A poem in Arabic by Alisar Iram inspired by Easter: Syria, rise: سوريا قومي

alisariram:

سوريا قومي

Originally posted on alisariram:

Jesus by © Alisar Iram, pastels on paper

Jesus by ©Alisar Iram, pastels on paper

سوريا قومي 

ايلي…ايلي لما شبقتني

لقد صلبوه

فصلبوا الحب

 وانشقت السماء

وعم الظلام الارض.

في الحقول سالت دماء الاطفال

ووقفت المريمات متشحات بالسواد

يحتضن الاقدام الدامية

تحت الاف مؤلفة من الصلبان.

ايلي….ايلي لما شبقتني

تعالت صرخات شعب مقهور

من تحت الحطام من تحت الركام.  

مزقت استار المعابد والعصور

الام الارواح المهدورة.

 قومي سوريافالسيد قد قام

حقا قام

 قومي يا سيدة الخير

 ودعي ارواحنا تهمس

 حقا قامت.

قم ايها الشعب المعذب

حقا قم.

ايلي….ايلي لما شبقتني

الحياة ستقوم

والروح سترد

وما كُسر وحُطم

سيلتئم ويقوم

والنعمان في الوديان سيزهو

رقيقا حانيا هامساالعَود العَود

والارض ستقوم

قومي سوريا

انشدي فوق الصليب

وانزعي اكاليل الشوك

قومي ايتها السيدة

Alisar Iram

©Alisar Iram 

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Poems and thoughts in times of war

Compiled between January and April

The poet
Blessed are the words for the words are makers
Blessed is the music for the music is the soul of God
Blessed are our songs, our poems,
Our sighs, our cries, our murmurs, 
Our lullabies, our prayers, our whispers, our laments
For they exist between one silence and another 
So that silence will have no dominion.

Alisar Iram

By Alisar Iram

I am the word unsaid, say me

I am the music unheard, play me

******

 It is the one who is made absent that is seen most

It is the note which is omitted that is heard most. It is the the name of the one who is not named that is deafening. It is the colour that is missing from the painting that makes it a work of art because without it, as we add the completing strokes in our imagination, the painting does not live. It is the one who is made absent that is seen and will be seen because it is the essence of light to shine.

Time is a Continuum

The more I live in the present time of the Revolution the more I live it in time continuum. The more the roots of the country are destroyed by annihilation, the more my mind becomes absorbed in the necessity to regrow these roots, to heal the land, to hold the shattered Syrians in the sanctity of compassion. If we regard time as not only now, but a continuum, we shall not despair because the future is waiting for us and the future is not going to be like the present because we are not going to carry to it with us the terror of our tragedies but the luminosity of our hopes and intimations of peace and life made whole again.

Let us make space for the future

I do not wish to dwell unnecessarily long on the Syria of the past except in order to carry the good things from the past to the future because I would be rather helping the present, but I would not like to give the sad heartbreaking present all my attention either because I would like to be working for the future , I would like to be sowing hope, I would like to be helping to be make space for the new life of the Syrians to emerge. Let us remember that there would be children. Let us remember too that the future will come because eventually life will write the story of Syria. Let us make space for life. Let us all be farmers and let us all tend the land and saw it with the good seeds of knowledge, awareness, understanding, compassion, while helping all those who need help coming our way. This way we can survive the terrible tragedies of the present and become part of the future we are bidding our bridges to cross over to. 9 April

Silence

 To accept silence is the negation of the resounding words. to accept the absence of beauty is a negation of beauty, to accept the waning of love is a negation of love for love does not wane except in our forgetfulness and foolishness.

 

Yes there is that which is imperishable

I promise that I shall make that rare and beautiful thing, which was paid for with immeasurable anguish and infinite pain, live and breathe in the freedom of the soaring unbound word. I promise it shall all live beyond our lives in all that is tender, magnificent, graceful and enduring. For that which was made from love and light no human limitations and failings can dim or diminish. I promise it shall be kept whole and perfect in the holiness of poetry and the spledour of the creative word. We die but our voices do not; we forget but our poems will not; we weaken and bend, but our songs are born to weave their music into that which is imperishable because it is of the stuff of the universe. 13 Jan.

