In Praise of the Brave People of Syria and their Poets

Adonis - Poet of Syria
[It's three years since I wrote this blog and the situation continues to deteriorate in Syria]

Every day we hear about more atrocities committed in Syria in the name of a Tyrant against his long-suffering people. The Arab League inspectors appear unable to support the will of the Syrian people and their  democratic right to freedom from oppression. One commentator has declared that their mission is a farce.

My thoughts turned to the great Syrian poet Ali Ahmad Said Esber (called Adonis), who was born in 1930. His life has been one of exile, but his words resonate with beauty, spirit, nobility, suffering and elegance. Decades later his words are inspiring and resonant for all oppressed peoples seeking a decent life, basic rights, and self-expression.

In tribute to the true and brave people of Syria; the imprisoned Syrians and the exiled Syrians; may I quote from Adonis's 1957 poem "The Banished":

Stay here, our hearts, do not leave us,
do not dare your fate
among hunger and bitter despair.
Stay here on this soil and grow
and tomorrow it will be said
from this earth a struggle arose,
fed on our arms,
nourished by our call,
an endless search
for a new dawn.


  1. Poem quoted from the Yale Unbiversity Press edition, Adonis: Selected Poems (2010) translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa.

    Also came across some thought- and action-provoking words here

    "Our Problem is Civil Obedience" Howard Zinn, See


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