Performing The Poem "Refugees"
Oh, the refugees,
fleeing from wars they did not create,
flying like birds,
to escape hunter’s bullets,
risking their lives to save their lives,
while bombs drop, and guns roar,
and drones attack their homeland.
I practiced my broken Arabic with you
at a Dresden refugee camp,
your broad smiles kindly accepting,
your eyes and words communicating.
I told you that I had lived in Egypt for five years,
I said I learned Sacred Sufi music there,
performing for the Festivals called Mulids.
When I sang Ah Ya Zeen,
your voices joined me,
with the same tune and words.
I was surprised that Syrians
knew a song I had learned in Egypt,
perhaps sacred music in Arabic
becomes known throughout
the Middle East.
When I pointed to the Red Cross Center
across the street,
indicating I wanted to go there,
leery of the fast-moving
cars on that boulevard,
one of you took my hand
and pulled me through the traffic.
Dodging cars is easier
than dodging bombs and bullets.
At the Red Cross Center
there were so many of you
surging toward the classroom,
where you would learn German;
a prerequisite for finding work
Leaving behind your beloved homeland,
you found safe landing,
where you must begin your lives again.
Follow the bombs
back to the makers.
Follow the buyers,
back to the sellers.
To stop wars,
BAN the bombs,
BAN the guns,
BAN all weapons.
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