A poem by Ahmed Shafie
A new poem by Ahmed Shafie, found here in Arabic.
as a young woman whose name we will keep quiet read One Hundred Years of Solitude the boughs of a tree outside her window were reaching out towards her body and though another narrative says the opposite that there was never any tree by her window before she began to read the two narratives soon find common ground she was an ordinary young woman set to enroll at the faculty of economics and political sciences and she was loved by a cousin who lived in Manama and was six years her senior and reportedly she had started to write very short stories and the geography teacher at her high school had once or twice by way of encouragement accompanied her to the literary club nearby this teacher now denies in general and in detail that he ever said to her Forget Murakami you must start right he says I am only a geography teacher I don’t even have a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude in the house
what matters whichever way the branches reach is that we now have in an ordinary village whose name can be found in government files unlike Macondo a tree linked to a young woman a tree around whose trunk pasta with hot sauce has been thrown and a young woman who lives on light and water and a window which has not been closed and a geography teacher who climbs each night to the roof of his house and burns a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude to find it once more the instant he descends back to his rooms on a shelf without a particle of dust upon it to its right the bound volumes of the Story of Civilization and The Character of Egypt to its left deep in black grime what can we say about Manama? safely that it is the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain and lies according to Wikipedia on the north coast of that country and that it is a touch more than twenty-seven thousand kilometres in extent no need to mention a dermatologist who is resident there according to the testimony of patients and friends and government records and yet despite this despite it all