Alisar Iram: detail from a painting

Alisar Iram: detail from a painting

Death of victims 

To me death, the death of any victim is personal. End of conversation.

If we  Can’t  bring ourselves to refuse to condone the death of all the innocent people involved instead of being selective, I call this moral anaemia.

Aleppo

The whole world is less because of the murder of Aleppo. 5 April

Suicides and nihilism

It is easier for the young to die because they have not lived long enough to value life despite its store of suffering. The young do not have enough experience to combat the desire to die instead of trying to solve that which is hurting them intolerably. Nihilism is a way out of the complexities of life. You cannot solve the riddle so you destroy it together with yourself. You end the world which you have come to hate and despise. There is nothing so sudden in human actions. They brew and brew in the subconscious, and then they explode, indeed like a dormant volcano.  April 6

Naming our pain

When you are stretched beyond your endurance, beyond almost redemption, you have to speak out. You sin against yourself and the other if you do not speak out. If you do not name your pain, if you do not name your unbearable suffering you create a hole in the consciousness of the world. It is a great lack of trust not to tell the truth of your feelings while it is an act of faith to express the depth and the anguish of what you feel. You do that not to blame for blame achieves nothing and it is destructive. You do this because you expect the others to be brave enough and noble enough to shoulder the truth.  20 March

 Remaking the world

What should we think of those whom we remake the world in order to save and nurture when all they do is destroy that by which we live, the beauty that is the light of our souls, the beauty that made us remake the world for them? 9 April

Cruelty

Cruelty will always come back to haunt us. We can only free people who have suffered cruelty by kindness, tenderness and compassion or trey will remain bound to the act of cruelty forever.  12 April

المنساة

اعيش في المنساة

المنساة تتناغم مع الملهاة والمأساة

 ولكنها ليست ماساة ولا ملهاة

لانها ثقب اسود في الكون

هوة في الزمان والمكان

انا اعيش في المنساة

البحر لايهمس في الروح

النورلا يلمس القلب

البوم لا يناجي القمر

والقصص تذبل وتتكسر

لان الراوية غائبة

لان الراوية محجوبة

كقرص القمر محجوبة

 اعيش في المنساة

 والنسيان ينساني

تهيم الطيور من حولي

ولكتها محجوبة

كانحسار الروح محجوبة

المنساة ملحمة منسية

كل قصة فيها منساة

تروي ملحمة الملحمات

 

سفر الخراب  Destruction

وجاء في سفر الخراب: دمرت البلاد وعمها الخراب ودنس حجرها وسويت معابدها وصروحها بالتراب ونعقت غربانها وناحت البوم في اطلالها وتناوحت الاحزان والالام والمصائب فيها ولم يعد يسمع بها ضحكة طفل او همسة امراة اذ هربوا وتاهوا في المعمورة. ولم يبق فيها الا رجال تائهون في البراري سلب الهول عقولهم

Catharsis

“according to Aristotle, a purifying of the emotions that is brought about in the audience of a tragic drama through the evocation of intense fear and pity “.

If tragic feelings and intense pain is followed by cathartic emotions…if the suffering does not kill us spiritually but leads to purification and the purging of hate and resentment…if the Medusas are defeated and we are not made after the image of terrible dissipating anguish, then we can lift up our heads and smile, then we can walk towards the new life. 25 March

We take refuge in poetry and image making in order to achieve catharsis, in order not to despair. I have found out that churning beauty out of the wreckage of the soul is the only salvation we have.

The road back to humanity

At the start of the road of suffering and along the road of suffering and at the end of the road of suffering, I have learnt that sects, creeds, beliefs, ideologies, ethnic religious and national divides do not really exist because humanity alone exists. I have learnt, and realized,  it has dawned on me and illuminated my insight, my consciousness, my intuition and my perceptiveness and discerning heart and mind that the true quest is the quest for our humanity, the human in us, that this Revolution as I see it is eventually our road back to humanity

