Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Elegiac Poem (& Wake Photos) for HAMAS Leader, Mahmoud 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-Mabhouh, Murdered in Dubai

Elegiac poetry is an important medium for both religious-nationalist and transnational jihadi groups, including the Palestinian HAMAS [Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya; "Islamic Resistance Movement" in Palestine] movement. In its annual commemoration of its founders and senior leaders who have been assassinated by the Israeli military, the movement has members and supporters recite elegiac and praise [qasida] poetry for them. Many of these poems are published on web sites affiliated with the movement as well.

Below is an English-language elegiac poem dedicated to Mahmoud 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-Mabhouh, a senior HAMAS leader and co-founder of its military wing, the Brigades of 'Izz al-Din al-Qassam, who was murdered by unknown parties in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on January 20. HAMAS has accused Israel of being behind his killing, a charge which the Israeli government has not denied outright. HAMAS has vowed to avenge al-Mabhouh's murder.

The poem is reproduced without edits, along with some of the artwork and animated GIFs that accompanied it. Amusingly, embedded with the poem was a YouTube video montage set to the song "One Sweet Day" by American R&B/pop singers Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey. The author's pen name is "Shahrazad" (though it is transliterated differently), the name of a central character in the Arabic story collection the 1,001 Nights, which has been made famous by European and American Orientalist scholars. It's status within the Arabic literary canon is, from what friends and colleagues who specialize in Arabic literature tell me, is not nearly as high as it is in Orientalist studies of the canon.

Supplications [du'a] are said over the shrouded body of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Damascus, Syria. Among those present are the head of HAMAS' external political bureau, based in Damascus, Khalid Mesh'al, and senior political leader Musa Abu Marzuq.

Khalid Mesh'al and Musa Abu Marzuq at a wake for Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Damascus, Syria.

Khalid Mesh'al at a wake for Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Damascus, Syria.

Mahmoud Al Mabhouh Lives Forever !

Palestine mourns the loss of her son

Gone to soon, from death you did not run

Our pride and joy dwells in men like you

An example to all, your resistance so true

In every home you will be born

From your motherland you will never be torn

I long for my words to reach the sky

Your legacy will live forever it will never die

Your memory one that never fades

You live forever in the Al Qassam Brigades

We will wait until that blessed day

When those responsible will be made to pay

Agents from the Israeli folk

On your very own blood you will be made to choke

Heed the words of a matriarch

Sons of Zion your lives will be propelled into the dark


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