A Poem from Shaimaa El-Sabbagh: ‘I’m the Girl Banned from Christian Religion Classes’

Egyptian poet Maged Zaher has translated another work by the slain poet Shaimaa El-Sabbagh. This one was recorded on video and has been watched more than a hundred thousand times in the last week:

I’m the girl banned from attending Christian religion classes, and Sunday mass
Although I am a witness to the crucifixion of Jesus
In Train Station Square at the height of the morning
Even then, all the windows were open and the blood was racing the cars on the asphalt
The eyes of the girls were running in Heaven, catching the forbidden rocking chair.

I am the girl banned from love in the squares
I stood in the middle of the street and gathered in my hand the stars of the sky, individually,
And the sweat of the street vendors
The voices of beggars
And the people who love God as they damn this moment that the creatures of God approved
To crucifying Jesus naked in the crowded square on the clock arms as it declared one at noon
I, the girl banned from saying no, will never miss the dawn

Photo credit: Sarah Carr.