Fool

"Take two: this gesture and your idea of what it is. Don't give back to me, don't thank for it. Just take; embrace..or leave"

He's not a saint, why does he preach? He's not a king with a speech. He might be a life giver; a dream liver..or a fool.

"One, two.. A lonesome day, a bright morning had come upon a jaw broken man. With the light on his shoulder, he had to find a job other than finding straws for birds to sew their nests, or threads for an old woman to build a house. He was faced with a sense of responsibility for the growing ideals and fish tanks that would trap his thirst and make him plead..or maybe grow"
"On the same day, a soldier had to run, not from fire but from his gun. He had to leave the army and follow a mother's call; a powerful instrument that conquers all..or maybe some."

He's not righteous or even sane. He's barely out there; his heart has gone vain. He lives with music and and his friend; shame. He might be loved for his name, but where does he stand now? Where does this entity remain?

"One, two.. There was a girl that heard of secrets in the alley but when she got there met the lions by the gate. She had a sense of fear but mostly a power she never knew. She was never told the truth and now it was time. She never fought for her secrets for she was told it's a crime. It was time. Her heart beat stood before her, the lions eyes lost their covers and told the secrets, then she knew they were okay..or she had none."

Tell this fool to stop. Tell him his voice is only the hope for an empty room, an empty chair and this hollow feel. Tell him not to feel.

Withering Blossoms

We had a house near the highway. It shook under our bed as the lonely people drove away. We lived on our breaths, our blossoms and the rain. We told stories to our ground, sang to the walls as they were built and planted lilies on the front yard.

We were a one way street that led to another; one was a game player _a champion when it comes to lifting hopes_ and the other, a sleeping star that fell for too many nights and woken up on different grounds. One had charming eyes that could grab the sun, and the other had ones that you'd follow in the dark. One believed in reason and the other believed in God. But whenever we were alone, we would hold each others hands like a parachute's handle. Nothing held fire other than a candle. We would take no sides or collide; we would only fill a room with our smiles.

If only memories weren't like a long road that parts from a railway. If only looking back was like looking out a car's window. Some days still show me there's more to moonlight than the sun. Never for once to remind me that we were never one.

Ocean

I wish I had sleeping pills or a lucky stone under my pillow, so I never have to lift my head or get lost in my bed. And when silence passes by and makes me hollow, I'd find the hole in my chest and the light that has been shed. Maybe then I'd become a grave and bury the dead in me; tell him death is just another story; beautiful as the one grandma told and turned out to be, never scary, so don't worry. Someday an ocean that had once smelt of paper and poison will grab your scent. Someday I'll catch my breath and dive, until I drop you by accident.

July Threw My Heart to the Sea

July threw my heart to the sea; it went floating. He said it would come back to me if I send a boat in. But before I could, wind swept August off the woods and left her soaring. And before I knew, I heard the sea. He said: "September is a thief, he's a tear of grief and October's cold breeze can't set him falling. He would only stay to warm up; to go away until there comes a day when he hears November's calling."
I peeked over the fences, went out of my senses; November was a life and a death so stalling. There was only December and all I could remember was how January's leaves fell off trees to gather up and catch a breeze, and leave my heart crawling.

Flowers on the Window

Stop this water if you can, before it drowns me at the door. I'm learning how to find a skill away from the shore. But before I lose myself, stop me. Don't make me climb a wave to drop me. The sun goes down every night, and so do my eyes. Here is my temple. Give me light to fill its cracks. This will be my last favor to ask. My heartbeats go faster every minute, but then they lose track. Whose to speak hope when what I want is what I lack? Find me; not because I'm lost but because I'm empty. Repair this heart; not because it's broken but because it left me. I have put flowers on the window pane as the wind drifts me. Still I sent kisses to the air, forgot all the unjust and unfair, like we all do. Here is my temple. Give me light to fill its cracks. This will be my last favor to ask. You are never to show me light if not now, for I can never see but now. A victim is never born one, even in a starving womb, survival is a need, not a choice, that's what makes giving up so hard. Make up, repair, build, now.

