Ammiel Alcalay, May 15th: thinking about the Nakba

Faisal al-Husseini (1940-2001)

At this distance of time, place, & circumstance,
let it be known that I am humbled & honored to
have had the chance to wait for you in greeting
in the halls of various prisons as you were
brought out to us in shackles & leg-chains
your wife with a small comb & brush
your son & daughter holding close
& us waiting for the right moment
to get a message about the kidnapped
& disappeared you found out about
captured at sea on their way to
the camps to bring food &
medicine to their loved
ones after religious
authorities had
approved the
of unclean
and you
no matter
what, no matter
how long they made
you wait, no matter how
humiliating the circumstances:
you, Faisal, always had a smile for us.


Ammiel Alcalay (1956), pjesnik, prevodilac, kritičar i znanstvenik. Bavi se bliskoistočnom, balkanskom i sefardskom kulturom sa širokim spektrom tema - od dijaspore, sjećanja i modernizma, do svetih tekstova. Autor je znamenite kulturološke studije After Jews and Arabs: remaking Levantine culture (1993), proze The Cairo Notebooks (1993), antologije Keys to the Garden: new Israeli writing (1996), zbirke eseja Memories of our Future (San Francisco 1999), knjige pjesama From the warring factions (2002). Preveo je na engleski Sarajevo: Ratni dnevnik (1994) Zlatka Dizdarevića, Sarajevske portrete (1995), Deseti krug pakla (1996) Rezaka Hukanovića, Sarajevo Blues (1998) i Devet Aleksandrija (2003) Semezdina Mehmedinovića.