For L. …once more A small window on the roof. Darkness penetrates. A lingering presence spreads some shadow and crimson light on her blossoming face. The heart moans with every beat, It overcomes her sighs and punctures a wound… A fissuring wound in the chest. Her hand caresses my ribs, counting their wishes, And listens in the silence to the echo of the beat. I whisper a word… Two words in a tongue I borrowed from childhood but still sounds alien in my old dream. “Golden heart” jumps, Survives another death in her lips. The light fades in the […]
By: Ahmed Yousef Aqila 1 In the classroom, he glances the teacher and his stick. He whispers without looking at me “give me a ruler, my ruler is broken” 2 In the army, he glances the officer that is parading us in the courtyard. He whispers without looking at me “my shoes are not shiny as they ought to be. Will he notice that?” 3 Before reaching the revolutionaries’ checkpoint, he whispers in my ear “will the new revolutionaries stay for forty years under the pretext of revolutionary legitimacy like the General did? Or will the Islamists grab power under the […]
By: Giuma Bukleb Roads tearing earth's body East and West North and South. Long, short, twisted, plane, extremely steep, Ascending, wide, foggy, tarmacked, sandy, muddy, Flat, bending. Roads that fool you and others you fool. Roads you love And roads you hate. Roads you dream of and others nightmarish. Beautiful roads lined with greenery and trees, and others Regenerate tedium and boredom. Dangerous roads and others Relaxing. Roads that know no meaning to comfort and others don't Know the meaning of congestion. Roads… Roads… Why Do all roads Lead Only Into exile?!
In the middle of a long path I regurgitate some leftovers from the night before Pretend I am handsome in my self-deprecation And nurse a cup brimful with sour days He has the habit to smack his head protestingly Recites his epic lamentation, “They are” “We are” “Those people” “Our problem is…” “They, Them” “We, I” “They should” And if only. On the last turn, I get a glimpse of home, Staring back with indifference, Smiling disapprovingly of the way I combed my hair They never fail you, those moments Telling you how they: “Told you so!” “What to expect!” […]
In a short story I wrote long before the Libyan uprising, I imagined a man riding beside a reckless and erratic driver along with several other silent passengers in a very old car. Driving for an eternity on a long never ending hot baking road, the man kept asking the driver only one question, “Where are we going?!” That scene and that question depicted the general sense of despair and helplessness towards the situation in Gaddafi’s Libya. Two years ago Libya was on the verge of a tumultuous transformation. The capital Tripoli, was being taken by rebel forces […]
(Watercolour on paper A4 – August 2013)
They wish to see you dead before you are free..
Free speech in Libya has been transformed in a relatively short period. The initial boom of diverse independent media outlets has been hailed by many observers as one of the major achievements of the Libyan uprising after decades of oppression on the freedom of ordinary people to voice their opinion and dissent. However the initial euphoria gave way to frustration. It became apparent that developing laws and regulations that achieve the balance between freedom of speech and defamation will not be an easy task. Newly drawn restrictions to freedom when dealing with militant and fundamentalist armed groups and the religious establishment, combined […]