Secularism (updated)

To be a nonbeliever in the land of sand is
To hold an ember in the palm of your hand and
Swallow your loneliness and seclusion
Insidious in your thoughts

It’s a sin not to give in to norms
Like an alien skinned from its own kin
And tossed as a leftover bone to the wolves
Starving for its flesh

Eccentric, fiendish, unworthy of respect
The walls closing, rushing to entomb you
In suffocation, frustration mounts the windows
Through which you reach out to others

But there is no one around
You’re on your own
Drowning in your own breath
Your resort finale

Freedom is controversy
Multi-tasking
And multi-user
It’s just a fantasy in this land of sand

PS; a dedication to Ben Kraishan

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Temetwir
    Sep 06, 2006 @ 18:06:00

    beg your pardon, but you titled the poem Secularism.. i fail to see how that permits the discussion of ‘the norms’, let alone the presentation (of course since it’s a poem thus in exaggeration) that it is to be called a sin if one does not abide to them (whatever they may be for the time being)

    surely if the writer wants to be a nonbeliever, regardless of ‘in what’ – or lack thereof actually, i for one would contend that a personal preference, or just as well a choice, be not an excuse for mixing, dare i say confusing, what the writer labels as the norms with what is to be considered and indeed respected also as preference and choice

    i do sympathize (not in the literal sense) with the writer in the frustration and questioning of certain, if i may, aspects of ‘the town’ .. but the oversimplification – even if in prose – of the partition into dichotomies, i personally think, tampers with both the genuinity as well as the core (message) of the writer since it is now not clear if it’s a personal opinion, or some level of social reform that is argued for.
    optimally, it would be a combination of both but given the wording and labelling i do not think that it would be true

    Reply

  2. AyyA
    Sep 06, 2006 @ 18:42:00

    teme
    I bet you never were in the situation in which you questioned the authenticity of what you were taught in school or through your parents (in which I called the norm), then how could you know if my argument is true or not?

    Reply

  3. luloo
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 01:51:00

    أيا
    أبدعت ما خطت يداك

    يقول شهيد الكلمة فرج فودة في كتابه الذي أعشقه الحقيقة الغائبة

    يا إلهي
    كم تردى المناخ وكم نحن في حاجة إلى عودته من جديد كما كان، أحكي لكم، واسمحوا لي، عن قصة لا أتذكرها إلا ويطفر الدمع، ويهتز الوجدان، وهي قصة حدثت منذ سنوات قريبة، يوم تشييع جنازة عريان سعد، وعريان سعد قبطي مصري، تطوع لقتل يوسف وهبة رئيس وزراء مصر، القبطي الديانة، والذي قبل رئاسة الوزارة في مصر حين امتنع الوطنيون، حتى لا يكون القتل على يد مسلم فتثور الفتنة، وقد نجا يوسف وهبة، وسجن عريان سعد، وعندما دق ناقوس الكنيسة لحظة تشييع جثمانه تصادف أن علا صوت مئذنة مجاورة بالآذان وهنا .. أجهش الجميع بالبكاء .. وشعر الجميع أنه هكذا يكون وداع عريان ..

    لنا أن نبكي معهم بكاء الرجل العظيم ، على رمز عظيم شيعناه، وتراث عظيم أضعناه ، وتاريخ عظيم نسيناه ..

    أقسم لك يا عريان ، أن الآذان
    والناقوس سوف يتعانقان على هذه الأرض

    انتهت كلماته

    ومات فرج فودة بسبب هذا الكتاب صغير الحجم … عظيم الفكر … مات بيد رجل سمع أنه مرتد لأنه علماني ولم يقرأ ما كتب …. وبالرغم من مرور سنوات عديدة على رحيل هذا الانسان الانسان إلا أنني لا أزال حزينة عليه … افتقدناك يا فرج فودة … ستظل كلماتك خالدة في الوجدان … محفورة في العقول … وسيشهد لك التاريخ فأنت صانع له

    أيا
    نفتخر بك .. بصداقتك … بفكر الحر
    دمت بحب وود

    Reply

  4. luloo
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 02:04:00

    يا
    أبدعت ما خطت يداك

    يقول شهيد الكلمة فرج فودة في كتابه الذي أعشقه الحقيقة الغائبة

    يا إلهي
    كم تردى المناخ وكم نحن في حاجة إلى عودته من جديد كما كان، أحكي لكم، واسمحوا لي، عن قصة لا أتذكرها إلا ويطفر الدمع، ويهتز الوجدان، وهي قصة حدثت منذ سنوات قريبة، يوم تشييع جنازة عريان سعد، وعريان سعد قبطي مصري، تطوع لقتل يوسف وهبة رئيس وزراء مصر، القبطي الديانة، والذي قبل رئاسة الوزارة في مصر حين امتنع الوطنيون، حتى لا يكون القتل على يد مسلم فتثور الفتنة، وقد نجا يوسف وهبة، وسجن عريان سعد، وعندما دق ناقوس الكنيسة لحظة تشييع جثمانه تصادف أن علا صوت مئذنة مجاورة بالآذان وهنا .. أجهش الجميع بالبكاء .. وشعر الجميع أنه هكذا يكون وداع عريان ..

