Arabia’s 1001 Nights relivedWhen the sun shines from above [Archives:2004/719/Culture]

March 11 2004

By Irena Knehtl
[email protected]
For the Yemen Times

Once history will ask about rooms in which the light did not pass. While we were the light and the light was us
It was in the season of mangoes, water melons, and red water melons when the Arabs died. They died standing like palm trees in the wind or Apricot trees in the spring. Overnight their glory and Tales from Thousand and One Night turned into desert dust. Like broken mirrors. The Island of Arabs is in a state of shock, covered in silence. The voice has swallowed the silence, the silence has swallowed the voice.
It does not go for an emotional affair, or past glories, or Tales from Thousand and One Night.. It goes for Algebra of injustice, it goes for business, interests, for strategies and new maps. What destiny the Sky is writing now? News have been intruding from everywhere, from the sky, internet, words of mouths, mangoes, water melons, holes of houses. The city wires shook with the news. And the breeze of the road at night had eyes. Silence and shadow of death. No glory after today and no joy.
Time change, change of power, change of water.
Scent of power, power of scent, beauty of scent, scent of beauty.
The skies now have become clouded and the nights cooler.
Beginning of the Third World War. A war for maps, interests and strategies without hearts of people. Being trapped in the bog of a story that was and was not theirs. That had set out with the semblance of structure and order then boltered like frightened horse into anarchy.
Baghdad, torture chambers, underground tunnels uncovering its layers veil by veil. They were on the way to have their hero. But he fell from the horse, and broke into thousand pieces. Millions who were building one boat for one dreamer under the green moonlight on a summer night. While roses felt from the hand. And pale lips did not approach prayer at dawn. Million who work hard and do not dream of the death of a butterfly. Or of a sail glowing.
What will happen to Iraqi POWs? Iraq, big business.
Someday the Sky and not Scheherazade will tell different Tales from One Thousand and One night. Without glory. Without dignity. Without justice.
Time change, drying up of the spirit and of the pen.
The sun now is in the middle of the sky.
Baghdad, death civilians, death soldiers. Suicide bomber. Looters.
Citizens without glory and dignity have become looters.
We are in the season of mangoes. It is the season of melons, and red water melons.
Time for new maps, interests and big business. The maps of hearts were forgotten, excluded. As Tales from Thousand and One Night, that told of glory and dignity will be deleted. Countries will be crossed out, cancelled or will ease to exist. Harun AlRashed from Thousand and One Night will be deleted. Antar and Abla were never in love. Salah AlDin will be deleted. Omar AlMohtar fell from the hurse and disappeared..
– We sail unanchored on troubled sea. We may never be allowed ashore. Our sorrows will never be sad enough, our joys never happy enough, our dreams never big enough, our lives never important enough. To matter. And when we look through the windows all we see are shadows. And when we try to listen, all we hear is whispering. And we cannot understand the whispering because our minds have been invaded by war. A war that we have won and lost. A war that captures dreams. Fearing for the dream hoping to be that may end.
– Sun and shade: We failed to sing with the voices of the mountains. We failed to paint with the colors of the wind. Our poems are without colors. Without bite. Without sound. The winds have turned away. Pain has not depth and regret no taste.
– The Island of Arabs is in the state of shock. Anglo-American as new Crusaders have returned with new maps without hearts of people. During the season of mangoes, melons and red water melons, the Island of Arabs, their past glories, dignity and Tales from One Thousand and One Night, have become desert dust. The Island of Arab fled and took with it the Palace of Tales. As the desert and mountains of their eyes, their hands, and their hearts. In the age that lost the truth across in the desert wind a Million flowers were crushed underfoot.
Once history will talk about fire with no flames. About lanes and houses in fever. About a spark that was about to fly. About the dead about to rise. History will ask about rooms in which light did not pass. While we were the light, and the light was us.
How can we defeat pain: postpone till next morning or evening. Occupy it, divert it with a toy or song? Or tell it an old story of a forgotten tune? Will it sleep if we smile and sing:
From thousand ports I came, to a thousand ports I will be gone. And in my eyes are a thousand waitings. There are no clouds to make green our wishes And the sea is divided between old and new, the sands of silence and carpets covered with thousands of baskets. The sea cannot clear sins, nor can tears.
– It was and it was that the essence of fire was behaving as water, such as rainbow.
The dark essence of earth as air, water, and ice. The essence of water as fire such as running river, and as cold rain, and warmth as desert storm. And dark essence of air as clear blue sky.
The inhabitants of the Peninsula had, for as long as it can be remembered, referred to it as “Jazirat alArab”, the island of Arab. It used to be a beautiful Island. Once full of glory, pride and dignity of man. And Tales from Thousand and one Night. The history will remember it and tell about it still.