I Remember My Name – Poetry by Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso
“For the besieged who taught the world the meaning of freedom. We dedicate this to those who resisted, to the ones who treated the injured and buried the dead under shelling. This is for the children who lost their parents, and the parents who will not see their children again. We dedicate this book to the city that has become a legend. To Gaza, Palestine.” – Samah, Ramzy and Jehan.
I remember my name, is a compelling contribution to literature and shares with you the deeply personal and deeply political expressions of three gifted Palestinian poets in exile from Gaza: Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud and Jehan Bseiso.
Although Samah, Ramzy and Jehan have distinctive styles, they possess in common incisive intellects, finely tuned by a sense of justice inherent in the Palestinian experience and in their love for Palestine particularly besieged and suffering Gaza .
Samah’s poetic style is passionate, lyrical and luminous . She in- tuitively weaves the most intimate and the political in a magna- nimity for reconciliation:
What passed through my womb though precious… Is not distinct
A beautiful human baby of flesh and blood
No different to that born by the ‘other’
There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’
Ramzy’s art is grounded in justice for Palestine, yet the fierce intellectual refinement and range of his poetry knows no borders in its fusion of the personal within the global and universal:
And just when you think I am defeated,
My fist will rise from the charred earth,
In a painting by Naji Ali,
Through the thick walls of Louisiana State Penitentiary In the streets of Hanoi,
Amid the rubble of a Gaza mosque . Even on my dying bed .
Seemingly freestyle, Jehan’s innovative panache is precise and vivid, with a dramatic immediacy cut on an edge of defiance, irony and acuity:
Israeli soldier puts his weapon down to help Um Ali spread her legs, her face is red with shame, her husband is waiting at home in Abu Dis, he doesn’t have the right papers with the blue and white stamps, he can’t cross to Jerusalem .
The international community is having 9 course dinners in the Alps .
(In the room the women come and go, talking about the status quo).
While their roots are in Gaza, their life journeys, typical of Palestinian refugees, are painfully scattered across the world.
The refugee journey of Samah Sabawi, daughter of the prestigious Gazan poet and author, Abdul Karim Sabawi, has spanned Jordan, Canada and her present home in Melbourne, Australia . Her every footstep is an eloquent act of resistance .
Born in Gaza to Nakba refugees from Beit Daras, Ramzy Baroud, like his father, is a freedom fighter now living in Seattle, USA . Ramzy’s art of resistance is indefatigable and prodigious .
The Bseiso family ancestry is traced back to 17th century Gaza . Jehan Bseiso, a popular and spirited voice of resistance among the younger generation, was born in Los Angeles, her childhood was in Jordan . She was a university student in Beirut and is now a humanitarian aid worker living in Cairo .
All three poets enjoy high literary profiles in the West and the Middle East: Samah, is an author, playwright, poet and political commentator, Ramzy is an author, poet, editor and political commentator and Jehan is a poet and political commentator . All three are highly respected and renowned Palestinian activists .
I remember my name, welcomes accomplished London artist David Borrington as Artistic Editor . His heightened sensitivity to the poets’ vision delivers a powerful visual accompaniment to nine of the poems .
David’s aesthetic cover depicts the courageous Red Crescent volunteers carrying the wounded during the 2014 Israel’s Operation Protective Edge war on Gaza and the abandoned doll is a touching testimonial to the innocence of Palestine’s martyrs . — Vacy Vlazna, Editor.
For more information or to review the poetry collection contact us here.
Click the image below to view the powerful visuals designed specially for the book by David Borrington.
(Photos beneath the art: Samah Sabawi, Ramzy Baroud, Jehan Bseiso, Vacy Vlazna and David Borrington)
Order the Book:
From the Publisher – Novum Publishing, UK
Order in Australia (Free Shipping)
(All sales of the book profits will be donated to a charity for the arts in Gaza. Ordering information from Novum Publishing will be added soon.)