Some weeks ago I saw a quote on my Facebook timeline by someone named Mahmoud Darwish. I think I'd seen quotes by him on there before. This last time I decided to do research. I was immediately excited to learn that he was a famous poet. Wikipedia writes that he is considered by some to be the national poet of Palestine.
There are videos of him on YouTube reciting poems. I've read a few of his poems online and want to read more. I've listened to a song called Passport which is a poem by the Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife based on a poem by Mahmoud Darwish. I first heard this song at the end of the movie Amreeka, which a movie I've watched twice now and like very much. The characters are Palestinian, but I can relate to their sense of not feeling like they don't belong to their homeland or their adopted homeland in America. I love the main character Muna's optimism and perseverance through betrayal and disappointment.
I don't have it anywhere as difficult as their characters or as Mahmoud Darwish had, still I believe all alienation feels rather the same. Those who don't self-destruct learn to live through it, work through and around it, and if you have something of the creative in you, you begin to make something artistic out of it. You turn your tears into an artistic artifact. I decided to take the creative route because most of all I want to love my fellow humans which is one of the hardest tasks of all.
I will continue to humanize even the enemy... The first teacher who taught me Hebrew was a Jew. The first love affair in my life was with a Jewish girl. The first judge who sent me to prison was a Jewish woman. So from the beginning, I didn't see Jews as devils or angels but as human beings. Several poems are to Jewish lovers. These poems take the side of love not war. ~ Mahmoud Darwish
Here are two videos in English and Arabic of poems by Mahmoud Darwish with him reciting the poems in Arabic.