    لنا أن نبكي معهم بكاء الرجل العظيم ، على رمز عظيم شيعناه، وتراث عظيم أضعناه ، وتاريخ عظيم نسيناه ..

    أقسم لك يا عريان ، أن الآذان
    والناقوس سوف يتعانقان على هذه الأرض

    انتهت كلماته

    ومات فرج فودة بسبب هذا الكتاب صغير الحجم … عظيم الفكر … مات بيد رجل سمع أنه مرتد لأنه علماني ولم يقرأ ما كتب …. وبالرغم من مرور سنوات عديدة على رحيل هذا الانسان الانسان إلا أنني لا أزال حزينة عليه … افتقدناك يا فرج فودة … ستظل كلماتك خالدة في الوجدان … محفورة في العقول … وسيشهد لك التاريخ فأنت صانع له

    أيا
    نفتخر بك .. بصداقتك … بفكرك الحر
    دمت بحب وود

    Reply

  5. Temetwir
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 02:58:00

    ayya,
    i never questioned what i was taught in school or what i was taught/told by my parents? i wonder what you know about me, let alone where i have studied and how my parents raised me in the first place. not sure which ‘school’ you refer to neither.. i’m not taking it personally, i’m just interested in how you have come to the conclusion without affirming any assumption

    but let us assume for the sake of argument that what ever it is you tell yourself i never questioned is indeed that which is in your thought/impression i never questioned.. i still don’t see how that would make ‘the norm’ you refer to as being what i consider the norm myself

    at any rate, what i said i thought would not be true is to consider the poem itself as a combination of frustration of the writer and the proposal of social reform on the grounds that i think there is confusion of labelling and mixing of ideas with ideals

    i’d appreciate it if you would stop with the ad hominem fallacies and do me the favour of reading my initial comment again to see where ‘true’ comes in and how it does not talk about ‘your argument’ per se, but the perception of the verses’ content topped with the chosen title

    it would also be with great pleasure that i answer any questions you may have for next time, instead of summing me, my education, and the way i was brought up based on the misunderstanding of a comment that discusses prose and not person.
    the courtesy will most definitely be appreciated

    Reply

  6. AyyA
    Sep 07, 2006 @ 12:41:00

    Sweet Luloo
    I am ashamed to say that my Arabic readings lack a whole deal, but luckily through you and other learned bloggers I’m beginning to catch up with a lot of what I have missed. Faraj Foda’s book sounds very interesting; I’d really like to read it. Is it possible to get a copy in Kuwait? And where do you think I could get a copy?
    Thanks for your valuable input, I really appreciate it, and I’m really proud to have you as a friend, it makes life much easier.

    Teme
    I believe that I misunderstood your first comment, the reason for that, may be, was your first paragraph in this phrase:
    ” you titled the poem Secularism.. i fail to see how that permits the discussion of ‘the norms’, …………………….. that it is to be called a sin if one does not abide to them”.
    Then in the second paragraph which I tried to minimize so I can get the point:
    “if the writer wants to be a nonbeliever…… i for one would contend that a personal preference… be not an excuse for mixing, dare i say confusing, what the writer labels as the norms with what is to be considered and indeed respected also as preference and choice”
    I surely did not get the point; in which way am I mixing the “norm” with my personal belief? Or where does it mention in my poem that I did so? If you mean that my definition of the “norm” is not necessarily true; then that’s your opinion, I can’t argue about that. I also sensed the fact that you personally respect each person’s opinion, but, is this true with the majority in this society? And that was another point in my misunderstanding your comment.
    As for the third paragraph;
    “ …the oversimplification ….. of the partition into dichotomies….. tampers with both the genuinity as well as the core (message) of the writer since it is now not clear if it’s a personal opinion, or some level of social reform that is argued for”
    Whether this is a personal opinion or a social reform is not for me to say, it’s what you get from the poem and what you could relate to.
    As for your last paragraph:
    “…… given the wording and labelling i do not think that it would be true”
    I think that this is what the whole argument was about which I missed the first time, correct me if I’m wrong, so what you are saying is that the title is irrelevant to the body of the poem.
    Well as per Miriam Webster’s dictionary; secularism is defined generally as “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations” in other terms I defined as a “nonbeliever” in broad lines to the “norm” which is the religion of the majority in the society. So where is it exactly the mismatch? Unless you mean that I should have been more precise by labeling the poem some thing like” secularism is rejected, or not accepted, in our society”? Here I have to differ with you since this is a poem and not an article, in a poem you don’t give all the information, but leave that to the reader. Thanks for your input.

    Reply

  7. luloo
    Sep 08, 2006 @ 12:37:00

    Dear you can find it on this address

    http://ladeeni.net/islam/faraj1.htm

    Reply

  8. AyyA
    Sep 08, 2006 @ 17:20:00

    Luloo
    thanks sweetie :*

    Reply

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