Sherif Kandil – What is the benefit of an apology?

Kandi LE P&W January 2024

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Live Encounters Gaza Poetry & Writing, January 2024

What is the benefit of an apology? –  poem by Sherif Kandil.

What is the benefit of an apology?

The generations of Palestine certainly reject charity from the unscrupulous!
A hundred years or more have passed since the Balfour Declaration and you
are hiding from sin and transgression. A hundred years ago witnessed dozens
of conspiracies, devastating agreements, and treaties.

No matter how many arsenals of weapons you have
And no matter how much you secretly or publicly
Call for turning Palestinian homes into shrines
No matter how much blood you ask
You will feel helpless if the stone speaks
No matter how much you plunder and eat
you will swallow the gall
Their settlements will be rendered mute
And Palestine’s children will increase
And you will become infertile
No matter how much the voice of truth is bridle
And no matter how every human rights advocate
Stutters in describing Palestine
No matter how silent, mute, or paralyzing
The Security Council
No matter what was planned against Palestine
And no matter the extent of what
Was accomplished and concluded!

Pay attention!
The voice of Gaza will pass through the wind
No matter the sores
She will not let her life be swallowed
No matter how big the wounds are
She will not let her glory be sacrificed
The laws of the universe say:
No matter how much deception from its enemy
No matter how many mosques, churches
And houses were demolished
And no matter how great the silence was
The whole world now knows that
She is wearing a dress that is not
Covered by a mulberry leaf.

Hush! Gaza thanks!
For every groan that came out
For every tear that was shed
For every word that was spoken
And for every poem!
For every chant in a demonstration
And for every supplication in a sermon
Session, or conference
Gaza tells you that I will continue
Because it was never just an adventure
Or a gamble!
Gaza is the one that condoles you
It condoles every honorable person
Every chivalrous person in chivalry
And every chaste person!
Gaza advises you!
Pay attention to each other
To your land
To your honor

And do not be deceived by the world
The world itself is fleeting!
O you who fear for the “acquis and infrastructure.”
And the capabilities of the “proud” Arab peoples:
Gaza, which was destroyed,
Is the one that stood firm, rose
Resisted, and built!
You who are slow in donations
And control the entry of aid:
Extend your hands
And strengthen your arms
Not to receive supplies… ever
But because you need huge amounts of blood.



I was reading a beautiful poem from Africa written by the Angolan poet “Feria Todi Pauline,” reassuring and believing in the return of Palestine with the weapon of faith, saying: Before we entered the gates of Luanda, we were neighing like wild horses in the distant provinces, and the torrents of blood were dragging with them all our achievements… we were always starting again. This is how we felt. Time was stubborn and fierce. And the proud cities handed over their keys to the invaders! My Palestinian friend! The day will come when we tell you! Here you are now, arriving in all the cities and raising your flags over them with a weapon that no one had ever thought of—in fact, no one had thought of!

Before I woke up from the trance of the African poem coming from Angola, I found myself entering the garden of another poem coming or passing from Asia, by a poet from Vietnam, Huo Wan, who says to the children of Palestine, “ There is nothing between us but time…and nothing but Asia…and nothing but the heart that the rivers carry into a room in the sea… Written on it in all languages: Palestine!”

© Sherif Kandil

Sherif Kandil (1960) is an Egyptian journalist and member of the British and Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He won the Arab Journalism Award for the best journalistic interviews. In addition, he has published several books: “On the Chairs of Tyrants” – “Evidence of Beauty in the Travel Notebook” – “A Letter to My Grandson Zain – “Shadow, Departure, and the Nile” – The Story of a Boy in the Gardens of Letters.

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