Tal al-Mallouhi

Last year, at twenty years of age, this Syrian poet and student was sentenced in a closed court to five years in prison. No evidence of her guilt was divulged and PEN believes she was imprisoned for online writing and poems about Syrian and Palestinian politics. According to Al Jazeera she is the youngest known convicted prisoner of conscience.
PEN has asked the global community to circulate her poem, below, at writers’ readings, in newspapers, on notice boards, through websites, blogs and social networks – which is why I am posting it now. Messages or your own short poems in support of Mallouhi may be sent c/o writersinprison@englishpen.org

I will walk with all walking people
And no
I will not stand still
Just to watch the passers by
This is my Homeland
In which
I have
A palm tree
A drop in a cloud
And a grave to protect me
This is more beautiful
Than all cities of fog
And cities which
Do not recognise me
My master:
I would like to have power
Even for one day
To build the ‘republic of feelings.’

(translated by Ghias al-Jundi)


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