The Revolutionary Cannot Speak

We were taught that the sun does not always shine
We were taught
Thousands mirrors worth a truthful face

We tried to unlearn, those many lines our memory cannot forsake
The revolution, we repeated, the revolution is the solution
A task we may never undertake

Our revolution is pure, and it is not White
It’s grounded and rooted in our sinful eyes

We are the people
We are the words of wisdom
Your books and think-tanks so eloquently did not foresee

The power lies in people
The Black Palestinian painfully teaches us

Why do I feel that I’ll soon be the last Syrian alive
40, 000 corpses can never lie
They lay underneath our sacred soil
They haunt us in protests
Occupy our banners
and online profiles

A burden I cannot bear
So like others, I long for the day I join the Shuhada

I cannot be the last Syrian alive
I cannot be the Syrian who left, and still alive

You think “critically” of our raw revolution, you say
You think and cite our savagery with references of youtube videos
You are as powerful as the states you oppose
States silence us with machine guns
They send us sleepless killers in black suits
States fight among each other
We have learned the drill

But you, like the White, speak on behalf of us
You are the intellectual whose privileged voice silenced our indigenous voices
You’re no friend of mine
The leftist, feminist and the pro Palestinian activist
Are names of spaces you proudly occupy
To me, they’re just another privileged class
You made it possible to become my enemy

Yes, I have said the word “enemy”
And I would say it in the class you teach
Below the many articles you publish
Where you could tell the world how my struggle isn’t consistent with yours

What is your struggle, I wonder
When you’re the diasporic subject and I am the postcolonial
I stand in front of systems, machines and propaganda
In my besieged land

Your battle has become my dream of freedom
Your intellect has become another bullet in my chest
A “friendly fire,” I do not call it

I am being silenced by your pen

The revolutionary cannot speak
She may never speak for years to come
She writes in her mother tongue
Speaks folky words and songs your memory can no longer grasp
The revolutionary speaks to her gender-less comrades
And you
The powerful male intellectual
You are not one.


Would You Be My Palestine?

We can buy Almaza and get to your uncle’s place while he’s having his Argileh with his friends outdoors.

We can buy some of the Armenian nuts you like.

We can sit next to each other on the Sofa.

We can get nervous.

We can allow silence to be so loud.

This is it.

We can turn Valentine into a sacred sin.

Would you break the law with me?

We can wait till we finish our first bottle.

We can forget about your tomorrow and mine.

You can let me start right here and now.

Continue reading

Iraq's New Surge: Gay Killings

Excellent article on the killings of gays in Iraq written by Rasha Moumneh appeared yesterday on Foreign Policy:

Western attention has always focused primarily on sectarian attacks in Iraq. Yet al-Sadr’s militia and its counterparts in countless neighborhoods and towns have long had other targets in their cross hairs. These men claim to bear the banners of religion and morality, defending against any transgressors. They paint themselves as the caretakers of tradition, culture, and national authenticity — which often means keeping women, as well as men, in their rigidly enforced traditional roles. Ironically, they sell their violence as a means of security: Amid the total upheaval of Iraqi society over the last eight years, many people regard any relaxing of gender roles as a threat to public order, undermining patriarchal power. And since the coalition forces failed to provide security after the invasion, such cultural conservatives have moved in to fill the role. Many aimless, unemployed advocates of rigid traditionalism have taken up the task with their guns.

Continue reading

The Feminist Collective Project Launched!

I am proud of these inspiring Lebanese women who’ve put some great efforts to make this project happen. I’ve met some of the founders of this project in Beirut the past year, they’re good people and I have high hopes for this project.

One thing I dont like about their website, however, is that it’s mostly in English, and English is just not our region’s language and we cannot make a change adopting other people’s languages. After all, language is about communication, even though I think it’s much more than that, but I do not believe that any change could happen addressing the English-speaking people when they’re are, perhaps, more familiar with feminism. Unlike a blog, a project that has goals to achieve in a certain region needs to address the regional people in their very language. God knows that the very reason that I am hated by some Syrian bloggers who write in Arabic for my posts on LGTB were written in Arabic, not in English.

In other words, it’s easier to write in English about a topic that is far from familiar to the Arab world. Not to say that I think the west supports LGTB rights, I mean, in the west, they’re all about “free talking”.

But I am sure they’ll be working on this issue in the near future. Anyways, back to my sisters over here, check their core of values:

– Domestic migrant workers are employees and should have all the rights of employment, starting with respect and equality.

– We have a responsibilty to be smart consumers since what we buy and where we buy from are political as well as personal choices that effect us all.

Here is a list of things they believe that need to be changed:

– We are supposed to be smart and educated, but only to a certain extent.

– We are supposed to go out into the world, but only if we are chaperoned by a male family member.

– Throughout our lives, we have to prove that we are good daughters and then good wives and then mothers.

– We are supposed to want to be wives and mothers.

– We are all supposed to be strictly heterosexual.

– We are expected to look desirable but not act on our desires.

– We are expected to look good but not too good because then we’d be looking for attention, harassment, and even rape.

– Our family is supposed to be our protector, but a huge number of us are abused, physically and/or orally, inside our homes, by members of our families, and there are no laws to protect us from familial violence.

– In a country where more than half of the population are women, we have only 6 women parliament members, and only one minister is a woman.

– We are required to go from our parents’ house straight to our husband’s house.

– We’re not really Lebanese citizens, we’re just the daughters of Lebanese men. Because if we really did possess a Lebanese citizenship, we’d be able to pass our nationality to our husbands and children; but we can’t.

– And even though we are supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law, we are far, very far from being equal to men.

Their take on the argument that treats Arab feminist movements as westernized and imported:

Feminism is not an imported idea. Every time a woman stands up and refuses to be abused and exploited, every time she speaks up against her abusers, every time a woman believes in her capabilities and pursues her needs and ambitions, every time she resists being a victim or an object or an inferior being, she is being a feminist. And we don’t need any Western movement to teach us that — we’ve been doing it all along! And even though some of you may not call yourself a feminist, we’re sure you’ve been doing it too.


And finally, on Women’s international day, they’re going to hit the streets of Beirut,  check their event on Facebook, their posts on their website, in EN and here in AR.