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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Nation Orphaned!

A Nation Orphaned!

Yasser Arafat, a legend in his own right, passed away at 3:30PM Paris time. A sad milestone in the history of Palestine. Far removed from the region, Arafat's life epitomized to me the life of every Palestinian - determined and defiant in the face of tragic circumstances enforced by a brute state that was ably supported in its human rights violations by the worst war criminal in the history of mankind. A Statesman and a Patriot, he lived his life for his country. He belongs with other greats such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Che Guvera, and Prabhakaran. To some they are freedom fighters, for others terrorists. What is unquestionable is their passion and unflinching quest for what they believed in.

When in 9th grade I wrote a poem about a Martyr, the English in the poem inspired by the previous night's veiwing of Hamlet. I do not recollect every line I wrote, but the gist remains. And it gives me great pride to dedicate it to him and the other legends - Yasser Arafat.
(Incomplete version of the poem "The Martyr")

Rise shalt he not
He who spilt blood for his countrymen,
Rise shalt he not
He who fought for every piece of his motherland;

...some missing lines...

Rise shalt he not
From his shallow grave,
Rise shalt he not
From his heavenly abode;

But there shalt he dwell
In our hearts
Rising time and time again
Never to be ever forgotten.

May his soul rest in peace. In his death he has achieved the freedom that he so longed would happen in his times. Le roi est mort. Vive le roi! (The King is dead, Long live the King!)


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