Earlier this year, The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) launched the “Write a Revolution” competition as part of their SOS Syria project. The competition attracted submissions from writers across the globe. Entrants were asked to consider the words freedom, oppression, unity, justice and hope to write a short story or a poem in light of recent events in Syria. Below is the winning entry for the poetry competition.
By Syma Alam
The humming of bullets thicken the air
Death preys on the souls of innocent men
Like a crazed grim wind it seeps everywhere
Without knocking it enters, feasts again
Our lips have been sealed but our eyes
Bleed, yearning for freedom and the right to
Speak. But those who feign deaf can’t hear the cries
For rights to the pursuit of happiness
Men flee to save their precious lives
Lost lovers shed tears of grief
Children from mothers, husbands from wives
Yielding love in hope of relief
But though their hearts choke with dismay
A rising sun brings a new day.
And when I thought I saw her disappear
She emerges from the men and children
From the darkness, a light draws close and near
She runs forth and into my arms again
Holding her tight, inhaling her sweet smell
Spinning with fair bliss, I failed to conceive
The dark speck that tore as she moaned and fell
My tears rolled, as she struggled to breathe
Blades through my heart, I watched her die
Red innocence spread out upon
Her White clothes, Black hair, Green land, my
Hands. She smiled. And then she was gone.
Justice had died, I could not pretend
But a rising sun will set in the end.
A lifeless corpse, I stand alone
A blind warrior, naked, weak
Stripped from my sanity and prone
To suffering, the days are bleak
Watching the killing of thousands
Of men, the piles of the bodies
Guiltless and pure, laid on the sand
Our homes invaded by armies
But we have committed no crime
But mourning cannot turn back time
We must be patient, though there’s no place to stay
As jannah (paradise) awaits us at the end of the day
With honour, death I shall befriend
A rising sun will set in the end.
Syma studied Islamic theology for a number of years before her A-levels and is now in her second year of Medicine at St George’s University of London. She is interested in teaching and occasionally writes, when time permits, as it allows her to reflect. She hopes to travel to the Middle East and acquire a deeper understanding of the Arabic language.