فقط كيس بطاطا آخر

انظرْ لتلك الخِربة البشرية, بذاءة متنكّرة, إهانة للحواس. خراء المستنقعات هذا يجب أن يزالوا من قبل أنظار الجميع, و أن يُنقلوا إلى مكان بعيد, حيث يستطيعون أن يذوبوا و يختلطوا ببعضهم لشيء أقل بشراً, أكثر مخاطية, حيث لا بئس .عليهم و لا هم يحزنون

أخبرها بأن من مثلنا سيبادون قريباً بوجود هؤلاء. أنصاف بشر تملأ الشوارع, أشبه بشوالات بطاطا متحركة ناطقة. قشر القشور, يعملون سخرة كعقبات لنا, كإحدى منغّصات الحياة, شيء لا يمكن تفاديه إلا بالقتل. لا, ليس القتل. هم بالفعل موتى, مقتولون منذ زمن طويل. هم كالأشجار التي استسلمت و لم تعد تورق أو تزهر, خلعها من جذورها واجب للمواطنين مثلنا, أنا و هي.

مناظرهم تأثر فيك كآلة زمن. هم ليسوا أكثر من غرائز تأخذ صور آدميين؛ يأكلون ينامون يتنايكون, و ليسوا حتى جيدين في أي من هذا. مدفعون نحو هذه الضروريات بخواء عقلي شبيه باللحظة التي تنظر فيها إلى أسفل جرف صخري, و تدرك كم تفاهتك و عدم أهميتك, و لكن رغم هذا تبقى تتنفس للسبب نفسه. آلة زمن تعيدك إلى الوراء, إلى زمن سحيق لم يعرف فيه البشر أي متعة واعية, يفعلون الأشياء لضروريتها ليس أكثر.

ماذا تفعل بهؤلاء؟ كيف تتعاطى معهم؟ أتذكر أنني قلت لها, و لا أتذكر كيف ودّانا الحديث إلى ذلك: “لهذا الأحسن أن ينوضعوا كلهم في مخيمات بعيدة, يعني بجم لا تميز بين هنا و هناك, اعطيهم شوية برسيم و ماء و فُتَح لأيورهم و لن يعوا حتى أنهم نقلوا من مكانهم.”

هالتها الفكرة _كان لها ماضي يساري_ و بهدلتني. تقول شيئاً من قبيل: “الناس ليست مشاريع استثمار.”

“يعني لن تنفذي مخططي معي؟” سألتها و أنا أحكّ ذقني بشراسة. قمّلتْ؟

“طبعاً لا.” تجاوب بحدة. تعيد نظرها إلى المرآة و تكمل تمشيط شعرها.

“يعني بودك أن تصبحي ستّ بيت سمينة تقضي نهارها تفقّي البزر و تضرب أولادها على قفاهم كلما سألوا سؤالاً لا تريد الإجابة عليه خوفاً من تفاهتها و خجلها الصبياني من أولادها؟ هذه آخرة النساء هنا, كلهن بدون استثناء.”

تأفأفت. “مش ضروري.”

(مش ضروري). تلك هي المانترا, ذلك هو الهوس. الإيمان بأنك مختلف لأجل الاختلاف. بأنك غيرهم. بأنك شخصك المنفرد الفريد الذي لم يمر على الزمان قبله. التميّز كهدف بحد ذاته. أفنوا عمرهم و هم يشاهدون أفلام هوليوود عن حياة طلاب الثانوية الأمريكان. طلاب ثانوياتنا… ثانويون, بالأكثر, و لا يتحدثون الإنكليزية بطلاقة, رغم أنك لا تحتاج تلك اللغة فعلياً لأي من تحركاتك هنا, من سؤالك عن سعر الخس إلى ملاطشتك إحداهن. كيف تقول “يقبرني رب هالشفايف” بالإنكليزية مثلاً؟ يستحيل!

