[Gurnal, Vol. 1, Page 4]
We met on top of one of the army vehicles, near ‘Abd al-Mun‘im Riyad Square. He wore a plaid shirt and jeans. When he returned from the front of the stone throwing in order to rest and puff away on a cigarette, he heard me talking my phone in a language he didn’t understand. He asked me if I was a reporter and I answered in the negative. He disappeared only to return with his pen and paper, and he sat down beside me to write. He got up and gave me his poem, asking me to publish it for him. Then he left. He couldn’t have been more than twenty. He complained of a pain in his shoulder due to throwing stones defending Tahrir Square.
We Have Awakened
It’s over, the weight was carried, what was silent has awoken and risen
We said “it’s over,” we’re no longer fooled by speech
We got our fill of patriotism long ago
Through the time of silence we were hungry
And now it will not do for us to live suppressed
Before you die in poverty and are eaten by worms
Enough of being satisfied with insult and offense
Dream of generosity and unify it with time
And dying in the right is better than living in delirium
My hand in yours, moving forward, let’s not return to deprivation
Oh Lord, recompense us for
The days we waited patiently with a warm country, completely safe
For with your generosity, oh Lord, you make the wishes of the simplest men come true .
20 Years Old
3:00 in the Afternoon
Infantry Truck/ 2nd Bulkhead
The ‘Abd al-Mun‘im Riyad Front
Acquired 8 March 2011.
Translated by Thomas Levi Thompson.
Translation reviewed by Elias Saba.