Staring up at the neverending night sky of Wadi Rum left a strong impression on me. We had spent the day exploring its spectacular red-hued sand dunes and towering rock formations, and now the silent beauty of this desert took hold. Considering what was going on across the northern borders in Syria and Iraq, and to the west in Palestine, the tranquility and peace of this stunning landscape was surreal.
I had heard that Wadi Rum had inspired countless poets, and after returning to the world of internet I tried to find out for myself. I stumbled across the work of Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya, a Bedouin poet who started out life as a shepherd before joining the Jordanian army. I found his poem entitled “The West’s Crafty Men” which had been translated into English and felt its thought-provoking content was worth sharing:
The West’s crafty men laid a trap, and Putin fell in They messed with his mind the way Spaniards mess with bulls Putin went to save a man who slaughtered half his people And the chaos is helping out the Balfour Declaration The Persians are playing the same game: Divvying up the land and the work and the roles A conspiracy against the Arabs, so hard for us to bear A dish of politics cooked up by one thousands specialists For them we’re just a plate of food, their greed for which has increased With our divided opinions and broken power The Arabs’ Baghdad? A Zoroastrian hyena-wolf is tearing it to pieces The Levant? Now a rabid bear’s slice of the pie Lebanon? Nasrallah and Hezbollah are mangling it Yemen? Contracted out to the Houthis Every form of evil has been sowed in the Arabs’ lands Sectarian strife has increased, and blood is being spilled in vain Jerusalem? Our younger generations haven’t even heard of it An old nakba is waiting for a cast of falcons A world of injustice, convinced we Arabs have no rights For that world, injustice is a principle, a way, a constitution Oh Security Council, you’re also just a game And I hereby witness that you’re a council of injustice and oppression