و هكذا كل مرة. إذا بقيتْ هكذا سأضعها في ثلة أكياس البطاطا, مع الباقين. هكذا دائماً, يتسلل القبول و الخنوع إليك دون وعي. في البداية توافق و تصمت, و ينتهي بك الأمر إلى ترديد كليشيهات العامة نفسها. هكذا بدون أي مراجعة لمواقف سابقة. نحن نعيش هنا في زريبة يملؤها “يساريون سابقون”, أياً كان ما يعنيه ذلك, و كلهم أتفه من بعضهم. كلهم خرابات بشرية و قنابل من الزبالة قد تنفجر في أي لحظة. كلهم مخاطيون دنيئو النفس يبيعون نفسهم “للقضية الجديدة” كلما ظهرت و أينما ظهرت. تحسهم يريدون أن يُلاحظوا بأي شكل من الأشكال, و حتى ولو اضطروا للنزول إلى أوطى مصافِ الإنسانية, لذلك يرغبون في تعدي حدودهم, الفعلية و الوهمية, بعيداً عن الكل العارف بتفاهتهم, ليبنوا أمجادهم و تاريخهم المختلق فوق كوارث أكياس البطاطا الأخرى و التي قبلت مسبقاً بانعدام أهميتها.

حياتنا هنا, و هذا الحبس المكيّف, هو نكتة ربانية بذيئة, و غير مضحكة. هناك مأساة في أن يعتقد الله أنه ظريف. مأساة حقيقية, و فجاعتها أكبر من أن تُحتمل. و مع كل هذا الألم المحاط بالبشر, مازلت أؤمن بأن هناك كياناً أثيرياً يراقبنا و يحكم علينا و يسجل أعمالنا و يجيرنا من أشياء تافهة كحوادث سيارة أو كسر في الحوض, لنموت لاحقاً في شيء مسلي أكثر, كتفجير, مثلاً, أو قصف عشوائي. هو يتابعنا إن لم يكن لشيء إلا لإمضاء وقته. أنا أكثر رومنسية من أن أرفض فكرة وجوده, و أرفض قطعاً أن أكون كؤلائك الملحدين الذين يقضون وقتهم يسبون الآلهة نفسها التي لا يؤمنون بوجودها.

نقضي العمر كله نتخبط عشوائياً, و نموت ألف ميتة لنحصل على ما نريد. لا نملك أنفسنا. نولد عقارات لأشخاص آخرين. و نكتشف متأخراً أننا مسيّسون, و الفرق يصير بمن يقبل بهذا الاكتشاف. نظن أننا نتمرد إذا شاهدنا فلماً ألمانياً أو قلنا رأينا في مساوئ العنصرية, و نحن حقيقة لا نخرج عن حلقة المقبول و المرضي عليه.

ثلة من البدو خارج سياقنا التاريخي.

نلف و ندور و نعود إلى حيث ننتمي, إلى حيث نشبه الجميع, بحذائنا “الماركة” التقليد الصيني و أفقنا المعزول. و يأتيك ذلك المنيك المعثر ابن جارك ليطلعك على أخبار تقديمه على المنحة و أنت حتى لم تسأل. يظن أنك تهتم و أنت جلّ ما تفكر به أثناء كلامه هو كم الذل الهائل المتجسد في تلك العينين. يحدثك عن أحلامه و آماله و تصوراته المهترئة عن الغرب و حياته في الغرب. ماذا تقول له؟ أتقول له إن مكاننا نحن وراء البقر, مخبئين عن عيون العالم و عن الناس الأحق بالحياة؟ يا حبيبي أحد من أولائك له حياة شخصية أعقد من قضيتك بكثير, و فيها زخم و انتصارات لم تعرفها لا أنت و لا أجدادك. هم لا يعرفونك و لا حتى يعرفون بلدك بالاسم, و أنت أتفه من أن تُعرف. العالم لا يهتم لك و لا يهتم أنك كنت الأول على دفعتك و لا يهتم أنك قضيت أيام قطع الكهرباء تدرس على ضوء الشموع. يا حبيبي تعليمك لا يريد لك أن تكون أكثر من موظف دولة, فاقبل بهذا.

