I don’t want to play, I just wish I could walk…


Twelve it is,

Though scratched and peeved,

The broken military watch,

Is still ticking,

Like me it is the only other inheritance of my family,

Our only possession that wasn’t rubbed on to the ground completely,

My grandpa gave it over to my dad,

After a short stint in the Israeli army,

And, since then dad preserved it,

Like he’d taken care of me till now…

It’s a brand new year,

Kids all around the world,

Must have gotten together,

Must be a hell of a time,

To play, to eat, to make merry,

But I don’t want so much,

I know kids in my world are not so lucky,

I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…


I’d seen those jet planes that close for the very first time,

Gripped by their power,

Trembling in that macho sound of theirs,

I thought that manly machine attracted me,

But, before I could think anymore,

The ceiling came down on me,

And, soon my pounding heart,

Caught the pain,

My leg wasn’t there,

I could feel myself only till my knee…

So, now I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…

Crushing on my tool in that Turkish refugee camp,

Resting my aching arms and those crutches,

I miss my dream of playing with my brother,

With all of my family dead,

Now I dream no more,

All I want is to ask friends from that happy world out there,

Did they need my leg that badly?

Only a little makes me happy,

I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…


(Inspired from Joe Sterling’s CNN article, “Uprooted by Syria’s war: ‘Is there a worse way to live than this?’ “,http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/14/world/meast/syria-refugees/index.html?hpt=wo_c1)


Welcome to Israel’s only Festival of Lights…


Not a fly hovering over my kebabs today,

For my food stall on the cobbled pathways of the Muslim quarter,

Stands illuminated, celebrated,

As if stationed to serve out exotic flavors of the Middle East,

Exclusively to nurture lacs of appetites,

To showcase our hospitality to all visitors,

Flocking to Jerusalem’s Old City,

Only to forget the sorrows of Israel,

Only to brighten up their souls at the Festival of Lights…


This isn’t an ordinary night,

For artists from all across the globe,

Wait for this opportunity,

To adorn King David’s city with lights,

Those stony walls that smell of ancient rulers, King Solomon, Nehemiah, and Agrippa,

4.5 kilometers of fortified walls,

Five to fifteen feet high,

Forms their canvas,

Jotted with lacs of tourists in its epicenter,

As if rolling, bouncing from one wall to the other…


My religiously dissected Old City in East Jerusalem,

Seems to have forgotten the boundaries within,

The Muslim quarter, the Christian quarter, the Jewish Quarter, and the Armenian quarter,

All seem alike in this unusual night,

Gleaming with sophisticated, artistic lights,

Directions made clear with light trails in orange, blue, red and green,

Each quarter showcasing lit up art works, beams colorful and serene,

There were the Dormition Lanterns, the Field, Tree and Rainbow of Light,

As if lightening up Old City’s history, geography and valor,

As if marking the air of romance that sprinkles on my fortified city,

The very moment, dusk sweeps down from the Judian Mountains


Apart from everything else,

Jews, Arabs, Christians, Jordanians, and the Foreigners,

Are already busy savoring kebabs at my stall at the Muslim quarter,

Forgotten are those baseless lines of religion,

Absent are vibes of hatred,

Far from the Kalashnikovs,

Far from bloodshed,

My sacred land looks beautiful this night,

I only wish it was always like this,

I only wish, one day, before it’s too late,

The world will realize,

Not only Jerusalem’s Old City,

But the whole of Israel,

Was a paradise that instead of being spent in abhorrence, painted claret red,

Could have been drowned in peace,

In such aesthetic celebrations of this land’s divine archeology,

In such innumerable Festivals of Light…