Cry Out by Fares Khouri

Reposted from Occupation Magazine 15/11/09.

Cry Out

— Fares Khouri

Cry out in Arabic, Ahmed, and contaminate their ears
Stand at Habima square, and cry out to your friend, who’s on Hertzel street, to bring you the shovel
Disturb all those sitting in Rothschild boulevard with their coddled dogs
Disturb them as they speak about yesterday’s party
About this evening’s Macabi Tel-Aviv match
About the (stinky) orthodox Jew that just got on the bus
About the right-wing government that they aren’t a part of
And about the intelligent Arab they met lately
Cry out, ya Ahmed
Defile their ears with your language
They don’t like it
They fear it
They don’t like to hear your friend’s name
It scares them, disturbs them as they read the leftist paper
Cry out Ahmed, with all the voice that god gave you
Cry out, don’t fear, cry out!

After all, you need this shovel… No?!
You need this shovel.
Cry out, they won’t notice your existence until you cry out
In this language,
The forbidden language,
Cry out and deafen their ears-
You need this shovel, Ahmed
Cry out!!

Cultivate their boulevard, Ahmed
Ameliorate their boulevard,
And then sit and rest, sit and rest in the boulevard.
Take the box of Meluhiya and bread out of the bag that mother gave you,
Open the box, put it on the ground,
Take out the bread and put it on the bag, on the ground.
Please sit
And swab.
Swab and gorge in front of their eyes.
Swab with a hand that knows too much for its young age.
Sit in those dirty work clothes with a brown and sweaty face
And swab
Swab and contaminate their environment
Sit, swab and enjoy Rothschild Boulevard, Ahmed
The day will come and…

Author’s note: If you’re Israeli, you probably interpreted the last sentence as a threat to your existence, such as “the day will come and all of Rothschild Boulevard will be yours, Ahmed”. That’s why it’s important to note that the last sentence was written only to confront the Israeli reader with the situation. The author has no visions of expelling the Jews from Rothschild Boulevard, and he’s certainly unavailable to come on Wednesday, at 16:20, for a Shabak interrogation.

Translated by Tali Shapiro, Ofer Neiman

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