لن تحتفي بك جامعات الغرب, و لا ينتظرك أي من بروفيسوراتهم و لن يكتشف أحد “عبقريتك الكامنة” و لن تحتفي بك أي من تجمعات الكتّاب السخيفة و تناقش شعرك الخرائي بحمية و لن تغير وجه “المشهد الأدبي” المعدوم أصلاً و لن تظهر في البرامج الحوارية على “الجزيرة” و تُقدم ك “مفكر عربي”. أنت تفوق كل ما سبق تفاهة.

رفاقك هم كذلك ليس لشيء إلا لأنهم يحتاجون حارس مرمى في كرة القدم. لا أحد يحبك سوى أمك, و حتى هي في أعماقها تتمنى التخلص منك و من العائلة كلها و لو لنصف ساعة. يا حبيبي لا خلاص لك, لا انفكاك من حقيقتك, عارك الصحراوي سيتبعك إلى آخر ما عمّر الله. لا يهم كم المارتيني الذي تشربه في مخيلتك مع “زملائك” الجامعيين الأجانب, أو كم الشقراوات اللواتي تصاحبهن في أحلامك تحت الغطاء ليلاً أو المصطلحات التي تتدرب على لفظها خجلاً من مستمعيك الأجانب المتخيلين. كله كله لا يهم.

لا مكان لك في عالمهم يا حبيبي, فابدأ بالبحث عن واسطة و أمّن لنفسك كرسياً بلاستيكياً _من الذي يدور_ وراء مكتب و أرسل أمك تبحث لك عن عروس و حينها تكون قد قدمت الخدمة الوحيدة في حياتك كلها و أرحت أمك, فقدم هذه الخدمة و انسحب إلى غياهب الكون حيث من مثلنا يقبعون و مارس طقوسك في أظلم كهوف الذاكرة الإنسانية حيث لا أحد يزعجك و لا تزعج أحداً, و ستتحول تدريجياً إلى شوال بطاطا و لا بئس في ذلك. سينكشك الفضول أحياناً و تمد رأسك خارج الكهف و سيمر الناس من أمامك و لن يراك أحد. أنت أتفه من أن تُرى. ستعرف يا حبيبي حينها أن الخفاء أشرف للذين مثلنا.

و أرجوك, لا تكبر لتصبح يسارياً سابقاً.

ما بيعرف يجدّل

جدّلي شعري. بدّي جدّولة. وحدة بس, مش اثنتين. بس جدّولة وحدة.

ظفيرة

أو سنبلة. ما بعرف. حطْ إيدك بشعري. هيك روس أصابعك على جلدة راسي.

لا مش عجنب. ما بدي الجدّولة على جنب, بدي ياها تنزل على ظهري. يعني شعري مش طويل كثير بس هيك حابة الجدولة تنزل على ظهري.

لازم جدّل شعري منشان الشوب. شوب كثير و شكلة الجو مش حيتحسّن. الله و الحكومة عم يتآمروا علينا. لما يبرد الجو شوي, بتجي الكهربا كثير, بس لما الهوا يصير كأنك جوا مايكرويف –عارف عليّ- بتصير تجي الكهربا أغلب النهار.

المهم هلق, جدلي شعري. مشطته اليوم منشان هالشغلة.

Adam

Adam is the static. Adam is the archetype.

Adam is the skeleton before the flesh, the figure before the character.

Adam is empty.

Adam is so lonely he agreed for a rip to be pulled out of him, yet we never hear of his pain.

He is the painless.

He is the unreal.

He is the inadequate patriarch. He has no will of his own.

He is not yet man, just a figment of God’s imagination.

Fuck the World

This is so good.

The Foulosopher

Fuck the AUC privileged class for acting like self-entitled douchebags who subconsciously dream of being white, fantasizing about their own country like an exotic tourist drooling over karkade.

Fuck the other AUCians who feel ashamed about being rich, and therefore fetishize being “poor” as some sort of entitled rebellion against their privilege. Their poverty is a luxury they can afford, not a reality they must live. Deep down, they revel in the security of their looming inheritance.

