It rings out from the house of my mother and father
In Sham, the geography of my body changes.
The cells of my blood become green.
My alphabet is green.
In Sham, a new mouth emerges for my mouth
A new voice emerges for my voice
And my fingers
Become a tribe

2
I return to Damascus
Riding on the backs of clouds
Riding the two most beautiful horses in the world
The horse of passion.
The horse of poetry.
I return after sixty years
To search for my umbilical cord,
For the Damascene barber who circumcised me,
For the midwife who tossed me in the basin under the bed
And received a gold lira from my father,
She left our house
On that day in March of 1923
Her hands stained with the blood of the poem…

compiled by:
Butheina Alnounou

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Barada

Barada, oh father of all rivers
Oh, horse that races the days
Be, in our sad history, a prophet
Who receives inspiration from his lord
Millions acknowledge you as an Arab
Prince . . . so pray as an imam

Oh eyes of the gazelle in the desert of Sham
Look down. This is the age of lavender
They have detained you in the pavilions for a long time
We have woven tents from tears
God has witnessed that we have broken no promise
Or secured protection for those we love

Nizar Qabbani

                 Butheina Alnounou

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Mahmoud Darwish, the Poet of Resistance

Writers and poets have played through out ages a vital role in embodying the civilization and history of every nation. The creative Arab poets can really drive forward the Arab world movement.

Mahmoud is one of the most important Palestinian and Arab poets who have their names associated with the poetry of revolution and homeland.

Mahmoud’s called the poet of Palestine’ was born on March 13, 1941, at  a Palestinian village located in Al-Jalil.

Darwish is one of the most important poets who could mix the love for beloved with the love for homeland. He wrote the Palestinian Declaration of Independence that has been declared in Algeria. He contributed to the development of modern Arabic poetry.

He was Arrested by the Israeli occupation authorities many times starting from 1961 on charges related to his declarations, comments and his political activity until the year 1972, when he went to the Soviet Union to study, and then moved to Cairo as a refugee in the same year, where he joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and then to Lebanon where he worked in institutions affiliated to PLO, but he resigned from the Executive Committee of the PLO in protest against Oslo Agreement. He also founded the cultural magazine, the Al- Caramel .

The poet and philosopher, Robert Ghanem contributes in making Mahmoud Darwish’s reputation, when he published Darwish’s poems on the pages of the Educational Supplement of El-Anwar paper.

His poem "My Brother, the Hebrew" in 1958 is a contrast between the living conditions of Arab children and Jews. He was summoned to the office of Israeli occupation governor. But he never stopped writing poetry and released his first poetry book, “Birds without Wings” when he was 19. He is really the poet of Palestinian Resistance.

Some of his works are:

  • Birds Without Wings -Poetry- 1960
  • Olive leafs -poetry- 1964
  • A Lover from Palestine -poetry- 1966
  • Soft rain in the fall of a remote -poetry-
  • Diary of the normal sadness -ideas and short stories-
  • Diary of a Palestinian wound -poetry-
  • I love you or do not love you -poetry-1972
  • something about home -poetry-

 

 

 

  • Memory for forgotten.
  • Good bye, for war and peace -Articles-
  • In the presence of absence -text – 2006
  • Why did you leave the horse alone, 1995
  • Identity card -poetry-
  • The butterfly effect -Poetry- 2008
  •  You are now someone else -June 17-(2008), in which he criticized internal   

     Palestinian fighting.

 
But the last of Mahmoud Darwish’s work was «I do not want this poem to end» which was released after his death in March 2009.

He died on Saturday, August 9, 2008 in a Texas Medical Center in Houston, USA.His body was buried on August 13 in the city of Ramallah.

The poems of Darwish have been sung by many singers including those by   Marcel Khalifa, Bashar Zarkan and Majeda al-Romi.

 Raghda Sawas

Fall Season!

Summer passed quickly carrying its dreams, pains and hopes. The breeze of its evenings became a memory. Lovers long to those evenings, artists and intellectuals sing for them.

