2020 Video of Recitals by Shortlisted Participants and Winner Announcement
1. Asiya Ishaq (Pakistan)
2. Abdulsalam Abo Al Shamat (Syria)
3. Masuma Tavakoli (Afghanistan)
1. Homam Kasem Al Yatim (Syria)
2. Abdulllah Kasem Al Yatim (Syria)
3. Abdul Rahim Mohamad Basem Al Tahan (Syria)
ALL CAPS TITLE
1. Asiya Ishaq
The Splendor of Suvastu
Deep in the majestic mountains of Suvastu
I was born,
The valley where the strongest eagles
Would dream to soar.
Her twinkling stars filled the dark,
Beautiful mysterious sky,
Her deep dancing azure rivers reflected
The beautiful doves that flew up high.
She was a home for all people;
The joyful, the broken and the weary.
The sanctuary where lonely shepherds
would cry and sing their poetry.
There was a day when with such pride
She was known as the Switzerland of the East.
She fed my great grandfathers and their grandfathers,
No, back then she was not called the land of the terrorists.
What sin did she commit my God?
That her pure water is now as red as blood.
What laws of nature did she break that her children &
Her youths are being killed and dumped in her own mud?
Why are her skies filled with cannon balls
And dark thick shadows of fear?
Where did her peace vanish to?
Who is behind all these sorrows and tears?
The war created by the selfishness of mankind
Has pierced her innocent heart.
Why does no one know how long these wars will last?
How long will they keep a mother and a child apart?
My Lord, the people are crying and begging you
To recover Your Valley’s splendor.
Could all these homicides be just nightmares?
I wonder......I wonder.
2) Abdulsalam Abo Al Shamat
In my home, birds lose their wings, their ability to sing
The sun loses its light, its invincible power and shrine
It falls down every day and drowns beneath the ocean ground
The waves turn into tsunamis, and the winds into hurricanes
Time loses its meaningless motion, and words lose their sound
In my home, the clouds turn red and the rain turns to aches
The air becomes heavy with a distinctive strange smell
Trees turn pale and get chocked by the fear and anger of millions of breaths
Flowers lose their beautiful aroma, their precious essence
Horses are caged in and tortured behind a giant concrete fence
In my home, a bottomless black hole lies underneath my bed,
devouring my mind and soul..
In my home, there are no windows or doors
A shattered picture of reality hanging on the wall
Broken glass of the past left untouched on the floor
Scattered pieces of a painting by someone called Van Gogh
In my living room, there's a wooden table
with no chairs or a vase of flowers,
beside an old clock that stopped since the birth of the curse
On the ceiling.. I painted the sky, the stars, the moon, the whole universe.
My room is filled with memories and echoes of people i used to know
Remnants of poems that i wrote with love and pain
Scrapes of letters written by those who left us in vain
In my home, i left my childhood dreams
The last two memories of myself
My friends tears and my mothers screams
I left my heart, my blood and veins
So that every time when it rains, i remember...
that i may have left my home
but home have never left me
3) Masuma Tavakoli
Do you know anyone who sells laughter without pain?
One who, amongst nightmares of homelessness, bombings, suicide attacks and shootings, sells a delighted spirit to the heavy-hearted sufferer?
Do you know anyone who sells maternal affection? One who gives a safe hug with a comfortable sleep amongst the sobs of a child who has been abandoned during war?
Do you know anyone who sells peace instead of war? One who, amongst those who are killed innocently, donates part of his body to the injured person who lost his?
Do you know anyone who sells friendship flower? One who, in a dark, stormy, gloomy night, sells a bit of moonlight to the helpless, unsheltered wanderer?
Do you know anyone who sells a bit healing for my pain and scars ? One who sells nest and grain instead of bow and arrow for the sake of the bloody wings of the wandering doves?
Do you know anyone who sells right of life? ... [the real Human Rights] ... One who sells a world void of selfishness, hatred and rancor instead of manufacturing guns, bombs and artilleries?
my throat has got so much dry that I am longing for a drop of water !!!
Do you know anyone who, in a state of dread and loneliness, in a state of lamentation, sells hope instead of water???
1) Homam Kasem Al Yatim (Syria)
I have had enough of being a Syrian refugee
Everyone started to get scared after hearing my name
Even Arab people become foreigner
I have had enough of being a ten years old man
I have had enough of being a child who lost his childhood.
Countries have agreed to my asylum
And humans agreed to hate me
Even the word “human” was forbidden to me.
I was called a refugee in all the headlines.
Religions swore to protect me
While the war sworn to end me.
Between this and that I lost my childhood, lost my laugh and my future.
I became a refugee who’s looking for food
I became a refugee looking for a tent
My hunger, coldness, and poverty have significantly increased
And the whole world is still unfortunately analyzing my asylum case
2) Abdulllah Kasem Al Yatim (Syria)
I was forced to leave my country; they said it is for safety.
I went quickly to pick a flower of jasmine.
Collected soil as much as a bottle of water,
and hid olive tree leaf in my little pocket
I went out of my sweet house and forget to take
my memories and hopes, instead of that
I took a song named ”All Arab countries are my home.”
I walked confidently and sang, “All Arab countries are my home.”
I was surprised by my new identity.
They called me a damned Syrian refugee
They violated my rights and stole my childhood
In addition, put me in a small tent far away from the worlds
My heart has broke and my soul was in pain
I treat myself with the smell of Jasmine
Yesterday I was a happy child cheering, “All Arab countries are my home.”
However, today I have became a refugee who was expelled from places.
3) Abdul Rahim Mohamad Basem Al Tahan (Syria)
Accompanied me, my doll…
Accompanied me, on my journey…
Accompanied me become the Assy in my life…
Be the reason for my smile…
Be sad when stomach aches…
In a war that robbed my childhood…
From shells hijacked from inside my friend’s classroom and I left and in my dream meeting him in my paradise.