Fuck those who obsess about the West and those who over use the term orientalism. Seeing orientalism everywhere is the newest form of orientalism. It reveals nothing insightful. It only highlights our fragile reactionary identities to dominant narratives.

Fuck the post-thawra bourgeois petty nationalism of taking the metro and using yamli to write facebook statuses in Arabic. Accept that you speak English better than Arabic and move on. There is no shame in…

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Every Single Article Ever Written About Being Gay in Beirut in One Convenient Article

ohmyhappiness

It’s a dark night in Beirut, the San Francisco of the Middle East. This darkness is powerful. It represents Beirut’s past, its present, and its bleak future. But tonight, it also represents the state of gay people in this Middle Eastern city by the sea.

Hassan, whose name I have changed to protect his privacy even though there are thousands of Ahmeds in Lebanon, is sipping on a gin and tonic, and in doing so, powerfully defies his religion. For him, having grown up in a Muslim household, religion has turned its back on him, because you see, Hassan is gay. A gay Muslim. In Beirut. Shocking.

Hassan tells me how hard it is to come out in Beirut. This story is very specific to the Arab world, because everywhere else on this planet, it’s so easy to come out. We are sitting in Bardo, a gay bar in Hamra…

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All those theres: Sargon Boulus’s Iraq

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4 September 2011: Baghdad via San Francisco, for Youssef Rakha, makes more sense than Baghdad

Thanks to a flighty wi-fi connection at the riad where I stayed that time in Marrakesh, I heard Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) reading his poems for the first time. Sargon had died recently in Berlin – this was the closest I would get to meeting him – and, lapping up. the canned sound, I marvelled at his unusual career. He was an Iraqi who spent more or less all of his adult life outside Iraq, a Beatnik with roots in Kirkuk, an Assyrian who reinvented classical Arabic. He translated both Mahmoud Darwish and Howl.

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In Sargon’s time and place there is an overbearing story of nation building, of (spurious) Arab-Muslim identity and of (mercenary) Struggle – against colonialism, against Israel, against capital – and that story left him completely out. More probably, he chose to…

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When I Was An Orange Tree

An orange tree, small and lush, poses timidly at the side of an ancient stone stairs, half-way between earth and sky. The stairs, from down, appear endless; some say God waits up there, not with open arms, but with idle expectancy, like He knew you’d come, but wasn’t really waiting for you to show up.

An orange tree, bent but strong, hunches slightly over the stone, neither guarding divinity nor displaying interest in earthly manners. Something about it is too ordinary, simple, confined, disarmingly so. You expect too much of it, yet it is an ordinary orange tree.

When man fought God for the very first time, he did so on the backs of elephants. His weapons were his confusion, his limited perception, and his yearning for the primality of faith. Not faith itself, especially after encountering God, for he found that this deity was just as confused, just as limited, and just as primal as he was.

Those elephants he rode did not descend down to earth with him. They remained stuck on the ancient stairs, after earth become too little to contain them. The orange tree does not remember who came first, itself or the elephants, perhaps it was too young to recall. But in the spirit of true orange trees, it kept the perplexities of the two distant worlds, and what transpires in the stretch of stone between them, to itself.

At noon, the orange tree faces its wobbling shadow, for hours and hours, but time matters not here. Here, the orange tree leads a calm existence, at margins of divine fury and human suffering, caring for neither. When God invited it to share a glass of wine with Him, it politely declined; these nights were reserved for observing elephants swaying with enchantment from the Sufi music played from across the ocean.

In a world so unbelievably vast, the orange tree owns nothing but the little space it occupies, but one day, when the earth was drowned in a flood so violent it uprooted God’s throne, the orange tree found itself drifting silently away from the stone stairs, away from the elephants and the Sufi music.

Away from the scent of Paradise’s winery.

It landed in a swamp. A large one circled by tall trees bearing no fruit. Green was everywhere, alarming yet dull, one tree replicating itself a thousand times. Somewhere in the swamp was a walled pond, filled with water glistening like a starry sky, and inside the pond was an elephant and her calf, doing a ritualistic bath, tossing water from their trunks everywhere around them.