Seas and tulips.2 April 2014 063 copy

By Alisar Iram

 A short poem

 If I can vanish into the heart of ten thousand flowers

And listen to their looms weaving ten thousand colours

My gentle sorrow will sing to them for one thousand hours

The wrongness of things

I cannot stop writing or questioning. Why do I have to do that? Because I believe there is something wrong. There is something wrong fundamentally, lethally, sacrilegiously wrong. Something is wrong…wrong…wrong and the wrongness of it is making me wrong myself. About 500,000000 years ago life started on earth in the sea. Then life crawled from the sea to land. That was the beginning of the explosion of life in years to come in all its glory and complexity, that was the beginning of the kingdom of life. That is what is wrong with me. My life which is 500,000000 old is screaming within me at the destruction of life and what life creates. The wrongness is all around us and has invaded our beings demanding we put things right, we undo the wrongness. The balance is broken and the gates between life and death are wide open instating the law of annihilation and extinction. It is wrong to kill Syria…..it is wrong…it is wrong. 

Father Francis

This morning I have learnt more about the inimitable lovely human being that father France was. It is the story of a beautiful human being which reminded me of the story of another beautiful human being: Father Paolo. I felt enriched and my soul felt like flying to follow Father Francis on his great and final journey in order to say to him before the immensity of the mysterious unknown claims him: Don’t worry Father Francis, on onward we shall go as you wished us to do, onward we shall push our way through the darkness seeking the shores of light, the shores of compassion and togetherness. Peace be with you; journey well into peace. Your love shall always stay with Homs

The tears of the tulip by Alisar Iram

The tears of the tulip by Alisar Iram. For Father Francis

PS. Onward was a favourite term of Father Frans. He used it to encourage the young people when he accompanied them on journeys of discovery and understanding in Syria

Sacrificing others

Why can’t people understand that not to sacrifice is the answer, for nothing good will come out of the sacrificial. Goodness is inviolate and whole. It does not demand sacrifices. Goodness is only glorified by the good deed, by the good love and the good will and above all compassion. Nothing good came of sacrificing Iphigenia to the gods because she was innocent.I do not believe in sacrificing one human being in order to save another or save a cause. It makes a mockery out of the concept of sacrifice. Besides who are we to decide who and who isn’t worthy of the sacrifice. Even when God accepted the sacrifice of Abel he made of Cain a killer.

اسمي

هذا الصباح اريد ان اسمي نفسي لانني بدون اسم

اسمي هذا السلام الجميل الذي سيكون

اسمي هذا الحب العميق الذي مُرغ بالتراب

ولكنه ما يجعل الكون وطنا

اسمي هذا الخير الذي لن يدميه العبث

اسمي هذا الحق الجليل الذي به نعيش

اسمي تلك الرحمة التي تسمو على سجون الصمت

واسار الظلم

اسمي تقوله الرياح وتنشده الطيور وضمير الانسان

اسمي لا يرد الاساءة بالاساءة بل يبتسم بطفولة

لمن يحب ان يكرهني

اسمي من روح الروح ومن روح الحياة ومن روح الروح

الذي لن يقتلوه

بعد ايام سيقوم المسيح

وساقول المسيح قام حقا قام

وعندها سيقوم اسمي على شفتي هذا المسيح

البهي العذب الذي قام

واذ يتنفس ويتنهد ستتناول فراشة بيضاء اسمي

وتطير به فيلتقطه البلبل وينشده نهارا

ويودعه في همسات البحر ليلا

Gouache and pastels on paper by Alisar Iram

Gouache and pastels on paper by Alisar Iram

My name is
This morning I wish to name myself

For I have no name

My name is the eloquent peace to be

My name is that deep love that was trampled on

But by which the universe is made our home

My name is the goodness that will not be slain

My name is the hallowed truth by which we survive

My name is the compassion that will not be confined

Or held in bondage.

My name is called by the winds and the waterfalls

It is whispered in the immemorial depths of conscience 

My name will not reward transgression with trasgrission

But will smile innocently at those who hate me

My name is woven from the soul of all things

 From the soul of being

And from the spirit of love which cannot be destroyed.

Christ will rise soon and I shall say

Truly he has risen

It is then that my name will rise too

Lingering on the lips of Christ

The beautiful sweet Christ who has risen.

As he sighs and breathes

My name will fly on the wings of a white butterfly

 To be sung by the nightingale at sunrise

And murmured by the sea at sunset.

By Alisar Iram

At the end of the road

What we find at the end of the road is ourselves and all that makes this self, the earth that bore us and the dreams that have sustained us and all those who have cherished us.

