The face of Qana

Nizar Qabbani

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The face of Qana

Pale, like that of Jesus

and the sea breeze of April...

Rains of blood.. and tears..


They entered Qana stepping on our charred bodies

Raising a Nazi flag

in the lands of the South

and rehearsing its stormy chapters

Hitler cremated them in the gas chambers

and they came after him to burn us

Hitler kicked them out of Eastern Europe

and they kicked us out of our lands


They entered Qana

Like hungry wolves

Putting to fire the house of the Messiah

Stepping on the dress of Hussain

and the dear land of the South


Blasted Wheat, Olive-trees and Tobacco

and the melodies of the nightingale

Blasted Cadmus in his bark

Blasted sea and the gulls

Blasted even hospitals

even nursing moms

and schoolboys

Blasted the beauty of the Southern women

and murdered the gardens of the honeyed eyes


We saw the tears in Ali's eyes

We heard his voice as he prayed

under the rain of bloody skies


Who ever will write about the history of Qana

Will inscribe in his parchments

This was the second Karbala


Qana unveiled what was hidden

We saw America

Wearing the old coat of a Jewish Rabbi

Leading the slaughter

Blasting our children for no reason

Blasting our wives for no reason

Blasting our trees for no reason

Blasting our thoughts for no reason

Has it been decreed in her constitution,

She, America, mistress of the world,

In Hebrew .. that she should humble us al-Arab?


Has it been decreed that each time a ruler in America

wants to win the presidency that he should kill us ..

We al Arab?


We waited for one Arab to come

pull this thorny prick from our necks

We waited for single Qureishite

A single Hashemite

A single Don Quixote

A single local hero, for whom they did not shave the moustache

We waited for a Khalid .. Tariq .. or Antara

We were eaten chatter (while engaged in vain talk)

They sent a fax

We read its text

after paying tribute

and the end of the slaughter


What does Israel fear from our cries?

What does she fear from our faxes?

The Jihad of the fax is the weakest of Jihads

It is a single text we write

for all the martyrs who left

and all the martyrs those who will come


What does Israel fear from Ibn al-Muqaffa'?

Jarir and .. Farazdaq?

And Khansa throwing her poems at the gates of the cemetery

What does she fear if we burn tires

Sign communiqués

And destroy shops

And she knows that we have never been kings of war

But were kings of chatters


What does Israel fear

from the beating of the drums

the tearing of clothes

and the scratching of cheeks

What does she fear

when she hears

the stories of `Ad and Thamud?


We are in national comma

We did not receive

Since the times of conquest

a single mail


We are a people of made of dough

The more Israel increases in her killing and terrorism

the more we increase in idleness and coldness


A Smothering Dominion

A regional dialect that increases in ugliness

and a green union that grows in isolation

Summer trees, growing barren

And borders .. whenever the whim strikes

erase other borders


Israel should slaughter us, and why not?

She should erase Hisham, Ziyad and ar-Rashid, and why not?

[Why not?] and the Banu Taghlab lusting after their women

[Why not?] and Banu Mazen lusting after their slave boys

[Why not?] and Banu Adnan dropping their trousers to their knees

debating .. necking and .. the lips!


What should Israel fear from some of al-Arab

When they became Yehuda???

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  • derickbuddicom

    "The Face of Qana" moved me deeply. 💔😥