Mark Ulyseas – Who am I? – Introduction

Ulyseas LE Arab Women P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Arab Women Poets & Writers April 2024.

Chutney Mary pic by Mark Ulyseas
Chutney Mary pic by Mark Ulyseas

Who am I?*

The night asks who am I?
I am his secret, deep, black anxiety
I am its rebellious silence
I content myself with silence
And I wrapped my heart with suspicions
And I remained solemn here
Gazing, while the ages ask me
Who am I?

Who am I?, Nazik al-Malaika (1923-2007)
Iraqi poet and women’s rights advocate.

Nazik al-Malaika is, perhaps, one of the foremost Arab women poets who had cleared the undergrowth of dense cultural barriers and laid bare the soul of the Arab woman. Since then, many have followed in her path sharing their beautiful world pitted with angst and the exaltation of their intense beliefs wrapped in the words of a rich ethos.

A heartfelt salaam to Dr Salwa Gouda, Egyptian literary translator, critic, and academic, who has translated the works of Arab women poets and writers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE and Libya. This is an acknowledgement of their valuable contribution to the lyrical dominion.

The world, especially the Arab world, is fast changing, shuttling between beauty and violence at a frenetic pace leaving many gasping for peace within heart and home. The manic media is like a malevolent force that has unleashed banshees to troll the viewers, to entice them into a world of loathing, vengeance and death.

It is in this world that these poets exist, constantly reminding the reader of the Word that can drive away this hate and usher in a mind filled with peace, beauty and silence.

Acceptance is the path to travel with these scribes, who show us a fascinating montage of colliding worlds of mayhem and womanhood, of retributive justice and forgiveness.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om

Mark Ulyseas

*translated by Dr. Salwa Gouda

© Mark Ulyseas

Mark Ulyseas has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photo-grapher. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. It is a not for profit (adfree) free online magazine featuring leading academics, writers, poets, activists of all hues etc. from around the world. March 2016 saw the launch of its sister publication Live Encounters Poetry, which was relaunched as Live Encounters Poetry & Writing in March 2017.  In February 2019 the third publication was launched, LE Children Poetry & Writing (now renamed Live Encounters Young Poets & Writers). In August 2020 the fourth publication, Live Encounters Books, was launched. He has edited, designed and produced all of Live Encounters’ 294 publications (till April 2024). Mark’s philosophy is that knowledge must be free and shared freely to empower all towards enlightenment. He is the author of three books: RAINY – My friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives and In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey.

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