All people whoever they are will be what they make of themselves. There is nothing static in being human: either walk forward and evolve or  stagnate.  At the end of the road the Syrians will find themselves and perhaps discover that they have found these selves  for the first time.  

The Grecian Urn

I woke up thinking about the English poet Keats and his poem the Grecian Urn. An image of its ineffable perfection floated in my mind, for I woke with a thirst for flawless beauty. I saw it in my mind’s eye though I had to look up the poem to remember the words. The words rang like a silver bell in my thoughts:

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”—that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

So exquisitely simple, so fraught with affirmation.

Then I sailed up the poem to read:

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;”

 I thought to myself, perhaps it is better to be the unheard music, the invisible spirit that sings the unheard sweet tune. Whatever we do, we cannot get rid of the inner melody, the unheard music. Truth is beauty and beauty is the unheard, exquisite song of our being. Beauty and the truth within us are the moral law within us, Kant’s moral law.

Yes, my fiend, I am sad because of the worm inside the perfect apple, because of the crack that can travel up the Grecian Urn and destroy its perfect proportions.

 

Porcelain pot, decorated with underglazes by Alisar Iram

Poetry

In the beginning was my poetry. Then I became many other things. Poetry comes back to me in times of upheavals and pain. Thank you for your appreciation and seeing into the poetry I write. In Arabic, I write seemingly simple poetry which rings with associations and echoes of remote times.

When the world crashes all around me and I am held in the grip of a grief that my flesh cannot tolerate, I sit down and write poetry. More correctly I begin to speak in poetry. Humanity wrote poetry and epics before it wrote in prose. Poetry is nearer to the primordial in us and nearer to our gut reactions. In true poetry, we do not lie because in poetry we speak with the tongue of fire and the tongue of peace, we speak words coming from the beating heart of the universe, the resonant rhythms of our earth. There is a great relationship between poetry and magic or the supernatural if you choose to call it. I have just written a poem which i cannot fully understand because it comes from a deeper place than I can reach.

I gazed at a rock

I gazed at a rose

I knew not

Which was the rose

And which was the rock

Then it seemed to me

That I was the rose

That I was the rock

*******

Alisar Iram

By Alisar Iram

What the wars destroy, the poets resurrect. 

***********

Civilization versus barbarism

The way I see it is that it is a fight to the death between barbarism and civilization in Syria. It takes me back to ten thousand years ago when the settled agricultural man fought against the hunters and won the battle. The marauders of politics and religion, the hunters for booty and loot in all their forms and shapes (including the regime) have converged on the Syrian people, killing, raping, robbing, kidnapping , imprisoning and wasting the country, its history and its integrity. It is civilized man against the hunter and I know who is going to win eventually. 11 Jan. 

  A giant and not a dwarf.

Thank God because he created me a giant and not a dwarf. And because you might rush to object:
I am of medium height.
I am not conceited or a disciple to self-glorification.
But when you are a giant you are nearer to the blues of heaven, while when you are a dwarf, you do nothing but crawl.
This is a metaphor, so forgive me real dwarfs, I mean no insult. 11 January.

Swallowed up

I feel at a loss attempting to find out who has swallowed me. Was I swallowed by the whale? Was I swallowed by the giant Ifrit?  Was I gobbled up by the ghoul or the ogre? Was I taken by the great roc to feed me to his children? I must have been  swallowed up because I do not find myself anywhere. I have looked for me high and low but in vain. All I know is that my soul is lost wandering, looking for me while I am looking for it. I am terrified to look for it under the debris and wreckage of homes where they lie lifeless because there dies all beauty; truth dies, humanity dies and the moral law dies. Because there poetry dies, the mind dies and my soul dies too.

Roc and Ifrit

Roc and Ifrit. detail

متحيرة بدي قول مين بلعني. هل بلعني الحوت؟ هل بلعني المارد؟ هل بلعني الديناصور؟ هل بلعتني امنا الغولة هل بلعني العفريت او اخذني طائر الرخ ليطعم اولاده؟ انا مبلوعة في مكان ما لانني لا اجد نفسي في اي مكان .بحثت وبحثت فلم اجدني. كل ما اعرفه ان روحي تائهة وانها لاتجدني وانني لا اجدها. اخاف ان ابحث عنها تحت الانقاض والحطام لان هنالك يموت كل شيء, يموت الجمال ويموت الحق،وتموت الانسانية ويموت الشعر وتموت الاخلاق وتموت الفلسفة ويموت العقل وتموت روحي.

