Tag Archives: Tunisian Jasmine poem

Qatar Flies Into The City of Liberty As Poet Rots In Jail

mohammed-al-ajamiQatar Airlines is now flying into Philadelphia and all the local politicians, or it seems, are excited to have them here. I am aware of the economic impact of such an add on at the airport, however, there is a poet, Mohammed al-Ajami who was sentenced to life in prison for writing a poem. The sentence was later reduced to 15 years. Mohammed al-Ajami,  a poet, who wrote a poem, is serving 15 years for doing so. The question: Will the city known as the cradle of liberty do nothing for a few Qatar bucks?  In the past we have contacted Pa. Senators Casey and Toomey and nothing was accomplished. Possibly contacting Philadelphia City Council or the Mayor’s office would help. Bucks over liberty, a song that never grows old.

The offending poem appears below, yes this poem deemed so offensive to the Emir that a man sits in a cell with no apparent hope of release.

The Poem 

Mohammed al-Ajami

We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)*

Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi
You don’t hold constitutional power
We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times
For us that’s past history
The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime
Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice
We only criticize the disgrace and the horror
And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions
Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people
Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free
And tell those who are holding their shroud
That every victory bears its ordeals
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king
Believes he can rely on the American military
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied
While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen
And you wake up stateless the next morning?
Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?
Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?
Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value
And fail to choose its own government?
Enough with tyrannical regimes!
Tell the one who torment his people
That tomorrow someone else will take his place
He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring
Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory
Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny
We are all Tunisian in the face of repression
Governments and Arab governments
Are all- without exception
A gang of thieves.
And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder
But shall never be answered by the official sources:
If we import all kinds of things from the West
Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?

 

– g emil reutter

No mercy for Qatari poet

Mohammed Al-Ajami has spent two years in solitary confinement for reciting a poem in support of the Arab uprisings on Youtube. His sentence of 15 years in prison for reading a poem was recently upheld by the Qatar courts.  Read more here: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/articles/No-mercy-for-Qatari-poet/31011

252-qatar-poet

Those who read this blog on a regular basis know of our support of Al-Ajami who was first sentenced to life in prison.  His only option now is a direct appeal to the Emir.

Our previous posts:

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/senator-casey-weighs-in-on-mohammed-al-ajami/

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/senator-toomey-reaches-

The Poem

Mohammed al-Ajami 

We are all Tunisians (Tunisian Jasmine)

Mr. Prime Minister Mohamed al-Ghannoushi

You don’t hold constitutional power

We don’t wax nostalgic for Ben Ali or his times

For us that’s past history

The dictatorship of a despotic and oppressive regime

Against which the people have raised their revolutionary voice

We only criticize the disgrace and the horror

And when we praise somebody it’s only because of our personal convictions

Oh revolutionary hail the struggle with the blood of the people

Carve the value of rebellion in the soul of the free

And tell those who are holding their shroud

That every victory bears its ordeals

Ah, when shall it be the turn of that country whose foolish king

Believes he can rely on the American military

Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country whose people are empty bellied

While its government time and again praises the growth of finance?

Ah, when shall it be the turn of the country where you go to sleep a citizen

And you wake up stateless the next morning?

Ah, when shall it be the turn of that repressive and hereditary regime?

Until when shall you remain a slave to selfishness?

Until when shall the people remain unaware of its value

And fail to choose its own government?

Enough with tyrannical regimes!

Tell the one who torment his people

That tomorrow someone else will take his place

He should not rest assured that the country belongs to him or his offspring

Because the country belongs to the people and so does glory

Join your voices in a chorus for a single destiny

We are all Tunisian in the face of repression

Governments and Arab governments

Are all- without exception

A gang of thieves.

And there is a question that rings obsessively in the minds of those who wonder

But shall never be answered by the official sources:

If we import all kinds of things from the West

Why can’t we import freedom and the rule of law?

Mohammed al-Ajami – Least He Be Forgotten

Mohammed al-Ajami

As poets gather in April in celebration of National Poetry Month we should remember Mohammed al-Ajami remains in prison in Qatar for writing a poem about the Arab Spring. His sentence was reduced from life to 15 years. He sits in his prison cell while we write and share our poetry. Please visit this link and make use of the contacts to request the poet be freed.

https://foxchasereview.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/senator-casey-weighs-in-on-mohammed-al-ajami/

The poem Tunisian Jasmine poem appears in the link above.

Robes in a Bunch Sends Poet to Jail for Life

Mohammed al-AjamiA poet wrote a poem, set words to paper. His recital was posted on public media and now Mohammed al-Ajami  has been sentenced to life in prison. All of this because he wrote a poem that caused the emir of Qatar to get his robes in a bunch. So they had a trial in Qatar for the poet, who wasn’t permitted to attend and had three government poetry experts from the ministries of culture and education testify that the poem was offensive to the emir and the government of Qatar. (Government experts and poetry don’t seem to be likely companions).Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

This is the Qatar that is going to hold free and open parliamentary elections in 2013, that runs the cable network Al-Jazeera that reports on human rights violations. Al-Ajami wrote a poem, Tunisian Jasmine that was found to insult Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and inciting to overthrow the ruling system in Qatar.  The poem written in support of the Arab Spring and lauded for it’s broad criticism of repressive governments in the gulf region contained the line, “We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elite”, enough in Qatar to land a poet in jail for life.

Al-Ajami hasn’t seen his wife and children in over a year. He actually described Al Thani as not having a dark heart like Saddam and Gaddafi and put the blame on those around Al Thani who want to please him.  I have an idea. All those aides who want to please the emir should pull out his robes, straighten them out and set the poet Mohammed al-Ajami free. Words are powerful and if Qatar is going to peacefully move to a free society they had better get use to the freedom of expression.

-g emil reutter