Their Blood

By Ibrahim Nasrallah, translated by Dr. Omnia Amin

Their blood is their good morning
Their blood is their good evening
It is their greeting,
Their message to us,
It is their story,
and their fear for us.
Their blood is their mosques,
their churches,
their windows,
their love and anger
Their blood is a painful reproach,
A space of exposure,
A mother’s story to her children.
Their blood is the rose’s message to its fragrance,
The birds and wind of their homeland,
Their battles and truces,
Their jokes as invaders attack.
Their blood embodies their prayer,
Their blood is prayer.

They left no trees reproaching them,
No moon on their balconies,
No song of thirst for their rivers.
They disappointed neither the wish in the eyes of their young,
nor the desire of the olives on the hills.

They are the friends of the sea
The friends of the river
They are the eyes of the olives
The flower of the compassionate
They are the green of the trees
The childhood of the rivers
They are the compass of the poets
The provisions of the poor
They are a street at dawn
A laugh in the stone
And the clarification of this secret:

Their blood is their good morning
Their blood is their good evening

دمهمدمُهْم صباحُ الخيرْ
دمهم مساءُ الخير
دمهم تحيتُهم .. رسالتُهم إلينا
دمهم حكايتُهم .. وخوفهمو علينا
دمهم مساجدُهم .. كنائسُهمْ
نوافذُ دورِهمْ
دمهم محبتُهم وغضبتُهم
دمهمْ عتابٌ جارحٌ
دمهم فضاءٌ فاضحٌ
دمهم حكايةُ أمهّمْ لصغارهِا
دمهم رسالةُ وردةٍ لرحيقها
دمهم طيورُ بلادهم ورياحُها
دمهم معاركُهم .. وهدنتُهم
وطرفتُهم إذا اندفَع الغزاةْ
دمهم ذراعُ صلاتِهمْ
دمهم صلاةْ
لم يتركوا شجراً يعاتبهم
ولا قمراً على شرفاتِ منـزلهمْ
ولا أغنيّةً عطشى لأنهُرهمْ
لم يكسروا أُمنيّة سكنتْ عيونَ
أو خاطرَ الزيتون فوق تلالهِم
.. .. ..
هُمْ أصدقاء البحر
هم أصدقاءُ النهرْ
هم أعينُ الزيتونْ
هم زهرةُ الحنّونْ
هم خُضرةُ الأشجارْ
وطفولةُ الأنهارْ
هم قِبْلةُ الشعراءْ
وذخيرةُ الفقراءْ
هم شارعٌ في الفجرْ
هم ضحكةٌ في الصخرْ
ووضوحُ هذا السّرْ
دمهم صباحُ الخير
دمهم مساءُ الخير


Ibrahim Nasrallah was born in 1954 to Palestinian parents who were uprooted from their land in 1948. He spent his childhood and youth in the Alwehdat Palestinian Refugee Camp in Amman, Jordan and began his working life as a teacher in Saudi Arabia. After returning to Amman, he worked as a journalist and for the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation. Since 2006, he has been a full-time writer and has so far published 14 poetry collections and 16 novels, including his epic fictional project of 8 novels covering 250 years of modern Palestinian history. Four of his novels and a volume of poetry have been translated into English, including his novel Time of White Horses which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2009 and for the 2014 London-based Middle East Monitor Prize for the Best Novel about Palestine, and Lanterns of the King of Galilee, longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2013.

Dr. Omnia Amin joined New York University Abu Dhabi in Fall 2017, as a Senior Humanities Research Fellow. Prior to this, Omnia Amin was a professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University (ZU) in Dubai, UAE, from 2005 to 2017.