The untouchables

My heart is heavy with love. My heart is sore with love for those whose hearts were forced into the harshness of untimely burials for they will not be visited by love anymore and will not be able to bless us with theirs. My heart is heavy with love for them, for those whom they are burying alive , for the grey children clothed in dust and and interned in concrete, for the fathers and mothers lost in the belly of greedy death, screaming for their children. My heart is sore within me, choking with smoke and dust but it is growing heavier with love, love of those whom the world has failed to love, the untouchables of Syria.

Test of faith

Sometimes we mourn the passing of something that used to hold our very soul together, but perhaps only illusions pass away while that which is valuable and truly deathless never passes away. It is a test of faith.

The personal and universal in suffering

It is time to get out of the prison of the personal and embrace the purifying ennobling freedom of the universal. Cogitation, remorse, regrets and shredding the self are futile practices and might lead to bareness of thoughts and emotions. It is only when we combine our private sorrows with those of the multitudes, with humanity in the grip of the nightmare of pain that we begin to see our path again and the doors stand open for us to pass into another level of awareness and responsibility

Alisar Iram

By Alisar Iram

 Present in their absence

There are some people who are present most in their absence…there are some people who though hidden will light the world…there are some people who though they are deprived of love, their due, will spread love throughout the world and spread it again until the very stars in heaven will sing a song of rare beauty and gleam in the darkness of the universe. Move aside when the giants walk the earth for they are there to save the earth. Or haven’t you heard that love is our only saving grace?

 Love

We fight desperately for love to prevail for the triumph of love means the triumph of all values. Nothing defeats the souls as the death of love. The survival of beauty, truth, goodness, courage, altruism, justice and compassion are all dependent on the survival of love. Love is not a weakness. Love is the heroism of our souls, the greatest epic we can ever write with our lives. though we die trying to do so.

The ability to love

Whatever happens and no matter how the world treats us, we must never regret love and friendship. for in the first place the ability to love is the greatest of gifts. And some of us live by the law of love because it is the noblest of human feelings. Love moves in mysterious ways, but wherever it moves we must follow though we suffer for it beyond our endurance. In love of our fellow human beings, we fulfil our highest potential and in love of all that lives and sustains life, we sing the song of the earth and listen to the anthem of creation. Love does not accept the limitations imposed upon it by our human fallibility, because if there is anything divine in us, love is. 11 Jan. 14

صلاة

دع الحب يسمو على الالم وتهاويل العذاب .دع الحب يعانق الالم ويهدهده حتى يستسلم للسلام. دعوا الحب يكون اعظم من الكره.دعوا الحب يهب قبلة الحياة بوداعة وعذوبة ويلمس بشفتيه ثرى سوريا واراضي سوريا وشعب سوريا.  دع الحب يفرد اجنحة  الشفاء ويضم اليه الصغار  ويمنحهم حرما من لديه كي تلتئم جراحاتهم وتندمل اقدارهم. دع الحب يطوق بذراعيه  ارتعاشات المسنين التائهين ويهبهم دفء البيوت الحانية. اواه، دع االحب ينفذ خلال الانقاض والحطام ويجمع اليه الاجساد الممزقة والاضلاع المبتورة ويواريها في محراب من الرحمة لا يمسه فناء،  دعوا الحب يرفع مدننا المقوضة الهالكة، وجوامعنا وكنائسنا وبيوتنا ودورنا  وصروحنا وتاريخنا، دع الحب يحييها بسلام وبهاء.  وآه، دعوا الحب يرمم روحي ويرمم ارواحكم لاننا كنا الشهود على وحاملي الشهادة لما هو اعظم من الشر، واحلك من الخطيئة واشد هولا من اللعنة الابدية وافدح عذابا من جهنم. ليكن الحب معنا وعلينا وحولنا, ليكن القادر والمحيط…..اليسار

