Madaba bookshop hosts poetry slam for Palestine

Poets, musicians, and performers take to the stage at Madaba’s Kawon Bookshop, during a poetry slam event in support of Palestine, on May 21, 2021. (Photos: Tamara Abdin/Jordan News)
MADABA — Surrounded by olive trees, wooden chairs, colorful clotheslines, baby kittens and a windy breeze, people gathered at Kawon Bookshop in Madaba for “The Poetry Slam”.اضافة اعلان

Kawon, a spot for quirky literature fanatics and melodious poets, hosted the event on Saturday evening. The organizers invited people to perform poems, songs, short stories, and any other works of art.

The event, which occurs on a monthly basis, was designed as a safe space for people to express themselves. This month’s poetry slam aimed to reflect on the recent events in Palestine.

According to Dalia Al-Shurman, the organizer of the event and the founder of the Amman Writing Club, “the point of the event was to give everyone a platform to be heard.”

“We want to show support to struggling writers and artists in general. It is to give people a place to belong or connect to,” she said in an interview with Jordan News.

Rajaa, a reader at the event, shared that she has been separated from her Jerusalemite best friend for years due to the checkpoints and travel restrictions Palestinians face. The performer headed to the stage, vocalized her support for Palestine, and recited “We teach life, sir,” a poem by Rafeef Ziadeh.

Areej, another performer, wrote a poem referencing the pride and power she feels as a Palestinian. Though she comes from a land where “families sleep in the same room so they all die together,” she is not asking for pity.

According to the lines of her poem, Palestine is a place of real men, strong women, and resilient youth who fight guns and tanks with rocks.

Meray Adnan, from Syria, is an Arabic literature graduate who writes poetry as a hobby. She told Jordan News that she often draws inspiration from her background.

“The war took up a huge part of our lives in Syria. So, I write most of my poetry about that. I also write about feelings, from love to companionship to family,” she said. “Another message I try to send is that there is always room for improvement — for people to do better.”

She described the event as “a very enriching experience” and a different environment, with culturally diverse people.

Another performer, whose penname is Abyssal Ink, recited his own poem, “Roses”, in which he narrated a tragedy of unreciprocated love. He told Jordan News that he often uses poetry to voice what he does not normally express. According to the poet, it is an outlet for his personal experiences and emotions.

Whether it was singing the national song of “Mawtini”, enjoying a musical duet, or wearing a keffiyeh (traditional headwear worn throughout the Levant) as they snapped their fingers, people with a mutual love for poetry showed up to remind the Palestinian people that they are not alone.

According to poet and organizer Shurman, “even if it is just vocal support, it goes a long way. We want to stand in solidarity with them.”

Read more Culture & Arts stories.