Nov 2015 Bucharest mini-symposium reflections

Read part 1 here

Read part 2 here

PART 3: Mariam and Tawona on the Poetry Workshop

It’s a Gathering of Hearts

As I sit and think

plan and prepare

As I hope and wish

wonder and imagine

I try

I try hard not to forget

what’s in front of me

Real people,

lives, experiences and beyond

If the ship sinks we all drown

This, is a gathering of hearts


I try

I try hard not to forget

I am one bead of this bracelet

Though we begin from a strange exterior

In the end we all share the same interior

It’s a celebration of diversity

A mum, a baby, a graduate of a university

Many nationalities: Iraqi, Syrian

Turkish, Libyan

but mostly Romanian

A resident, a refugee, a visitor

In life, everyone is a traveller

This, is a gathering of hearts


I try

I try hard not to forget

These are days of war

somewhere inside this broken body

is a soul

somewhere inside this tangled mass

is a life

Somewhere inside this lonely heap

is a poet

Writing about oneself is to some exciting

To others unsettling

This, is a gathering of hearts


Take my hand, if you may

It’s dark where we go

Take my hand, if you will

It’s hard what we do

Lend your trusted tongue to my wavering words

Lend your astute eye to my wavering ways

It’s done together,

Better together

Here we get in touch with ourselves

Here we try to CONECT

Even if we don’t achieve

at least we relate

This, is a gathering of hearts


In my nhorwa I bring tasaamuh

and my strangeness

I hope our strangeness makes a fine mess,

a fine mesh of memories and stories

Metaphors of rivers, trees, birds, and pebbles

A way of making sense of our puzzles


I try

I try hard not to forget

Our precious shared humanity

In the words of one of ours:

“Every person is a richness

of depth and beauty

If you just take the time

to listen to them

with your whole being

you will be impressed

by the mysterious light

you will find”


Writing is mostly done in English

In Arabic comes a line by Darwish

“Upon this land there is that which deserves life”

Words of hope for Palestinians

And now also for Syrians

In a different language it is sent

But everyone knows what is meant

What it means

To lose a home

To cling to hope

This, is a gathering of hearts

Part 3 image 1

By Mariam Attia & Tawona Sithole

Read part 4 here

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