I love reading and writing. I came to writing late in life and discovered a world where I feel like a fish in the water.
Sitting alone in the dark
With lots of time on my hands
I wonder what more I can do
For a community in distress.
The stories of greed and neglect
Remind me of an old folk tale
That of a Muslim woman who was wronged
and had lost hope of finding justice.
One day, she took her veil off
And went into an assembly of men.
As a roar of outrage came up
Outrage at the insolence of a woman
Who dared show up so naked among men,
She stood defiantly among them and said,
“I would have kept the veil if I saw here a man”.
The roar of outrage subsided
The men looked down in shame,
At the mettle of a strong woman
Who they could not blame.
As taught by my mother and grandmother
In times of distress and need
You put aside all anger and resent
And do the right and good deed.
The distress and despair of my community
Could move mountains if they so wish
If only their faith wasn’t tested so frequently.
Looking at their reality
My heart goes out to them
How much more can they bear
However resilient they were.
Long before the current COVID-19 crisis
The Lebanese people in Lebanon faced an unclimbable mountain
With little tools and inadequate styles
To face health, economy, and societal problems.
Trying to grasp at straws
of hope and needed changes
What they hoped for and expected
Is so far from ideal
That some feel dazed
While others feel enraged.
Hope should never go out of style
Hope is what must be kept alive
The will to overcome challenges
Must be maintained steadfast.
‘Do not give up’
Is easy for me to say,
I don’t have mouths to feed
With little or no income,
I don’t sit in despair
Wondering what tomorrow will bring,
I can only pray, hope and
Do what I can when I can.
If one day the People wanted life
Fate can only acquiesce
The chains would be broken, and
The night would make way to the day.
© 2020 Liliane Najm