It is the time when nature takes off its beauty, fruits and its yellow leaves. Yes ...! Fall has come. You can imagine the dimensions of this word while you are feeling the movement of wind, while you are breathing the smell of dry dust; while you are watching the falling leaves and the sad farewell of swallow to warm countries.
It is the season of disparity. You feel neither warmth nor coldness. It likes a shudder that has no reason except feeling lost.
Clouds in our sky have great splendor. How beautiful they are on our hills ranging between white and black! They carry with them life, hope, fertility and growth. Thirsty people, dry valleys and springs, tops of hills and cracked lands are waiting for them.
Clouds run in all directions and our eyes follow them. We have a strong desire to touch and seize them with our narrow hands. Clouds are near and far from us. We want to catch and capture them but we cannot. They are mere a dream that enters our eyes. As soon as we understand and love this dream, it flies soon.
Let's give a warm welcome to our clouds in the season of hope. How far and near are they! We run behind them as a child who runs behind a small bird to catch it. What a difference between the foot of this and the wing of that!
Those clouds are the source of wealth and means of living.
My dear clouds come quickly and provide us with your drizzle and your shining fresh drops. Come and enjoy our sight with your beauty. Come.... ! We are waiting for you. We are very thirsty.
Sharif al Khatib

 

 

 

Fadi Yazigi : Artistic Awakening

The dynamic and consistent development of the plastic art gave birth  to new tremendous and unprecedented  works of art created in different centuries, ages and civilizations .

In the works of renowned Syrian artist Fadi Yazigi we can feel the potential forces inherent in his artistic creations, transformed his canvas into an inner necessity and a need to communicate with what is beautiful in life and reality.

His works of different realms of art are carrying bright orange, dark blue, reddish and black colors is a well-organized course of solid architectural formations covering the whole area of the painting .

A multi faceted artist with a rich artistic creation, Fadi Yazigi speaks to each of his work varied between a statue of fried clay,  black wall  paintings made on  toile of cotton. He excelled in these sculptures which represent human forms playing with legendary or domestic animals. All these together form up his painting in expressive movements  putting  the viewer before an  experimental theatre.

The  artist 's burnt clay tablets reveal a mysterious link he had initiated  with  the cylinder seals of the  Mesopotamian civilization. One would also get the feeling  that artist Yazigi  work is  influenced  by the Roman sculpture  overwhelming  during the fifth and sixth centuries B.C.

Others would say, however, that Yazigi 's works are much in common  with the forms curved and painted on the ceramic or clay vases  of the Memluke era, of the 13th century A.D.

Fadi Yazigi who was born in Lattakia in 1966, studies art in Damascus.  He graduated  from the Damascus fine arts faculty and since his graduation  in 1988 he has been working with total commitment as a full-timer artist with artistic works manifesting his responsibility and his smooth colors to depict a poetic environment.

Artis Yazigi embarks on using  different techniques in his works.  He paints  on canvas or newspapers, and makes relieves . He then develops his very own personal technique  in each and every paint , thereby his talent is evident and clear in each of his artistic creation.

Yazigi had numerous exhibitions in the Middle East, Europe and the USA, selling to collectors all over the world. His paintings are also sold in  London and Dubai, at  Christie's and Sotheby's auction art  houses.

Besides the many art exhibitions at the Damascus Ayyam Art gallery,  he had several art exhibitions in Dubai and London. In 2007 he had a three month stay in London, hosted  by the " Delfina" foundation where he had a presentation  at the national gallery museum .

Highlighting his artistic experience, Yazigi said that though he started art endeavors since his graduation from university, but the moment of truth for him was  when he was exposed to foreign artistic exhibitions in an interaction with other genres of art at  Ayyam Gallery which he joined since its first days  in 2006. He said that  Ayyam Gallery which is dedicated  to campaign for the promotion of talented and best plastic  artists in Syria, the Middle  East and world wide, gave him the guideline and  the helping hand  to get relaxed devoting all time to art while still feeling socially secured and financially luxurious .

On how to be one 's own in art , he indicated his past artistic experience when " my world is my  atelier. I used to come up with elements resembling my own world. My characters  were more inclined to pessimism, however with a little space for a dream represented in a white color or in the big head of the child..

Now with the new outlook to life with the new vision and a new matured phase created by not only knowing one self but others ' experience, " I have become an integrated part, part and parcel, of the beautiful world of art . Art for all". 

He added that with Ayyam  galley 's devotion in seeking  to encourage and support a new generation of artists  through conducted a research based incubator for the most talented young and experimental artists of the region,  He could have exposure  to world artistic schools, enabling other Arab and foreign artists to become familiar with the Syrian plastic art and varied artistic experience.


For artist Fadi  " My generation of plastic artists were influenced by giant predecessors , including among others  Fateh al-Mudarras. Elias Zayyat and Nazir Naba who had been the guideline for motivating us in the path of producing a special art of special characteristics."

He indicated that the experience of Ayyam Gallery as an art sponsor  should stimulate the Syrian sides concerned , especially the ministry of culture to give a helping hand for the 1500 Syrian plastic artists   and refine the talents of the emerging generations of Syrian artists, adding that this can be done not only  through being  confined to the annual Autumn's art exhibition held at Damascus 's national museum  or to the very frequent art exhibitions held at the Damascus al-Chaab art gallery.

 

Tomader Fateh