For a moment, the orange tree was a hunter. Its silent observation manifesting itself in eyes, brown and alert, a malicious intent sipping through its body. But something was approaching. Something bigger than the orange tree. A large vehicle driven by two men came crashing on the tranquil green around them.

The elephants wailed loudly.

Water rippled, the whole scene wavered, the pair of brown eyes disappeared; the orange tree remembered it’s a tree, not a hunter, when the two humans’ faces almost cracked open, their vehicle running over the calf.

Blood seeped into the water, the elephant cried out, a sound so human and terrifying, the swamp began swallowing it, the elephant mingled with the green around it, and the orange tree no longer recognized who was an extension of the other.

Green was devouring everything around it, the scene had no beginning and no end. There was no stone stairs, no elephants, no odd vehicles, just an orange tree, drowning, aware for the very first time of its being, of its existence.

It’s an ordinary orange tree. It’s an extraordinary orange tree.

It’s an orange tree forgotten by God.

A Government-sponsored Life

“I don’t want to die, Ibrahim.” I tell him.

“Everything dies,” he replies. “Don’t be afraid of death. Fear dying without being satisfied with yourself.”

But Ibrahim, life is not a performance. Although there are people bent on assigning us roles and binding us in a specific timeline ending with the end of the play and the destruction of the stage, life is not a performance. Why the need to be satisfied?

“I’m not afraid of death.” I say, I lie.

I lie again. “I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to die before seeing anything beautiful in our region.”

There are plenty of beautiful things in our region, I remind myself, but seeing them, and participating in them, requires money. I don’t have money. I have an Internet connection, so I only get to see pictures and read articles about beautiful things in our region.

“I don’t want to die before witnessing a streak of hope.”

I’m so full of shit.

“That’s just it. Death is coming anyway, and I have immense respect for it.”

But there are people dying way before their time, and then branded as dying just at the right moment. “Martyred”, they say. Well fuck you and fuck your martyrs. People are being sent to die, people are being paid to kill. Fuck you and fuck your martyrs.

“I just want death to take a vacation.” I tell him. “I just want to hear about someone dying naturally of old age in our region. Just once.”

You can get killed in many ways here, and this is for the tourists. You can die from a shell and get buried under rubble, you can be shot by a sniper, tortured in an underground prison cell, commit suicide by exploding yourself, but they won’t say you committed suicide, no- you were “martyred”. Here, stay with me, this martyrdom culture is of vital importance to understand how savage we are, but with some good hard cash, hopefully you won’t have to meet any of us as you lay on one of our beaches which we’re not allowed into, because we’re too disgusting and poor to enjoy it, but there are always pictures and articles about these places, so really, no big deal.

Life is not a performance, Ibrahim. I don’t want to act. I don’t want a script. It will be issued by our governments anyway, and our governments lie; they lie a lot. Plus, there is the issue of the theater, and since we’re in an Arab country, the theater will be owned by the government. And since we’re in an Arab country, Ibrahim, we, too, are owned by the government.

Dear, and since we’re in an Arab country, too, no one will come to watch the play. We will hope, in the backstage, that it’s because they know the government lie, but it’s not like that, Ibrahim, it’s because no one gives a fuck about theater anymore.

People are dying in the streets, love, no one gives a fuck about theater anymore.

So no, spare me, Ibrahim, I don’t want to act.

Spare me the pain of getting a hundred papers from government officials, and then spending the entire week just to sign them from a security man, and then kissing hundreds of asses, licking hundreds of boots, just to be allowed to stage our play.

I don’t want to act in their play. We all know how it will end; you and I, dear Ibrahim, we’ll be martyred. People will stand up and applaud, but they wouldn’t know why they’re applauding, or what’s about dying prematurely that is so exciting to them, but they will stand up and applaud anyway, because we were taught that something about this whole martyr business is important. No one really knows why, but it’s important, so no one questions it.