Meena (Part I)

"Write your story on your hand, so he would touch you," he said, with a grin and a memory.
He was free to be any person at an instant second, and every feeling was consumed, his fears injured and numb, his love aroused, and all that he could set his conscious upon.

His name was Meena. He doubted every person, every belief, and every religion. Only roads represented home - thirteen blocks to the left, Fifth Street, building number 17 - but walls? They were his covers; his white sheets. They rather protect his bare body than be his sanctuary or safe place.
"I'm a city boy," he continued smiling.

"I make love to secrets; memories, fears and lost joy. One day I'll see my own, and won't crave for them. But sometimes I wonder if I too whisper ones before sleep."

"One morning, someone left me flowers, with a card saying I know you."

Meena told me many stories of incomplete love; two hearts broken by society, a lifetime of secrets, a sick man that died alone. We talked until he got a phone call and had to go, leaving his stories and absence.
He ended saying: "We all make our own world to fit in this world, and there are people who connect with human secrets and desires; indulge in sacred beauty, and some like rolling stones; they move on."

Art Fair 2011

The struggle after lost love, Yemen's revolution, animal cruelty, LGBT rights and 3sqalan are the main contents that my booth at Amman Street Art Fair 2011 was based upon. It had 14 drawings (mostly ink/pencil sketches and acrylic color paintings) and 5 photographs. I have always wanted to portray and bring recognition to deprived freedoms, diversities and feelings through simple yet expressive art, and this was just that.

The photography was taken in Yemen last month, I wanted to show the peaceful side of Sana'a, the one that the media and news don't portray since the revolution. As for the drawings, I had little descriptions next to the ones I wanted to express more through, which gave me a chance to clarify certain feelings that the drawings had and were not necessarily apparent; feelings that are often felt and not shared, like vulnerability and uncontrol over oneself.
I gave 3sqalan his own side of the booth where he told his story, was introduced to new people and talked about Handala.

The event was outdoor, there were bands, movie nights, graffiti and about 20 other artist booths. I got to meet some crazy talented people, and spent five days surrounded with art and support. And by support I mean Enas; the one and only Anooseh.
This is my first art exhibition, and hopefully won't be the last. Specially with 3sqalan's plans on my mind.






A Beggar's Doaa

My name is ne'ma (meaning blessing). I'm ten years old. One of my legs is bandaged. People tell me I have a pretty face. They stop by to give me coins at times. Some give me paper money; what my mother awaits for every night. She's an old woman, my mother. I want to tell her that things would be better so she would stop crying at night. I want to tell her that her prayers would be answered, but I don't know if God hears her.

We live in a small place. My father used to work for our building's owner, until war came. He worked for late hours and was out when the sky rained red. I wonder what he had done for mother to pray that he'd be forgiven every night.
"He traveled to our village and they have no cars to bring him back," She would tell me when I ask where he went.
I remember his talks about our relatives and stories of history. His one pair of black shoes is still on the blue carpet by the door. Mother cleans them whenever we're back from a long day away from home and they grab a bit of dust.

I've had two car accidents this week from standing at the traffic lights. One of which my leg was hurt. The green light had turned red and I was waiting at a car's window, held on to it, talking to the driver, until it moved. I jumped back to the ground but couldn't stand. I saw mother running towards me, yelling at the driver, as I was taken to the sidewalk. I woke up later with a pain in my left leg and a bandage.

Mother and I go back home at sunset everyday. We take the bus to downtown. The sky looks like the painting I see in the antique shop. I see people from the window as cars pass by. I usually fall asleep until we get to our neighborhood. We get off the bus and go to bakery to get bread with the coins we have. Mother would take me by the hand, we cross the street, then she leaves my hand to reach her pocket under her vail and find the door's keys. I go to bed as she prepares dinner, then wake up to the smell.

I sometimes dream of a day that passed two years ago. It was right after my father traveled. We needed money, mother didn't have a job and couldn't find one for her age. She told me to go out and ask for money. It was my first time. That day, I gathered a lot of coins, it made mother want me to go out more.

Sometimes I wonder if someone would've taken care of me and mother I wouldn't have had to go out that day. Sometimes it's all I think about.