A prayer

Let love be greater than pain and the terror of suffering.  let it hold pain in its arms and sing it to sleep peacefully. Let love be mightier than hate. Let love softly softly breathe the kiss of life and touch with its lips of compassion the Syrian earth, the Syrian lands and the Syrian people. Let love enfold with its glorious wings of healing the tortured fractured torn lives of the young and give them sanctuary. Let love hold the shaking starving trembling old men and women and give them the warmth of pitying homes. O, let love go deep under the rubble and debris and collect the shattered limbs and broken bodies of our people and bury them in a niche of impregnable mercy. Let love raise our devastated ruined cities, churches, mosques, monuments, houses and dwellings, let love raise them in beauty and peace. O, let love heal my soul and your souls for we have born witness to that which is more than evil, darker than sin, more accursed than hell and more terrible than eternal damnation. Let love be with us, upon us and all enveloping. Let it be Omnipotent, all-powerful.  14 Feb.

©Alisar Iram 

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The sacrificial Poppies: شقائق النعمان


جاءني صديق في المنام وطلب مني ان ارسم شقائق النعمان، جراحات تموز، لا اعرف ما يعني المنام ولكن هذه هي صور للشقائق ارجو ان تكون مقدمة للرسمِ

A friend of mine appeared in my dream and asked me to draw some poppies. Poppies in Arabic are called shaqa’iq al Numaan, the wounds of Adonis,  in reference to the sacrificial death of Adonis and his rebirth in the spring. I do   not know what the dream means. but I thought I shall post some images of potpies until I have the time to paint them

 

Dreams speak to me

Colours speak to me

The slain god speaks to me

The slain youths speak to me

Why is the earth so red

?Why is “Christ’s blood streaming in the firmament”

The earth is so green and the poppies are so red

I see nothing but green and red

An immensity of them of green and red

© Alisar Iram

The images were downloaded from Google images

Alisar Iram

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Bearing witness: the destruction of the Old city of Aleppo, the second oldest city in the world, Part three continued

alisariram:

I am reposting my articles on the destruction of Aleppo, published in my blog last year, in support of the campaign #savealeppo
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/savealeppo?source=feed_text&story_id=620138741412888

Originally posted on alisariram:

All 4 parts of the documentation of the destruction of Ancient Aleppo will be updated to include more damage to heritage as it occurs.

I am going to continue with Part Three of my documentation of the damage inflicted upon the cultural heritage of Syria, specifically that of Aleppo. I was thinking to myself last night that walking through the souks of old Aleppo under those magnificent honeycombed vaults meandering and continuously unfurling, here into a khan that looked like a dreamy forgotten palace and there into a peaceful slumbering mosque, hording treasures that devotion wove meticulously,must have been like walking in a gigantic cathedral with mazes and secret passages waiting to surprise you at every bending.  Yet those souks were not a solemn cathedral but one bursting with life, colour and humanity. A people’s cathedral? A cathedral for the rich, the poor, the healthy and the sick, for loud and frisky little children and slow…

View original 2,306 more words

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Bearing witness: The destruction of the Old City of Aleppo, the second oldest city in the world, Part three

alisariram:

I am reposting my articles on the destruction of Aleppo, published in my blog last year, in support of the campaign #savealeppo
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/savealeppo?source=feed_text&story_id=620138741412888

Originally posted on alisariram:

All 4 parts of the documentation of the destruction of Ancient Aleppo will be updated to include more damage to heritage as it occurs.
Wikimapia, Al-Madina Souk

Wikimapia, Al-Madina Souk

Coming to Part Three of my documentation of the destruction of the Old city of Aleppo and its priceless , inimitable cultural heritage, this part which will concentrate on the Khans and Old souks of the great city, I feel a compelling need to tarry a little in order to mourn for yet another time the passing away of part of the beauty of this world, your world and my world. For Aleppo, like Syria, belongs to the whole of humanity because it witnessed the beginnings of civilization as we know it. There is no doubt that the fighting on the ground did considerable and irreparable damage but it was, has been and it is the reckless savage aerial bombardment from the skies, carried out by the…

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Bearing witness: The Destruction of the great city of Aleppo, the second oldest city in the world, Part two.

alisariram:

I am reposting my articles on the destruction of Aleppo, published in my blog last year, in support of the campaign #savealeppo
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/savealeppo?source=feed_text&story_id=620138741412888

Originally posted on alisariram:

Google earth map of the centre of the  Old city of Aleppo

Google earth map of the centre of the Old city of Alepp0

In part two of my documentation of the destruction of the Old City of Aleppo, I would like the viewer to read it in reference to my Part one:

http://alisariram.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/bearing-witness-i-present-to-you-aleppo-a-city-that-predates-written-history-the-second-oldest-inhabited-city-in-the-world-as-it-was-and-as-it-has-become-after-the-deadly-shadow-of-assad-fell-upon/

This part of my documentation of the cultural damage to Aleppo will be updated as I receive new information.

