My friend Cecile asked me to contribute something to their new issue of Matago.
Matago is a biannual magazine devoted to short stories and visuals that simply claim to offer a different image of humanity than the one with high reductive and anxiety contents, now disseminated by hegemonic information, before all concerned for the moment. The Matago chooses to open windows on memory and imagination, the elsewhere, and the marvelous, the history of women and men and, through them, their civilizations. Neither journalistic nor polemical, in “the era of time”.
Here is what i wrote and would like to share with you.
The bike’s wheel embraces the feather
as the kid jumps to pick the sonnet
another feather falls to fill the hole in the bonnet
The prisoner eats a plate of stones, lentil, and cordonnet
From the crack of the prison slither the feather, the only left finger twirl it with pleasure
The king is angry and all his egos dither
But the doors are open and love’s tether sutures time patches all together
Christmas this year is gentle and warm like a zither
Most birds migrate
where time’s corticate
is coruscate and corrugate
Where no one invades the clouds or their hearts ablates
I wonder the sky, promenade and parade
carrying my dreams in my socks, or baguette
Sometimes i drop my beanie
Sometimes i fix my tie
But i remain a dolphin -or maybe just a human- scrapping the wind of time
Once upon life time i was an ant
Carrying back home my bread under my armpit
One in the middle class, like a windmill, careless and self-made
That was long time ago, before 2011, when the walls were grey, and the boots were high like the heat of ovean
The mouth was small, the eyes were oval, like unpleasant surprise
Then one day, another ant in the camp played her trumpet
I am a gazelle, from balcony to street, and from fear to light i jumped
Then the plane threw the cage, where my friends and I were trapped
I eat the dry grass on the bars and the insults of the guard, until i turned into a mouse i tasted the cheese there in the darkness landscaped
The hunter saw me and said, i should not eat, as i am just a stone, and so his orders i obeyed, and what he said I so much hard tried not to be.
Gently, I fantasized time, dropping gracefully in my cracks, until my soul jumped out and that was the moment to time I looped
I wondered the streets. searching for my dreams. i licked the corners of songs jars, my hair turned grey, and my heart was freezed.
So with a confident heart of a beautiful apostate
i decided to leave
I spread my wings wider than the logic of time, and the human’s lie
Smoother like my dream
i have been flying for the past four years
I joined millions of birds
Lonely people like us, you and me
Widow women missing their loves
Aggressed who were betrayed in silence deep and hard
Protestors who died
Protestors who cried, and protestors who in themselves believed, and just for such a reason they were tortured
I joined the music of metros
Teenagers who were rejected and marginalized
Cracked hands of the homeless : that is to say humans like you and me who has no stove, nor home or glass to drink the wine of a new year
We are flying together … since years
Every day and dream
Our feathers fall
The window of the office, the fire place of the house are open. The sofa in the studio, the drawer in the kitchen.
Where a feather from a migrant will come
The feather of an ant, gazale, turtle, dolphin, panda, bear, cat, dog, human, bird… will come one day
ولا بأس من البذخ هنا،
انتقيه ميتاً فلا يذكرك بشيء
مضاد للرصاص والبراميل ووعود الأئمة والأمم متحدين.
وقبل أن تعطيه حتفك خذ كل شئ معك.
دُس في جيوبك الخرقاء
ذكريات أبيك وأمك،
ورائحة الوسائد والقهوة والطبخ والغسيل والكوي مجتمعين.
سبع جماجم، كامل ما تبقى من ثمنه الذي رده البائع ظلماً إليك
خذ معك كل شيء
مواء قطط حارتك
سيقان الزرع في تربة الدار التي طارت بعد البرميل التاسع وحطت على سريرك مطمئنة
واسكب مرقة المخلل المالحة من قطرميزها المكسور في جيبك
تلك التي اقتتم عليها زمن الحصار
تأكد أنها سالت جيداً وأغرقت جلد فخذيك المحترقين تماماً.
