Ibrahim NasrallahLast week, The Guardian newspaper ran a profile of Jordanian-Palestinian
novelist/poet Ibrahim Nasrallah. Of course I was thrilled to see a fellow
countryman profiled in such a highly
acclaimed publication. However, it ailed to realize that the focus of the article
was on the constant harassment he was/is receiving from the notorious Jordanian censorship
department. It really is a shame what intellectuals have to go through in our part of
the world for simply speaking up. Here are some excerpts of the article:

Last June, a journalist phoned Ibrahim Nasrallah and asked
him how it felt to face a host of charges concerning national security. It was
the Jordanian-Palestinian writer’s first warning that he was facing prosecution … The charges related to his fourth collection of poetry,
Nu’man Yastariddu Lawnahu (Anemone Regains Its Colour). These highly figurative
poems, first published in 1984, were suddenly banned, while the poet himself
faced charges of insulting the state, inciting dissension and reporting
inaccurate information to future generations.

… The authorities raided the offices of his Lebanese
publisher in the Jordanian capital, Amman, confiscating copies of the banned collection. Protests from the Jordanian Writers’ Association and the Arab Writers’ Union were soon joined by support from the press in Jordan and the rest of the Arab world, while an internet campaign mobilised support from further afield. After almost four weeks which Nasrallah remembers being "haunted by these threats", the case was dropped on July 9 2006.

You can read the whole article here. I have to admit, I have never read anything by Nasrallah. Shame
on me I know. Anyone out there willing to loan one of his books (In Arabic
please)? Now after reading this article, I’m really intrigued. Here are two of his of poems translated
by Ibrahim Muhawi.


They’ll wake up in the morning

And they will fight

That which you saw last night was my dream

The other will answer: no, it was my dream

They will gently retrieve two pistols

From the sides of the same pillow

And at the same moment

They will fire


In the beginning

The horses said, we need plains

The eagles said, we need summits

The snakes said, we need lairs

But the humans remained bewildered