Comic Poem Reflecting How Iraqi Shi'as Feel...
This a short video of a 'pop' Iraqi poem. It is supposed to be funny, and is...if the listener is a Shi'a--the audience can be heard laughing and cheering. The poet is channeling some of the emotions that one tracks from Shi'as of all backgrounds in Iraq. These are emotions of anger, fear, frustration, vengefulness, and increasingly, the sense that the situation is turning in their--that is, the Shi'as'--favor.
I think it accurately captures a moment in Iraqi Shi'a identity.
Partial translation, with explanations:
An explosion in a Kia [Ed.: a Korean-made minibus] happens,
What are we supposed to do now; not ride?
An incident befell me the other day,
I took a ride from Bab al-Mu’adhum [Ed.: a Sunni neighborhood],
A woman sat next me, you can’t even label her as 'old,' I would think her age was 600,
Tattooed from head to toe,
Not a southerner, and not a Kurd,
I’m sure she’s met al-Rashid [Ed.: 9th century Abbasid caliph] and saw al-Qa’aqa’a [Ed.: early Islamic battle],
And maybe even was present at the Truce of Hudaibiyeh [Ed.: during Muhammad’s time],
She had a plastic bag next to her,
I don’t know what’s in the bag,
Every moment she turns her head a bit,
As if she’s hiding something,
I told myself Death is upon me and has locked on me like a target,
I told myself: this old lady was duped and sent to get me by those Wahhabis,
I was panicked and tired,
That bag really frightened me,
Maybe she’s wearing an explosive belt,
Maybe she’d detonate,
And I’d be the first to die,
And I wanted to lie down in the Kia,
But the Kia is tiny like a can,
I jumped at her,
And took the bag,
I told myself I was going to die anyway so what’s the use,
The bag turned out to be full of tobacco,
And the old lady had wanted to roll herself a cigarette.
Those sons of bitches [Ed.: he uses the Persian term that common in Iraqi idiom, sarsariyeh],
They blew up the dome of the Imam of the Ja’afaris [Ed.: referring to the Samarra shrine bombing, and ja’afariah is how Shi'as describe themselves sometimes],
His [the Imam’s] ancestor is Muhammad,
You remnants of Aflak [Ed.: referring to Michel Aflak, co-founder of the Ba’ath Party],
He is the son of Fatima al-Zahra’,
He is the son of the best of people,
By Allah there isn’t an honorable [man] among you,
Enough, you have oppressed my spirit,
And once I explode, everyone shouts “Sectarianism!”
Tell me, what is sectarianism?
Does sectarianism mean that I should die while you parse words with me?
Does it mean butchering the Shi'as on the basis of their IDs?
Is this sectarianism?
Sons of bitches!
Thank your God that I am silent, go and kiss the marji’ya [Ed.: the Shi'a religious leadership in Najaf headed by Ayatollah Sistani],
By Allah, if they had declared jihad,
We would have occupied Iraq with ten [men] from Nassiriya [Ed.: a city in the south],
You would have had real men from the south to confront you,
Each with an enormous hand that it’s slap is as if a bullet was fired,
You sons of bitches.
They sometimes call me an anarchist [Ed.: ghawgha’, a term the regime used to describe the Shi'a rebels of the1991 uprising],
Then they deride me as a Shi'a waiting for the Mahdi [the Messiah],
Then they call me a majusi [Ed.: a Persian pagan],
Then they say I came with the water buffalo from India,
C’mon tell me, am I an Indian?
Is Meetab Bachachan [Ed.: an Indian actor?] my grandfather?
By Allah, I want to curse your fathers and this farce,
Sons of bitches.
I haven’t visited my Imam for three years,
You closed all the roads on me,
Don’t you say that sectarianism is my fault?
Then go ahead, fix the situation,
Should I dig an underground tunnel [to get to my Imam]?
If I go, I’ll get butchered,
Then tell me, should I descend [on my Imam] in a parachute?