“If one day a people desires to live,
then fate will answer their call.
And their night will then begin to fade,
and their chains break and fall.”
Aboul-Qacem Echebbi, also know as Shabi, was a Tunisian poet who died in 1934. The above lines are the closing lines from Tunisia’s national anthem, Defenders of the Homeland. They are reported to be inspiring not only Tunisians but also Egyptians and others in the Middle East who are finding their voice and demanding respect.
Let there be no doubt. The meaing of poetry is to give courage. In the Middle East, people are inspired to revolt against corrupt and autocratic governments. For the rest of us, we, too, can find hope and courage through poetry. At times life appears meaningless or injustice too great. It can help to say poems. Poems give a clarity and guiding star to keep on keeping on.
Chain image: tanakawho