Death is yet to take a vacation, Ibrahim. Death is just as tired and frustrated and depressed as we are. Death did not attend the play, though it surely knows the script. Death thinks it’s cliché. Though our lives are anything but clichéd, they’re just mundane.

I’m not afraid of death, Ibrahim. I’m just afraid of dying without really knowing what life is like. We don’t know what life is like. We’ve never known what life is like. We think we do, but we wouldn’t know life if it punched us in the face, Ibrahim. We’d probably run away from it when we see it.

But who cares? We’ll be martyred! Think about it, dear, it’s a lucrative business, this martyr thing, but not for us. No no, you and I, love, we just die. It’s a lucrative business for the big heads, for God’s men on Earth. People like you and I, Ibrahim, just die.

They call us martyrs so no one will have to think too much. Our governments are exceptionally kind, you see, they don’t want to strain people’s mind with bullshit like reasons why a young man in his twenties was sniped from a rooftop, or way a baby died under rubble. No, sweetheart, government officials, standing for the population, will come, watch the play, and go back home.

They have lives to go on with, after all, not clichéd lives, just mundane, like the rest of us. But the difference, dear Ibrahim, is that people like you and I, just die, so government officials can continue attending plays issued by the government.

I’m very sorry, love, I cannot share that dream of yours, of spending our lives away in an isolated island, in nudity, drinking and partying our lives away, and pissing in the sea. I also don’t want to act in that stupid, fucked up play, but I cannot get off the stage. The stage is disintegrating under my feet, Ibrahim, and yet I cannot get off it and go with you to that isolated island.

What if the government owned that island? Maybe our governments own all the islands. Maybe they own life as we know it, but as I demonstrated before, we don’t really know life, so don’t worry.

Until our governments stop issuing scripts, I cannot go.

Until our governments no longer own theaters, I cannot go.

Until people are no longer martyrs, I cannot go.

Until the people stand up and applaud because the whole stage fell apart, I cannot go.

Until Death comes vacationing with us on that island of yours, Ibrahim, I cannot go.

I’m sorry.

Revealing the Dove

Hello guys, this post is translated by me for SolidarityWithEgyptLgbt, which is a project started by me and some other friends. We document human rights abuses committed by the Egyptian government and seek to give those of the queer community a platform to speak about their issues.

This post was originally written in Arabic by a friend of mine, and it tackles a pervasive kind of sexual harassment in Egypt’s public schools for boys.

I hope you enjoy it, and tell me your thoughts.

Solidarity with Egypt LGBT

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This is a translation of a previous post written by Ibrahim Abdella
***

All of a sudden, he’s stranded at the shoulders and his movement restricted, any attempts to enter are hindered by closing the classroom’s door with his bed, and some stand beside it as to warn of any person approaching. No less than six members gather around him, their tasks split between holding him down for easier access to the next step, untying his belt and the buttons of his school uniform, sliding it down his legs, and attempting to remove his underwear to reveal his “dove”.

What I just described are, in short, the steps taken to “reveal the dove”, and it’s an infamous practice widespread in boys’ schools in several cities, starting at elementary level until high school.
This “practice” aims at one thing, and it’s humiliating the victim through revealing his private parts forcedly in…

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How to read the Syrian body: Lebanese racist ideologies and politics of difference

the interrogations of shamshouma

The story of the Syrian body as seen by Lebanese eyes is not a new one, it dates back to the time when Syrian workers migrated to Lebanon and became cheap labor, around the country’s largest institutional and urban development in the 1950s.And cheap labor, with time, cheapens the body itself and disciplines it. People then would speak of the Syrian worker as someone coming from dark places of Syria, unknown barbaric villages that manufacturepeople who were completely different from Lebanese. “Not all Syrians are backward”, the story went, “but these people who come to Lebanon and work in construction and other cheap form of labor, come “men wara al ba2ar”, they are dirty, ignorant and stupid”. Somehow labor exploitation disappears onto the Syrian worker’s body, thereby making it as ontologically different and alien, not just for middle and upper class Lebanese but for their fellow Lebanese…

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