Damascus: A Tale of Tears and Hope

Damascene Rose (photo:stock photo by Getty Images)

Category: Featured, World Affairs Topics: Conflicts And War, Damascus, Syria Values: Hope Channel: Poetry Views: 788

This poem is written by a longtime resident of the city of Damascus. The poem describes the horrors seen by this ancient city of Islam and concludes with the hope that the city will be resurrected again.

من لا يعرف ماهو البكاء The one who does not know what is crying
وليس في عينيه دموع Whose eyes are void of tears
يسيل في قلبه الصدأً وليس الدماء Whose heart has rust and no blood
من لايريد أن يبكي And he doesn’t want to cry
لأن دموعه لؤلؤٌ ثمين because he deems his tears precious pearls
فليعرّج على مدينتي Then he should visit my city
اسمها دمشق منذ الأزل known as Damascus since time immemorial
سيتذوق فيها الآن طعم الدموع Soon he will taste the flavor of tears
سيسيل ملحٌ مرُّ المذاق في العروق The salty torrent will flow through his veins
وسيذوب الصدأ dissolving the rust
وسيخفق القلب من جديد causing the heart to beat anew
بشفقةٍ لها طعمُ رعبٍ مخيف. Full of pity mixed with horror
سيخفق القلب من جديد لكن لبرهةٍ من الزمان The heart will beat anew
لبرهةٍ، ويستنفذ الرعبُ الدموع But only for a moment
لبرهةٍ، ويهوي القلب من جديد In a moment tears will be exhausted
يسكت القلب من جديد The heart will fall silent again
يتجمد الدم في العروق The blood will freeze in the veins
لأنّ الرعبَ شديد Indeed the horror is severe
الرعبُ شديد The horror severe
ياشام الياسمين وورد الشام O’ Damascus of the jasmine and Damask roses
هل ذبلت الورود؟ لا، بل ماتت. Have your roses withered?
ماتت كما مات الأطفال No, they are dead
وبقيت معلقةً بأصابع كالشموع They are dead just as the children are dead
منثورةٍ في شوارع البلد العتيق The roses suspended between their fingers like candles
شوارع الرعب Scattered on the streets of this ancient city
الرعب الشديد Streets of horror
ياقنابل ورصاص يطير Severe horror
إثر الندى O’ bombs and bullets
ونسمات كانت تعانق الورد والياسمين You fly in the footsteps of dew
ياقنابل ورصاص يجول And the breezes which once hugged jasmine and roses in bloom
عبر طرقات ألف ليلة وليلة O’ bombs and bullets
تنشرين البارود You wander through the streets of a Thousand and One Nights
ورحيق الرعب الشديد Spreading gunpowder and the smell of horror
هل هذه الليلة آخر الليالي؟ Is this my last night?
كم تود شهرزاد أن تغرق في البكاء How Shehrazad aches to drown in tears
لكن جفَّت في مآقيها الدموع But her tears have dried
أعمى الضبابُ العيون And fog blinds her eyes
وجمَّد الدماءَ في العروق. Blood frozen in her veins
شهرزاد ثمثالُ رعبٍ ورصاص Shehrazad: a statue of lead and horror
وألف ليلةٍ وليلةٍ من الرعب الشديد A Thousand and One Nights of Horror
بعيون لاترى وليس فيها دموع With eyes that have no sight and no tears
بقلوب لاتنبض والدمُ شحيح With hearts that don’t beat and blood that is scarce
مات ورد الشام ومات الياسمين Dead are the jasmine and the Damask roses
في حارات البلد العتيق In the streets of old Damascus
في عيون عنقاء In the eyes of the phoenix
ستنبعث من جديد. It will be resurrected again.

Nabil Mahaini is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, and University of Social Studies in Rome. He is a novelist, translator, and film director. He has translated and published about 40 books from Italian to Arabic. He has directed several films and documentaries on the environment, some of which won awards in international and Arab festivals. Since 1983 he has been working as an expert at the International Fund for Agricultural Development - IFAD. He is now the IFAD Field Representative in Syria.


  Category: Featured, World Affairs
  Topics: Conflicts And War, Damascus, Syria  Values: Hope  Channel: Poetry
Views: 788

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