Fawzia Alawi Alawi – Women

Alawi LE Arab Women P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Arab Women Poets & Writers April 2024.

Women, poem by Fawzia Alawi Alawi.

Translated from Arabic by Dr. Salwa Gouda. 


Women who are tired of hanging laundry
And peeling garlic in dark kitchens
Women who cut their fingers when
Darning the finches and
The arrogant vultures’ socks
Women who are tired
From tasting the salt meals
And the bitter tea
Women who complain of varicose veins and the sweat of sorrow
And from the emptiness of the dictionary of love
Women who plant fragrant crops in pots that do not grow Green
And those who plant olive trees
In minefields
The recorded in the notebooks of despair
Because they are chickens that do not lay eggs
It happened that one day they made funny wishes
The tall white lady said
I would like, oh, I would like to smoke a cigarette in the Port café
Without the carp spying on me
Or sailors throw green apples
And the stinky nets at me
The fat woman said, “I would like, I would like, if, if.”
I swam in that pool alone
Coverless except for the clouds
Without being harassed by fish
Or the crab craves my body foam
The secretive lady said, “I wish I could sing at the top of my voice.”
Until the birds gather on the corners of the shops
Without the sellers being upset by the possible dissonance in my voice
A man follows war news on Channel 3
Shouted angrily at his friend
Who is this poetess that dares our women against us?

© Fawzia Alawi Alawi

Fawzia Alawi Alawi is a Tunisian poet, novelist and essayist who has published nine poetry and short story collections, in addition to a novel entitled “Faces for One Woman” (2020). She also won several national and Arabic awards.

Translation by Dr. Salwa Gouda, an Egyptian literary translator, critic, and academic at the English Language and Literature Department at Ain-Shams University. She holds a PhD in English literature and criticism. She received her education at Ain-Shams University and California State University in San Bernardino. She has published several academic books, including “Lectures in English Poetry, and “Introduction to Modern Literary Criticism” and others. She has also contributed to the translation of “The Arab Encyclopedia for Pioneers,” which includes poets and their poetry, philosophers, historians, and men of letters, under the supervision of UNESCO. Additionally, her poetry translations have been published in various international magazines.

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