Friday, 9 April 2010

Hissa Hilal - Last Poem (7 April 2010)

(Update:  Translation of Poem by The National)

My poems! When your critics seek flaws in you, they will be overwhelmed when they find none.
When you suffer from drought during a summer, I will pour meanings into you until your thirst is quenched.
Defeat fear and conquer every frightening cave.
Do not live life with one eye looking behind.
Any illusion that seeks to find a nest in you, make it fly.
Scare it away from your thoughts and ambitions.

Illuminate and realise your potential, and feel what God has given you.
The feeling of helplessness never helps the weak. If you step back, you will be gone.
For courage, there is a price. O, honest one.
When night and coward people renounce you,
When faint-hearted get scared even from the sound of the bullets,
When rumours increase around you, through genuine verses, you can kill any illusion.
You have come with thought exposing fodder-seekers.

You would think friends will praise you.
Your honesty is itself a slap in the face of all falsehood.
Those who are used to only compliments will be annoyed.
He will get jealous who wags his tail when he sees the bread.
When you prefer to stay hungry out of pride.
He who has no conscience hates you.
In his darkness he is immersed, he does not see your light.
What benefits the scum when standing in your way?

When every free voice remains supportive of you do not fear his snake hiss.
You have a waving wing; you will not be betrayed by your open skies.
Bring the good news to he who wants to be your ally.
When you fly and no one can reach you in the sky.


the real nick said...

Thanks for the translation. The whole controversy around this women just depresses the hell out of me and her poem doesn't help to lift spirits either. Her exhortations are simply an inverse reflection of the oppression she, and other women in her society must be normally subjected to.

AA, I think we in the West do have a pretty accurate picture of the situation of women in the Middle East after all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the English translation.

If you can make time from your busy schedule for some more translation, the English speaking people like me would be obliged.

Thank You.

Abu 'Arqala said...


(1) Translation
Actually the translation is from The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi.

I don't have the skills to translate Arabic poetry.

(2) Situation of Women
TRN - Agreed.

The point though is not all of them are taking it lying down. And here's one woman from one of the most women unfriendly countries - though there's always Yemen - who grew up in rather typical bedouin circumstances who is speaking up quite forcefully. And whose husband and brother - no doubt from that same millieu - have agreed to "let" her do so.

the real nick said...

AA, granted, Hissa Hilal's case is both courageous and encouraging. But there is this expression: 'the exception proves the rule'...

Abu 'Arqala said...



And if one can make enough exceptions one can break the rule's hold.

HK said...

The poem is great and as a women I believe there is nothing new in saying women are oppressed by males. I have always lived in Western Europe and the relative freedom given to women is less than that given to men. It may not be the law but it is the reality. I have to assume these posts are from men and have no idea what it says about how arrogant the comments come across - what did give man the right to judge a women anywhere in the world? Do you really think you in the West as males have an accurate picture of the women in your own countries?

Anonymous said...

Men cause oppression of women. Will men ever admit it? No. They will always blame it on religion and say it is someone else's problem, while in the West, male oppression exists in a way that deludes women.