From Lebanon’s poet & writer, Khalil Gibran: Poetry is not an opinion expressed. It is a song that rises from a bleeding wound or a smiling mouth. >< In memory of all the poets, journalists and writers who have died in the Middle East peacefully pursuing freedom for their country. ><
>< Ibrahim Qashoush, whose lyrics moved thousands of protesters in Syria, and who sang his jaunty verses at rallies, has been found dumped in the Orontes river with his voice box cut out. A symbolic message from Bashar’s brutal regime. Qashoush had been forced into a car while on his way to work in central Hama. ><
>< The father of three boys, Ibrahim Qashoush, was a fireman in the central Syrian city of Hama who wrote poetry in his spare time. Before the uprising in Syria began in March, he’d write about love or the struggling times. His friends say all his poems and songs were instinctual. He’d sit with his friends and suddenly begin reciting a poem from memory. Ibrahim’s star rose with protests in the city. At nearly every protest, the crowds were singing his most popular lyric, “Come on, Bashar, time to leave.” His poems and songs rang with a down-to-earth, jokey, rhythm. Obviously, Bashar and his government fear the pen or the poet more than the sword! It is the same with other current dictatorships around the world; they will kill anyone who dares to write the truth about their corrupt and murderous practises. Human Rights are a poet’s dream. Journalists, poets, writers, all fair and easy game. But despots can’t unwrite was has been written nor tear out what is in people’s hearts. Bashar quote: ”If you say ‘God, Syria and Bashar’, I say ‘God, Syria and My People’. I, Bashar Al–Assad, will remain dutiful and faithful to my people…” Hollow words from a man who will not relinquish power. Another Arab leader who must be terrified in their thinking about where and when the Arab Spring will end. As a child, I often heard my Lebanese grandmother, Eva Arida Fahkrey, rail against “Syria” and what it had done to her Lebanon. I didn’t understand then, but I now know Syria never let Lebanon forget that she had been carved out of Syria’s land mass by the West. My hope is that a new Syria will cease to interfere in Lebanon’s self-rule;she has enough problems with Iran, but that is another story. RIP Ibrahim Qashoush.