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The Story of a People

An Anthology of Palestinian Poets within the Green-Lines- Edited and translated by Jamal Assadi- With Assistance from Simon Jacobs

Edited By Jamal Assadi

The Story of a People is the sixth in a series of volumes on Palestinian writers who compel into unity the contradictions of being Israeli citizens as well as sons and daughters of the Palestinian people. This volume contains the works of forty poets, and offers a variety of themes, styles, contexts, imagery, tones, and language.
The poets, arranged alphabetically, depict a faithful picture of the various aspects of Arab life among what is called, paradoxically, Israeli-Palestinian societies. They present new arenas where opposing factors harmoniously join to struggle for dignity, freedom, and justice. Readers of this volume will encounter serious poems strewn with light and humorous themes and poems of sensual and spiritual love interwoven with poems of the unusual and political. These Israeli- Palestinian poets’ distinctive flavor emerges from their ability to challenge norms, fight oppression, and burst open closed doors to tell their own stories – the stories of their plight, alienation, marginalization, and hopes and dreams – in a new magnified voice, first to their community, then to their people and nation, then to their country, and now to the wider English-speaking public.


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Al-Qāsim, Samīḥ 41


Samīḥ Al-Qāsim (b.1939) Born in Az-Zarqāa’, Jordan, in 1939, Al-Qāsim returned with his fam-ily to Rama, Galilee where he still lives now. Al-Qāsim is one of the most renowned poets in the Arab world. He has published numerous collections of poetry, several of which have been translated into English. Like Darwish, he is cherished as the voice of his people; his lyrics are sung by schoolchildren and fieldworkers alike. He has worked as an editor of several magazines and newspapers, served as president of the Arab Writers Union in Israel and currently works as the editor-in-chief of the Palestinian newspaper Kol-el-Arab. The Generation of the Catastrophe Here… in our hungry decisions Here… the tragedy dug its cave Here… in our scrutinizing features Here… in our tearful eyes Are Nebuchadnezzar and the conquerors And the remains of our lost flags So on behalf of you, oh, our desired descendants And on behalf of you, oh, our praying spouses We return time to its consciousness And spit inside its seventh glass assadi.indd 41 28/10/11 1:21 PM 42 The Story of a People: Palestinian Poets Within the Green-lines And raise in the horizon the dawn of blood And inspire in it our rising sun! In the Twentieth Century Centuries ago I Was not used to hating But now I am forced To draw forth an unused spear In the face of the dragon To draw a sword of fire I pull it out in the face of Ba’al,...

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