at this time of year that people start to reflect on what has transpired
throughout the last twelve months. I am afraid I am no exception.
irony is that today, while I am sitting in Rome, breathing and experiencing
ancient history and culture I cannot but remember that on this very day, four
years ago, Gaza was raped by the Zionist occupiers of our land. Many innocent
men, women and children were murdered. Many buildings were destroyed. Many
schools, hospitals and homes were demolished.
During last month, the
Israeli loathing for Gaza manifested itself yet again in the most vile and
vicious manner resulting in more innocent deaths and wanton destruction. Their
vying for our blood and lust for our land doesn’t stop at Gaza. It is happening
all over Palestine, in Hebron, Beit Ummar, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarim and
elsewhere. The most bitter of all is the utter Judaeisation of Jerusalem and the
In the meantime, our lamented leaders proclaim Pyrrhic
victories and make false pronouncements of unity in confronting our common
enemy. Other Arab leaders have made Gaza their Mecca in the last few weeks. They
came bearing gifts and empty promises. Yet we are as divided and fragmented as
ever. Which leaves me wondering; where is the Arab nation and where is the
Muslim Ummah that I grew up believing in and waiting for?
irony is the unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of Iraq, Libya and now
Syria. Why is all this so very sad? It is because our imported enemies are aided
and abetted by our so-called Muslim Ummah and the Arab nation.
If I am
getting morbid it is because exile does this to you. You are away from your
home, from your land, from your people and wherever you look and whatever your
eyes see is foreign, alien and unfamiliar. Here, I ask again, where is the Arab
nation and where is the Muslim Ummah?
I am not going to dwell on this
because I don’t want to feel too depressed nor do I want to depress my readers.
I shall leave it to another exile, the poet, Khalil Gibran to say it for
“Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a
bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own
“Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that
deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
“Pity the nation that despises
a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.
“Pity the nation
that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except
when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.
“Pity the nation
whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggle, and whose art is the
art of patching and mimicking.
“Pity the nation that welcomes its new
ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another
with trumpetings again.
“Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
“Pity the nation divided
into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.”
My friends, we
are not a nation. We are, as Gibran said, divided and fragmented. We have become
tribes with flags. And the Muslim Ummah, instead of being an Ummah, has become
an instrument of our own destruction like a mutilating sword in the hands of our
This is what has become of us and this is where our
detractors would like us to stay. But, deep in my heart, I sincerely believe
that there are still enough of us, Arabs and Muslims, committed to the cause who
will not spare any effort to make us a nation, proud and united again. Our day
Happy New Year to all.