طمأنينتك المريضة تكمن في اختبار ألم من أحبك، حرقة مقلتي وقلب أمك يوم أخذوك
تأكد أن تأخذ معك كل ما لايمكنك أن تموت دونه. حبيبتك التي لا تعرف عنها شيئاً، وقتك الذي لم تلتقيه أبداً، موسيقا رفاق الشام الذي أقلعوا عنها بسبب ادمان الحزن
اطوي مدينتك جيداً مع مناديلك الأخرى وبريد الأمل والصلاة على الجبل وخذها جميعها معك
لا تترك لهم شيئاً أبداً
لا كرم في الميراث
إما أن تكون عادلاً أو لا
لا تترك لهم شيئاً أبداً
ولا حتى قطرة جنون يشربوها فتغير مجرى عمرهم وينتهون في قاع البحر الأبيض المتوسط مع الأسماك الجافة والملائكة العاجزة والشجاعة.
اترك لهم كل ما يهمهم، هويتك، جواز سفرك، اسطوانة حقوق الإنسان المشروخة، زبك، الأدب، الحلال، والحرام، اللحاف، والفراش الوثير الممتلئ حجراً ورصاصاً. وكل أفلام هوليوود، الأرض والحدود، النفط والغاز، الماء والبشر العبيد، والله الذي سرقوه وفيه راحوا يستوطنون
لا شأن لك بهم ولا هم سيستطيعون إليك سبيلاً.
اشتري قبرك، ولو كان ثمنه الباهظ: بقاءك.
ولا تنسى الزهور.
بع كل ما لا يلزمك لطاغوت الوهم واشتري قبراً يستر رفات حلمك
ثم نم وديعاً حتى الفجر،
اشتري قبرك ونم مطمئناً
ما عاد في الأرض موضع فوق سطح الأرض
تقعرت بطن البلاد
اعتلت الأم القرفصاء
فيما تندب ابنتها التي ماتت حبلى بالعطش
“كان يكفيكِ قبلة واحدة كي ترتوي”… تناجيها…
ثم تستطرد الفجيعة في عويلها الحنون
اشتري قبرك وادفن رفات حلمك ونم في جوفها مطمئناً.
فأنت تعلم جيداً أن الحكايا لا تنتهي بضجر الرواة.
يبرز السؤال الحقير: كيف تُنهي نحت النص؟
ضعه قرب آنية الزهور فوق مائدة الطعام على خشبة المسرح
واترك حرف عطف واحد في وجه الستار الرخيص
علَّ أحد الحضور يحتاج أن يثب خارج النص الضجر، خارج المقبرة المكتظة بالحضور وينقذ نفسه من دوامة الشعور.
و، ، ،
I am a muslim.
I do not like to categorize myself as this and I do not even believe in such categorization. In fact, i think a better way to define myself would be as being a pizza fan! or someone who likes data mining! or maybe that I enjoy good wine, turkish coffee, and macron from Fuchon. I prefer Adidas over Nike, I like Kodak although she passed away. I am a consumer. A consumer of both my own prodcuts and products of others that I find convincing enough. This other sometimes happen to be a god. But i am also a sponge. that is a good human trait. I absorbs. And i am not against consumerism, nor i am a vegetarian, although i like vegetarians and sometimes i tend to think they are way more conscious than i am. I love France. I used to love USA until it became too arrogant. And I used to study bible when was 21 years old and my teacher was an american Anglican young friend. His name was Mark. I like Arabic calligraphy, Spinoza, and I prefer Jung over Freud . I like impressionism and hyperrealism as art schools. I am fascinated with the works of Pierre Bourdieu and I guess he should not ever been considered a classical school. What else? do I have to continue?
As you can read, I can go miles of writing expressing myself. In fact this is how the world is going to be few decades from now. I guess, I hope. A world that is clustered in tribes of preferences. We belong to our tribe of preferences more than we belong to our religion or nation. But we prefer to categorize ourselves based on our religions. Why? It is because we are weak. Even those of us who are anti religion, they tend to position thresmevels based on that antiRELIGION trait! But I guess there are always exceptions. many exceptions. a majority of silent exceptions.
But my first line in this piece of expression was a defence mechanism. A way to tell any muslim who is going to attack me that I am muslim. It is just like blue color can not tell another blue color that he was discriminating against blues! Both of us are sad. or supposed to be so. and both of us are skies or at least perceived ourselves to be so.
Yesterday, I naturally, went to participate in a silent gathering taking place in the Vieux port area in Marseille south France. 775 Kms far away from the place where the savage crime took place yesterday’s morning at Charlie Hebdo publication.
