ABDUL KARIM SABAWI (Gaza) – Satyagraha – A Poem April 10, 2011

I testify,
There are no weapons more lethal than yours
No men and horses mightier than yours
And of all those who have occupied my land
Yours is the darkest, most dreadful occupation
You choose to kill
But killing is a parasite
It will eat away your spirit

Take aim
Until you’re exhausted
I am not like you
I wont allow you to stain my soul
And to seduce me into killing you
Three things stop me
My beliefs*, values and heritage

I am not like you
Arrogant of your ignorance
Why not ask the sea waves
Ask the sand
where did the past invaders go?
Visit the museums,
The size of your head is no different to theirs
Neither is the size of your shoes
Nor will your fate be any different

I am not like you
Raised in isolation
In closed communities
Apart from all the others
I am an Arab
My seas are wide open
My sky is without end
With enduring sunshine
I am not looking to eat someone’s food
Or steal someone’s land
I inherited my land
From my father and his ancestors
I inherited all religions
And I pray on Friday, Saturday and on Sunday

I am not like you
Pretending to sit on God’s lap
Carrying a vengeful sword
Starting war after war
My God is in my heart
Light, love and mercy
I walk slowly
I plant a seed for charity
It yields a tree
I dig for water wells with a needle
I build an ark for the survivors
And wait for the rain
Which will bring in the flood
I wait for the breeze of revolution|
To come and take away the oppressors

I am in no hurry
The sun that will set today
Will rise again tomorrow
I have patience
I have strength
I have mercy
I have forgiveness
My God is compassion
In his name
I will liberate my land
And all the lands.
I will restore humanity
In the soul of man
I am not like you|
So take aim
Until you’re exhausted

- Abdul Karim Sabawi is Palestinian poet from Gaza.

*Satyagraha is the Philosophy of nonviolent protest, or passive resistance. Mohandas K. Gandhi introduced it in South Africa (1906) and, from 1917, developed it in India in the period leading up to independence from Britain.

*Islam has strict rules for killing in the battlefield and forbids the intentional targeting of civilians in times of war.

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