We held Alsama‘s first international poetry competition on Friday. Students from our institutes in Bourj and Shatila wrote poems in English and then performed them in front of our audience with guests from Belgium, Germany, Denmark and the UK. The international judges were Nelly Vandermander and Richard Bampfyld.
The winner was Maram Al Khouder with an astounding poem & performance that sent shivers down everyone‘s spine.
My Past and my Present by Maram Al Khouder
A child doesn’t know the meaning of killing.
But I knew the harshness of hearts
And the death of conscience
Syria was drenched in the blood of innocents
I lived in fear and terror.
It was as if life had declared the end of the life.
Then, the idea hit my brain filled with the sounds of bullets.
(Killing: Blood. Pain. Death. Soul.)
The ruined house.
I miss my doll.
The one who taught me peace
When all I taught her
Was war and pain.
(War and pain:
Boom. Waaa. Crash. Help.)
Millions of dead.
A Mother cries for her silent baby
And her martyred son.
Hunger was a death more dull
Roots are in the homeland.
We will bring you back al-Sham,
Do you know who I am?
The refugee who can.
Lebanon, my second home.
How much do you love me, Beirut?
You embraced me when I needed Syria
You gave me shelter and safety
You gave me stability
You nourished me with knowledge
Like a mother feeds her children.
You embrace me, but I need Syria.