There were some people in the beginning but then the number increased and increased. I thought it will keep increasing. But it did not. Not for a normal growth algorithm, but out of two reasons. awareness of how critical the subject is and betrayal.
For the first reason, many of my neighbors where at home when i left and they were still there when i came back. i could see this, i could hear this and it was obvious. They were all French. That is a bad sign. It is a clear indication of how much there is a blackness of awareness to the sequences of yesterday event there is. And it is a clear indication how humans all of the world have more in common than in difference. This time the common trait -unfortunately- is this indifference regarding critical issues. Humans Lives!
But my very big concern was not that. It was the betrayal one.
France total population By INSEE for January 2014 was 65.83 million inhabitants. Marseille with a population of (850,602) makes her the second biggest city in France with almost 38% of Paris (2,234,105) total population.
The announced number of particpants in the gatherings all over France yesterday suggested more than 100,000 participants all over the country making it less than 0.15 of the total population. This is not indicative enough number as no one expect children nor elders to participate maybe! But still the number is way bellow expectations. This is the darkest day in French contemporary history since 40 Years.
it means that around 0,8% of Marseille total population had participated and actively said NO to terrorism and Yes to Freedom of speech. This is almost 8 times of the national percentage. This is the good news part. Marseille is ACTIVE. CONSCIOUS and definitely not LAZY! While % 0,67 of Paris population did the same.
When i attended vieux port I didn’t realize any people with north african or middle eastern or even basic pacific ethnical features! In fact Pew Research Study proposes, that a majority of the world’s Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region. While the Middle East makes up only 19.8 percent of the world’s total Muslim population. . However, not to be considered as having a discriminative attitude i tried to find an evidence. I looked into my own photos and into the photos of others. My suggestion remained valid. But how would i know there were not muslims of other origins, a daughter or a son of a french lady or a french gentleman! I can not prove this as i did not go into one-to-one check. But i still trust my senses. So i need to find a way to prove my gut and my mere eye observation and quantify it.
There are at least 255,180 Muslims in Marseille estimated at 30% of Marseille’s total population
Females to males ratio is approximately 1/1 which makes the estimated number of muslim females in Marseille at 127,590 .
So i a narrowed my expectations to women and why? because i hypothesize i can find veiled muslim women with a proportionally relevant representation. I assumed (which is far less than accurate numbers) that veiled women would count for only 10% of total muslim women. Accroding to these guidelines i searched for at least 10% of those 127,590 women which is 12,795 veiled women.
Back to the ration of total participants in Marseille which is 0.8% of the total population, that made me expect to see at least 100 veiled women. . I didn’t. and I assumed with a not so scientific evidence that the men who pushed many of them to wear veils were not there too!
I did not see, and that was sad. I did not see and that was disappointing, because I was expecting to see.
But two of my christian male arabs here didn’t attend too! I can easily categorize them in the laziness, or indifference or less harmuly put weak conscious status.
But for those muslims the question remains WHY! I intentionally write this WHY in capitals because while i am writing in silence it is a real big screen inside me. WHY! WHY didn’t you attend? who told you it is against your principles and values!? what kind of principles do you really hold?? I am not going to attack you to win more credit points in case some French intelligence guy was busy now aggregating online expressions and analyzing them! But i need to understand what is the reason you did not participate? Because by answering such question I guess we are half away to solve those terrorism and discrimination incidents alike. Do you really think those journalists, artists, expressers, deserved death!? I do not think you do! at least ONE person amongst you do not ! and I am sure there were some conscious muslims there ! I heard there was one veiled women in paris at the republic ! just one! and because there were a total number of 15000 protestors in Paris and 7000 in Marseille I try to make a sarcasm about myself and think: maybe there was half one here and I didnt notice.
But I know two things now. it is a shame. It is a betrayal to the region you claim you believe! and I am shocked, really shocked how a liberate nation like France go out with only 0.15 of the total population in a horrible incident like this! how!?I strongly belief that the first step towards countering terrorism is to consider this a serious job with committed people to do it. and the first step in such commitment is to think collectively! in a public space, in science and solidarity and for enough time. !
By this, i guess i answered my own question which constituted the title of this piece of expression: “Why most of the muslims in France betrayed their religion yesterday?” Maybe because they are not muslims! and maybe because many non muslim French betrayed their value of Fraternité and expected Liberté, to be secured by default when they did not consider the value of Égalité.