Struggle

I have troubles with joy. It's true. At times, I feel like a flame from a fire that went down; striving to stay, to play, to run, before I fade into air.

I turn my back on the bright sky when it seems like a background. It's only human. This same sky is a canvas for war in other places. These stars are only clear and shiny for the fortunate.

I climbed branches on trees to see the world, but ended up looking at my shadow on the ground. That's my story. I saw musicians, philosophers and lovers. They were my teachers in beauty, uncertainty and sin. They taught me to open my eyes and get lost. But I still try to convince my self that I'm better each night, and each morning, I forgive my doubts.

I know someday I will betray my fittle heart. I'll find myself, but not for myself, and I'll build a home.

Remains

I no longer live in the city. I thought my atoms would draw me a body. I thought my emptiness would find a witness. But you are who you are, and I'm the dust left on the window. I'm the resident of these walls.

You're my excuse when love is a sin. You're a bird. You're so alive, like a head spinning with thoughts. Like the air. But I am the dust. Your skin has sensed me. I touched your hand in your sleep, covered your eyes, enfolded your eyelashes and held your toe. Then I prayed all night for the wind to never take me away and for your tear to never wipe me off.

The other night, I could swear I saw your hand reach to me. I clang until I became a part of you. I felt your heart beat and I thought it did. I saw your smile and your laughter. You spoke to me about your dreams and I wanted to be one, but then you told me how dust has been surrounding your window. You said how you've been thinking to clean the mess. No confesses made you see. No truth could let me be. I covered your eyes, enfolded your eyelashes and held your toe. No wind could take me away. 

I'm mistaken for my own shape. I'm sorry that I travel in storms; that I fly in a falling state. But you're a bird. You're so alive. Like the air.

“Come on in,”
I heard that; his dirt accumulated me. But you wouldn’t know. It’s dark and I’m at the window. 

Street Lit Apartment

He led his body to the direction of the air, skipping thoughts. On a road, he spoke to the wind as his lungs rested. He needed no identity or faith to find himself. He didn't believe in love and his desires were shaped. He was taught to wake up when dreams conquest reality, and reality was the most beautiful, the most wished for.
His days weren't numbered, the sky was infinite, and the universe had no king. In the city, secrets were celebrated. He was on his way. Every night, he closed his eyes on his awareness, his thoughts and insanity. Every morning, he washed away his sleep.
There was no lost or found. No homeless, victims or left behinds. When he got to the city, there were only voices. In every corner he heard a song. At mountains, there was heart break, followed by melodies.
Night was his family; he belonged to the dark. His father was a mountain and he had once told him that some stars are made by us, they follow us and find our way, and here, they were all his. He was never lost.
He needed no happiness to show him beauty. He learned a lesson at every sunrise, loved his emptiness, and had no battles to fight. With a dim flickering sight and the words he used to mend, he was complete, like love in a street lit apartment.

Wish

I want Palestine.

I have never lived in Palestine. I'm a Jordanian citizen since my grandfather was forced out of his home and was never allowed back. And I lived with my family in Yemen most of my life. But I've been to Palestine only once, and I wasn't old enough to know how fortunate I was. I say so much about it but remember so little. I want Palestine. I want to remember the air and the smell; the olive taste and every corner of every street.

I was born an immigrant and raised to belong to a dream land. I was raised to belong to its stories, heroes and anthems. I was raised to return.

I grew up with love, in two beautiful countries. But on this day, I want to have what belongs to me. But mostly, what I belong to. I want a homeland, not territories. I want justice, with no exceptions or "security reasons."

Today is my 20th birthday and here's my wish: I want a house in a Mokhayyam, a 60 year old neighbor with his ten kids and a very quite neighborhood where I can play music, take pictures and write stories.

I'd scream it in the streets if it would make any difference. But we do that all the time, somehow we end up ignored and left behind. Maybe another writing in a blog is all that I can do. So here I am. I want Palestine.

I took this picture of Palestine's sky and mountains three months ago at the right of return march in Karama town near the borders.

Freckles

There were freckles on his skin, to remind him of sunshine. He spoke to mirrors at the dawn, and wore a face for the dark.

