To mark four years since the disappearance of the ‘Douma 4’ activists, Al-Jumhuriya publishes a poem dedicated to Samira al-Khalil by the award-winning poet Faraj Bayrakdar.
Today marks four years since the abduction and disappearance of the Syrian dissident and former political prisoner, Samira al-Khalil, along with her friends and colleagues, Razan Zeitouneh, Wael Hamada, and Nazem Hamadi, in Douma, east of Damascus. The four remain missing to this day. The below is a poem dedicated to al-Khalil by the International PEN Award-winning Syrian poet, Faraj Bayrakdar, himself also a former political prisoner. The poem was originally published in Arabic. The artwork for this article was created by Azza Abo Rebieh.
Her voice descends lightly
On the steps of the dungeon, and she is still in pain
In the interrogation room
And I descend lightly
That blanket carried by two
Who go astray
Am I in it or is she?
Her weary voice is revived by what is in my body
My weary body is revived by what is in her voice
How is fire revived?
She was not a condition or a description
But I call her by many names
The echo has wings that flutter around me:
A name does not confine its bearer if so desired
But the place
Confined in the torture rooms of the Palestine Branch
So did it confine her
Or those women or men, together
The plain of Douma, free, with eyelids defeated?
Her voice comes
I see several doves
As if once upon a time.
Her voice comes
I see several clouds
As if, oh time, Syria, a dream and a people, will live
Oh time, she will live