Prayers for Aisha Lulu. A Review by Mourad Al Khatibi

Rokiah - prednjica ZA TISAK

Poetic antotheism celebrates life through Palestine


Aisha Lulu,  a Palestinian girl, was five years old before she was kidnapped after  suffering  severely  with malignant disease, and before she saw Palestine completely liberated,  and established its independent state. Poetry has always been a victor for just human causes.

Voices from around the world united and contributed poetic texts in honor of the Palestinian child and Palestine through it and through poetry. Palestine glory. Palestine history. Palestine Jerusalem. Palestine eternity. Future Palestine. Palestine poetry. Palestine, which gave birth to prominent poets such as Mahmoud Darwish, Samih al-Qasim, Tawfiq Ziad, Fadwa Toukan, Merid Barghouti, and the list is long.

This poetic anthology dedicated to Palestine, which was edited and translated by the Malaysian poet and translator Siti Ruqaiyah, includes poetic texts of twenty-four poets and poets from around the world, including Malaysia, Croatia, Australia, China, Morocco, Syria, Iraq, the Soviet Union, Bosnia and Palestine, of course. Because Palestine is celebrated, three poetic texts of the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish had to adorn this world poetic anthology.  In his timeless poem “ID Card”, which is included in this poetic anthology in English and Malay, Mahmoud Darwish says:

Write down!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am an Arab                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             And my identity card number is fifty thousand                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I have eight children                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       And the ninth will come after  summer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Will you be angry?   

Write down!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am an Arab                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Employed with fellow workers at a quarry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I have eight children                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I get them bread                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Garments and books from the rocks….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               I do not supplicate charity at your doors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Nor do I belittle myself at the  footsteps of your chamber                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     So will you be angry?           
Write down!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I am an Arab                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I have a name without a title                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Patient in a country                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Where people are enraged                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My roots                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Were entrenched before the birth of time                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       And before the opening of the eras                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Before the pines, and the olive trees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And before the grass grew  
My father …descends from the family of the plow                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not from a privileged class                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               And my grandfather ….was a farmer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Neither well-bred, nor well-born                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Teaches me the pride of the sun                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Before teaching me how to read                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And my house is like a watchman’s  hut                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Made of branches and cane                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Are you satisfied with my status?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have a name without a title!    
Write down!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I am an Arab                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           And the land which I cultivated                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Along with my children                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And you  left nothing for us                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Except for these rocks….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       So will the state take them                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   As it has been said?!  
Therefore!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Write down on the top of the first page:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do not hate people                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Nor do I encroach                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But if I become hungry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The usurpers’s flesh will be my food                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Beware….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Beware…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Of my hunger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             And my anger!     

Some of the poetic texts furnished for this poetic antotheism express with a delicate and sincere sense of the cruelty of the loss of the Palestinian child Aisha Lulu after a bitter experience with the disease, and other poetic texts calling for the rejection of violence and the rejection of war and appealing to humanity to embrace the values of peace, peace and tolerance in order for all to live in harmony, love and happiness.

On the other hand, there are other poems that move towards singing with love, a noble and pure human feeling capable of uniting discordant hearts, strengthening human relations between individuals and groups and strengthening social bonds between all human beings for a better tomorrow for all humanity, whose increase is the lasting joy.

 Other poetic texts translate psychological situations and personal experiences that poets weave into an exquisite art form. What all these poems have in common, however, is that they are all dedicated to Palestine. These poetic texts are originally a tribute to the child Lulu and is also a tribute to the great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who is absent, but says:

  On this earth is worth living: on this earth is the lady of the earth, the beginnings or the ends. It was called Palestine. It became called Palestine. Ma’am: I deserve, because, ma’am, I deserve life.

Today Aisha Lulu, 5 years old                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An orphan from Gaza                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Died alone 
Ah! The small martyr     
Nobody from her family                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Allowed to follow her to hospital in Jerusalem                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Because that’s the rules                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Of check points soldiers of Zionist                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Though Aisha Lulu was fighting for her life                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          From a chronic brain tumor   
Only an unknown woman                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Allowed to accompany her                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         For love and compassion of a small orphan                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Who doesn’t know anything                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       About political game of the mighty and the powerful 
That’s the pinch of humanity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Shown to Aisha Lulu                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The orphan from Gaza      
And Aisha Lulu died                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Crying to the end of her life  
Oh my!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Where is humanity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           What is humanity                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Of the Chosen ones? 
Al Fatihah for Aisha Lulu                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe death is better for you, my angel.     

Sarajevo                                                                                                                                                                                       Winter 2019.


  • D. / Doctorate in Literature; Doctoral Program: “Language, Culture and

Society”, Mohammed V University in Rabat. Published two books in English, one on political discourse in translation and the other on feminine characters in Virginia Woolf’s literary works. Published five books of poetry in Arabic, more than six books on literary translation and literary criticism, wrote articles in Arabic and English in many International journals. He translated two collections of Haiku poetry from Arabic into English. Participated in many national and International conferences.

Awards and Grants: In 2017, received Naji Naaman’s International Literary Prize: Creativity prize. In 2012 and 2013, he was awarded English-Arabic Literary Translation Workshops Grant, Doha, Qatar. He writes in English, Arabic, French.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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