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Al-Shabi – To the Tyrants of the World

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Hey you, the unfair tyrants…

You the lovers of the darkness…

You the enemies of life…

You’ve made fun of innocent people’s wounds; and your palm covered with their blood

You kept walking while you were deforming the charm of existence and growing seeds of sadness in their land

Wait, don’t let the spring, the clearness of the sky and the shine of the morning light fool you…

Because the darkness, the thunder rumble and the blowing of the wind are coming toward you from the horizon

Beware because there is a fire underneath the ash

Who grows thorns will reap wounds

You’ve taken off heads of people and the flowers of hope; and watered the cure of the sand with blood and tears until it was drunk

The blood’s river will sweep you away and you will be burned by the fiery storm.

Abdul Qasim Al Shabi (??? ?????? ??????), To the Tyrants of the World (1905)(anon. transl.)

Listen to Guy Raz explain on NPR how this has emerged as the poem of the Arab Spring.

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