Dr Ali Bayaa writes for nina-iraq.com
Nina is delighted to welcome Dr. Ali Al Bayaa as a regular contributor. His first contribution is a poem he has written in English, Mother of Martyrs. It is part of an effort to translate the Iraqi spirit into the terminology of the Western world. Ali has lived most of his life overseas, particularly throughout the Middle East. His passion for poetry is as deeply rooted as his passion for Middle Eastern and International Affairs. He will be contributing to Nina with both on a regular basis.
Mother of Martyrs
A tribute to the spirit of the Iraqi mother
Dr. Ali Al Bayaa
Instead of taking her time to hold him closer
She encourages him on, fastens his holster…
Her eldest she no longer waits up for,
And now she sends her youngest away.
Tears have no place among them
With pride and prayers
They riddle each others’ shoulders…
From my arms into hers she says…
Forever we’ve leaned against Her to rest
Today you are all that’s Her’s
The very spirit
Her enemies have come to test
Mother to us all…
Iraq has come calling for you
Leave Her not
waiting outside our door…
Go now and
Ask not my son
How without you
I might ever rise should I ever fall….
Instead ask yourself
How I might ever rise if
She cannot stand tall?
These heavens that reign have long known,
That my only hope is that I had made more…
Just the same, I would’ve sent them all with you
Into the Her arms…This land that I so adore
Before he’s almost ready to leave…
Words can no long disrupt
The call for morning prayer has now come
Silence takes over,
He watches her as the child in him had always done
Taken by the calm that now hangs in their midst…
The strength heaven has translated into a woman…
The resolve that brings her to her knees…
The humility that helps her to her feet…
Oh lord she says,
Your deliverance will always be my amends
Whether I see this gift
You bestowed me with again or not
should my knees grow weary and weak
If he be the only prayer my lips ever speak…
But should You see fit to bring him home again…
Bring him back without his bullets, an empty magazine…
Or never again
Until our lands have been freed…!
She turns to him and says
Fall easy should you fall…
For once you walk out this door
Remember that because of you
My sacrifice in you is how I’ll always stand tall…
Whenever you miss me,
Bear in mind…
I am at the end of the two questions
You ought to always ask…
What country will ever be
Mine or yours?
If our people cannot see the flag they love
So serenely soar…?!
With or without you
Home to me is all the same…
Should I see you again
I will be forever grateful to your sword.
And should I not
I will be honored to embrace you still
In the blessed presence of our beloved Lord,
How could I ever bring myself to rest and sleep?
When every mother in Mosul waits to be freed?!
What might I ever tell our past, future and present…?
If that Cross they love cannot tower,
By our obligated and beloved Crescent…?
If you can, send me word…
Not of the blood you’ve spilled…
The churches and shrines you’ve rebuilt
Tell me of the Will of the Prophet
That you’ve fulfilled
Write to me
Of the peace you’ve restored
See to your land,
And when you miss me most
Look for me in behind every patch of grass
Under every grain of sand…
For I and Her are one
And we are always with you
Before these winds ever dare to bring you back
Upon two devout knees ill go on and ask
That before its ever too late
That you rush to the aid
Of every other mother they’ve tried to humiliate
Every child taken from them,
Helpless, now enslaved…
Be the light they have craved….
The testament of a Lord
Who through you answers their calls…
Their prayers to be saved…
She turns her face to the heavens…
Stretches her palms wide open:
“Oh Lord… this is my son!
He is the message I refuse to leave unsent
To every mother that had ever been kept
Upon knees that bended, knelt and wept
My faith upon theirs
Bids him away
Let prayers be delivered
Where heroes we offer away
Hero for hero,
Martyr for martyr…
From mine into theirs,
From ours into Hers….
More about this poem, by the author:
“Sadly enough, it seems as though wherever conflict rises it often allows people to forget the human spirit overshadowed by the headlines. Many throughout the world find it extremely difficult to picture what life in Iraq is like, let alone the day-to-day sacrifice and difficult choices that its inhabitants (especially women) must make.
So for every women in Iraq that had found the courage in herself to encourage and send her child away to confront an enemy that not only threatens her country and countrymen, but also threatens the very pillar of peace that her religion holds so sacred… I feel obligated to capture and share their unheard inner voice.
It is my belief that symbolism builds nations. And what better symbol can we draw the strength of a nation from if not from the very spirit of its mothers”.