Beauty had taught him illusions. To every mirror, he could only doubt. He had brown eyes, dry lips and flat chin. He had red hair, pale skin and freckles. And each night, he conceived the light.

In between his head and chest, love was war. He was caught between a hand and arm, security and harm. But he swore to the Gods, I will love until this body turns into shape and soul. I will give until I'm whole.

If He loses focus, he'd direct his eyes to their reflection. If he forgets, the memory is on each hair of his skin, with every touch and scent. He knew that his freckles were all he's left.

A Repelling Phenomenon

Build your wreckage into stone, like never before, before you hold me
Write your legacy and find sanity in your brain
Defend your heart and set your own eyes to see
Only then you'll know, and I'll be gone in the rain

عسقلان

Once upon a time in the land of Palestine, a city was invaded by an armed Zionist organization. Families were expelled from their homes, a mother was pregnant and had a miscarriage as she joined the rest of the families running away. Her child's soul was spilled on land and it became the land's reincarnation.

'Asqalan (read with the Arabic 'Ain) lived on as a spirit, away from its family and under another's conditions. It is the lost existence, the occupied soul waiting for freedom, whose birthday is yet to come with the rebirth of Palestine.

Named after the city (one of the oldest cities, built by the Canaanite people and is now a part of Israel), and standing for Palestinians right of return, ‘Asqalan wears a Hatta (Palestinian scarf), has two pencils as feet and writes while walking.



As 'Asqalan walks between religion, war, and their crossroads, it settles by the graves of the martyrs; giving them a flower.


Often passing by a Palestinian man dealing with sacrifice of land and belonging at the same time.

                                                                           
Tied to the chains of weapon, it draws a heartbeat and holds on to an olive leaf, when no way of resistance has yet brought peace upon it.



'Asqalan's religion is unknown, but it prays in front of a restaurant that was previously a mosque for the city.


Ever since its creation, 'Asqalan was never seen by humans, but by Palestinian fictional characters and their historical souls. It often goes to Beirut to visit Jafra, whom it considers an other mother.


'Asqalan met Sheikh Imam in 1988, and they sang together.


While traveling, it writes on immigrant's bodies reminding them that they, too, are Palestine. 

'Asqalan now speaks two languages: Arabic and Hebrew.  Living by the Mediterranean Sea, often visiting people and fictional characters, then returning to the sea

Follow 'Asqalan: https://www.facebook.com/3asqalanpalestine

Blinding Sun

Here's to you, my blinding sun. I know I had my share and the dark has won. But if I open my eyes, would you erase the things I've done? The shadow still calls me, and for it I'll always be the one.

I have love for this sky but as I stare, I see a simple sound and a simple glare that tells me I should run. When you're gone I cannot preserve you, my blinding sun.

I see you because I am blind tonight. So I tell you now, for I have no time or light. I'll shape a boat and sail back to where it begun. I'll shape a rocket and a rising gun. Then travel back and find none. To find only you, my blinding sun.

In This Air

I wish they'd hear me now.

The bells have gone silent and there's only noises of the street, a car passing by and a truck following the road. There's a parking dog and a crow far away. There's my cat leaning on the chair and my love lost in this air. I wish they'd hear me now.

But they won't. Even if this feeling reaches their eyes. Their vision will see what they want it to see. They'll blind themselves from my identity and judge my love. This eternal love. I wish they'd hear me now.

Because it had visited every corner in here. Like a rising star in a bright moon night. It had given me jealousy and long nights. It had given me this pure conscious hope. There isn't anything it hadn't given me. After all, it's all that is to me. I wish they could hear me. I wish they could hear me now.

Hill Street

There's a graveyard I pass by every day. It's on a hill on the way to my university. It's surrounded with houses from every side and fenced with low walls, big trees and butterflies.

I never noticed it until lately when I saw a group of people standing on its gate. And ever since then; I stare at the graves every time I pass by. It brings me peace in a way. But it's just for a second, and then I'm gone.

Birds, Trees and Wheelchairs

Some time ago, I worked at a center that some people call home. It had around 20 children and 20 old men and women.