Part two lists the main monuments, historical buildings and heritage sites in Aleppo, while marking the damage inflicted upon historical Aleppo, from extremely bad to moderate, in italics and by underlining combined with an asterisk(*) when possible. Images will be used to show, when possible, the state of the monuments before and after. I might have to divide this part into two, using a Part three, if it gets too long. Nobody  is able at the present circumstances to tell or fully document the extent of the terrible damage inflicted upon Aleppo by…

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Bearing witness: I present to you Aleppo, a city that predates written history, the second oldest inhabited city in the world, as it was and as it has become after the deadly shadow of destruction and annihilation fell upon her: Part one

alisariram:

I am reposing my article on the destruction of Aleppo in support of the campaign

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/savealeppo

Originally posted on alisariram:

I have been delaying writing about Aleppo because it means pain revisited, agony relived and scenes of devastation and human loss reenacted.  Something about Aleppo stops my heart when I go through the images of annihilation that depict the gradual death of a great city.  I do not know exactly how many people died in Aleppo and how many fled with bare nothing to start lives of wandering and displacement. To tell you the truth, I am afraid to know.  Too much reality destroys the mind. I do not have that kind of spiritual strength, the strength that can bear witness to the death, the fall from living, the waning, call it whatever you want to call it, of a great immortal city for there has always been an Aleppo starting from the 6th millennium BC to the present day.

I am pulled in several directions :part of me wants to write a personal invocation, an elegy for a  dying city and…

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Krak des Chevaliers: images of the latest damage to a world heritage site and one of the greatest castles in Syria

My method for recording damage to cultural sites in Syria has always been, first, to give a synopsis of the history of the damaged monuments with pictures if available, then to give an account of the damage mostly in pictures I have collected from several sources including Facebook and the archaeological sites which post regularly there. I sometimes add my own commentaries and annotations but not in this case. However, I think the damage to the Krak speaks for itself. It is beyond belief.

 

Krak des Chevaliers (French pronunciation: ​[kʁak de ʃəvaˈlje]) (Arabicقلعة الحصن‎), also Crac des Chevaliers, is a Crusadercastle in Syria and one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world. The site was first inhabited in the 11th century by a settlement of Kurds; as a result it was known as Hisn al Akrad, meaning the “Castle of the Kurds”. In 1142 it was given by Raymond II, Count of Tripoli, to the Knights Hospitaller. It remained in their possession until it fell in 1271. It became known as Crac de l’Ospital; the name Krak des Chevaliers was coined in the 19th century…..

Frescoes

Remains of medieval frescoes in the castle’s chapel

Despite its predominantly military character, the castle is one of the few sites where Crusader art (in the form of frescoes) has been preserved. In 1935, 1955, and 1978 medieval frescoes were discovered within Krak des Chevaliers after later plaster and white-wash had decayed. The frescos were painted on the interior and exterior of the main chapel and the chapel outside the main entrance, which no longer survives. Writing in 1982, historian Jaroslav Folda noted that at the time there had been little investigation of Crusader frescoes that would provide a comparison for the fragmentary remains found at Krak des Chevaliers. Those in the chapel were painted on the masonry from the 1170–1202 rebuild. Mould, smoke, and moisture have made it difficult to preserve the frescoes. The fragmentary nature of the red and blue frescoes inside the chapel means they are difficult to assess. The one on the exterior of the chapel depicted the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.[61]  

