Truly, truly, I say to you –

The child killed on the beach –

WE murdered him.

 

The boy was

Forsaken by the country,

Forsaken by the spirit,

Forsaken by the body,

The soul and the flesh.

 

The child was not spit by a sea, rather by fitnah.

Elan,

And all of us are spit by

Oil, gas, power, and by homeland.

 

Until

Ali and Omar reconcile,

Truly, truly, I say to you,

Elan was not killed by Fate;

Elan was not killed by Destiny.

The salty sea did not kill him.

His murderer

Is, rather,

The bitter homeland.

 

We live

Because death fails to catch us.

We don’t walk towards a goal.

If we live, it’s a coincidence,

And if we die, it’s a hazard.

 

We have a homeland

That we embrace with our soul.

She discards us unregretfully,

For we are but a corpse,

Thrown on the shores like seashells.

 

We have a homeland

That has no room

But for death and the departed,

A god that terrorizes people,

And a sheikh who lifts up the whip,

Memorizes the slaughtering verse,

And reads the surah of the fitnah

Between Mecca and Najaf.

 

Elan Died.

The human being crumbled;

The ruler and the sultan lived.

 

Little Elan,

Did he die?

Or did our conscience die?

 

By Tunisian Poet Ahmad Omar Zaabar

Translation by Myriam Rizkallah

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