Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 29, 2007

Well-known Arab poet passes away

Nazik al-Malaika, a well-known poet in the Arab world, has died at the age of 83, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

While Malaika suffered from Parkinson’s disease for years, she died of natural causes last week, according to Nizar Marjan, the Iraqi consul to Egypt. Malaika broke away from tradition in her poetry, causing artists to gravitate to her writings. Her use of classical language and modern themes were an inspiration to many in the Arab world. Below is an example of her captivating style matched with the tense issue of honor killings in “To Wash Disgrace”:

Oh mother, a rattle, tears and darkness

Blood gushed out, and the stabbed body trembled.

“Oh mother!” Heard only by the executioner

Tomorrow the dawn will come and roses will wake up

Youth and enchanted hopes will ask for her

The meadows and the flowers will answer:

She left to wash the disgrace.

The brutal executioner returns

And meets people

“Disgrace!” He wipes his knife

“We’ve torn it apart.”

And returned virtuous with a white reputation.

For the full article, click here.

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