For more information see Wikipedia

The Castle as it was before the war

The Castle as it was before the war

The Hall of the Knights

The Hall of the Knights

The Chapel

The Chapel

After months of shelling, pounding and bombardment from the air by government forces the Crusadercastle fell to the Syrian army in March and the village nestling to it was destroyed and sacked by militias of Assad. The images bellow show the extensive savage damage to the Krak. The pictures make me want to scream. Every breath I draw rejects and condemns the destruction of Syria on such a scale. I wish I could say they know not what they are doing, but they do.   Alisar Iram

 

Damage to the Krak

Damage to the Krak

ScreenHunter_4621 Mar. 26 12.21   Krak   Krak   Hall of the knights   Krak   Krak   Krak

 

 

Krak

 

Krak

 

The Hall of Kings

The Hall of Kings. Please look above to see how it was before the bombardment and the fighting

 

KraK

Also see

Alisar Iram: articles and notes, Archaeology, Civilization, Crusader Castle, Destruction, Images, Krak des Chevaliers, Syria, Syrian Archaeology and antiquities, Syrian Heritage, World Heritage Site | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Syria will rise again, phoenix-like

 

 

Syrian Phoenix by Alisar iram: Gouache and pastels on paper

Syrian Phoenix by Alisar iram: Gouache and pastels on paper

Please click on the picture

 

The Syrian phoenix rises,  multimedia by Alisar Iram

ليسار ارم© Alisar Iram.

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The Journey: a poem الرحيل

This poem, simple as it is, means a lot to me. It is a journey, a kind of spiritual odyssey to the unknown. It features a sea, a moon, lightning, thunder, a boat and a traveller. I rank it among my Sufi poems. Yearning permeates it. Longing for the unknown fires it.  It wavers between darkness and light and trembles at the edge of suffering, seeking the journey to make suffering meaningful.

It is both in Arabic and English.

The Journey

The Journey: multimedia by Alisar Iram

The night has grown smaller

Waiting

Passionate longing

Hanging

Over the sea.

A voice cried

Peace ….peace

It is time to set forth

It is time to seek the source

Of this long sweeping darkness

So that we might find.

 

Perhaps, through the towering veils

Of this long night

We might discern a fair night

Gleaming

Perhaps in the maze of brooding images

We might catch a glimpse of the fair lightning

Glimmering

And stretch our necks

 To listen to the song of the high thunder

Rumbling

 

The night has grown smaller

So has the place

Pain has grown gentler

So have the hours

So let us still our hearts

And let us whisper

Peace….peace be with us

For this beautiful calm is for us

And this elegy of the winds is for us

And for us the rocks have blossomed

And for us the caves are heaving incense

 

The daughter of man

Has grown tender 

She opened her arms wide like a dove

And her gentleness throbbed like a violin.

She walked to the sea

And the sea walked to her

She rushed to the universe

And the universe rushed to her.

And the word was peace

And the feeling was love

As the boat pushed forward

And vanished into the flying moon.

 اليسار ارم© Alisar Iram.

الرحيل

 

طفُل الليل وونَى

وران على البحور الجوى

وهتف هاتفٌ

السلام

السلام علينا

فقد حانت

ساعة الرحيل

الى منابع الليل الطويل

لعلنا بين حجب العتمةْ

نتبين ليلا ابيضْ

لعلنا في تيه الصخور الراضخةْ

نلمح برقا ابيضْ

لعلنا نجدُ

ونشرئبُ

لنسمع نشيد الرعود الباذخةْ

لعلنا نجدُ

 

طفُل الليل وطفُل المكان

طفل الالم وطفل الزمان

فدعنا نهدئ من روعنا

ولنهمس

السلام السلام علينا

فهذا الهدوء الجميل

انما هو من اجلنا

ومرثاة الريح الناغمة انما هي لنا

ومن اجلنا تفتت براعم الصخور

ونفِسَت الكهوف غمائم البخور

 

ابنة الانسان

حنت فتشاجنت

وفاض بها الحنانْ

وفتحت ذراعيها كالسمّانْ

وودُعت ساجعة كالكمانْ

وسارت الى البحر

وسار البحر اليها

وهرعت الى الكون

وهرع الكون اليها

وكانت الكلمة سلاما

وكان الشعور حباً

اذ تشرَع صدر القارب

وغاب في لجّة القمر الهارب

فالسلام علينا

السلام علينا

اليسار ارم© Alisar Iram

 

 

 

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