A Poem from Missing Libyan Author Rabia Cherir

The Libyan poet and journalist Rabia Cherir, one of many anti-regime activists to have disappeared, has been missing since April 29. That’s the day the Berber journalist and poet, a known opponent of the Ghaddafi regime, was shown on television being tortured.

Since then, he has not been seen.

Cherir was the Director of Zawiya Cultural Center.

In the effort to help keep Cherir alive, Libyan-British poet Ghazi Gheblawi translated Shrair’s “Zawiya” with the help of another Libyan translator. You can read the poem in Arabic here.

“Zawiya” in English begins:

Refreshing as nothingness
Monotonous as our state television after midnight.
Your hardship is prolonged
And my poems are luxurious

A greatness of poetics outbreaks in the exiles
While your space is brimful of emptiness
Your letters have an aroma of similarity
Your poetry is unspecified alike!
In its flesh,
Its language
So, be an atom of my soul
And come here
To halt our mad march!

Oh my city!
Imagine if I have been extracted from you…
To grant you the honour of having you in me
How marvellous is our being in us!
And our dissolution in non-water essence that defies itself.

Keep reading.


Egyptians in support of Shrair.

The Facebook page, “Where is Rabia Cherir (Libyan Poet)?