I remember Mohammed, an 18 year old with special needs and hope. Mohammed could say two words: Alsalmu alekoo. He had curious eyes and at times he would stare at a picture on the wall next to him and smile. It had a garden and a house and a perfect sky - What everyone wants.

A 7-year-old autistic boy stood on the bed in front of him, looking mad everyday. He loved playing with Lego bricks and making faces. He would've jumped and ran around if he hadn't been tied to his bed for safety. He was energetic with an evil look. He was daring and outrageous.

On the bed next to the door of the room lay a 20 year old man. His arms weren't strong and his body was so small, but his eyes told every little detail. They were wide and gloomy. You could read his long years and walk with his past. He would barely smile. His mind was always miles away. Others would talk and yell while he just dreamt.

I dream too. I dream that someday Mohammed, Mostafa and Saeed would never be left. I dream that they'd be appreciated, loved for what they are and helped at home. I dream that someday they'd be given a chance to be not only great, but extraordinary.

Sometimes A Feeling Can't Be Said Anymore

White Mountain

I lived in a room up high, with walls painted blue, I had a neighbor or two, once.

One of them was an old man, with long grey hair, pale dark skin and a deep voice. I used to listen to him talk at nights. He called someone's name and I could almost hear it once.
He stared out his dusty window every afternoon. Waited for bird seasons. He was wise, I could tell. And he was patient. People said he had a family and a beautiful daughter. He might have been a writer, a lawyer or a politician, once.
I saw a land on his walls; pictures of trees and houses, framed poems and maps. He left home. Anyone would've guessed he doesn't belong here but did belong somewhere once.

My other neighbor, a lonely woman in her middle thirties, had knocked on his door once.
She wanted a memory. He wanted a friend. And I would hear their laughter speak to the air and travel through the night sky. They were like magic, once.
His balcony had a plant. It had a flower I would watch grow every spring. It grew like it was re-born and died like it was human. It shattered with leaves and birds leaning next to it. I remember like it was yesterday. I remember when he forgot to water it, once.

I kept their existence for me. Because his words brought me life just like water, and her love was like the sea.
I heard him repeating a poem all night, once.
He said: "Tell her things come and go, and it will get better. Tell her not to drown in guilt or solitude. Tell her to let go what she lost and breathe."

Then after hours, he froze and grabbed the fence. His eyes watered and his breath rose and I could hear nothing but that. Even the wind didn't make a sound. Neither did the mountains nor the angels that passed us by.

I heard nothing, and it was peaceful, once.

Black Shadow

Your memory is like this night, it darkens and settles into stars. You're like a black shadow, you move and fade. But you do exist -somewhere.

I never remember you, unless I want to; you are never haunting. Sometimes you seem a bit like a dream. Sometimes I wish that you were. But most of the time, I know how to move on. Just like you.

This is your story. This is the worst bad part. But in a second, it'll be over.

Layan and Lana

I've always wished I had a brother. A guy I would tell my secrets to, share my stuff with, fight with and pretend to hate. But If I had to choose between having a brother and my two beautiful sisters I'd definitly choose my sisters. Because I have the best sisters in the world.

Layan and Lana, two very stubborn girls! They always get what they want. Layan, the most stubborn one, has the kindest heart and best smile. She's confident and strong. I know she's going to grow up to be a strong woman, and definitely a popular one! I know that whatever she does, she does for a reason. She's smart, unlike me. I'm so random and all over the place. Lana (pronounced Lna) is the little one. Even now that she's 12, she's still my little sister that I deeply love. She's loud, but very quiet at times. She's selfless and caring. I think she's going to be a great person. A role model.

I really miss living in a room next to theirs. I hate to not be there to watch how they change and go through life. But I'm certain they're strong enough for anything that'll come their way.

I hope everyday that they're making the right choices and that they're living life to the fullest.

Can't wait for next summer!

Empty

Ignite the space that is so empty
The lights that broke in and the ones trapped in the act
Ignite the lonely soul and find me
Stay and hold on, there's that and there's a fact
I've had sweet but I've chosen the bitters
The weights grow wings on my shoulders
I wasn't born a bird
Ignite. Because it all stays here
We stay here when we're gone; if we're gone
Ignite the time of recognition
The love, the lights and this song