Friday, August 9, 2013

Semitic Semantics for Palestine ... a poem by Anne Selden Annab

"Cold & Worry" by Ismail Shammout (1931-2006) exhibited in Cairo in 1952 depicting Palestinian refugees in 1948-49
    Semitic Semantics
for Palestine

In Arabic it is
"Mustowten" (illegal settler)
Mustowtena (illegal settlement)
and Mustowtenat (illegal settlements).

There is no agreement- no empty land
no dual meaning in English
leading people away from seeing
the brutal reality
and institutionalized bigotry
of Israel's land grabbing
segregationist armed fortresses.

In Arabic it is
Ihtilaal Sahyouni (Zionist occupation- a military occupation)

and the ongoing catastrophe is al Nakba.

Tenders almost sound like tenderness....
something gentle and kind.

Our English translations can not reach far enough
wide enough deep enough to express
the full plight of the Palestinians
and the many ways Palestinians are tortured,
oppressed, exiled and erased
as the Ihtilaal Sahyouni grinds on
and Israel's Mustowtenat destroy Palestine
and peace.

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