Saturday, December 15, 2018
by Leslie Hemphill “You are welcome”, or “You are family” were words we heard so often in Syria when we travelled with daughter-in-law Ghada on three visits to stay with her parents and family in Damascus. Ghada was one of six children raised in a little house - really a two-storey apartment.  It was possible to climb out a window onto...
By Iskhandar Razak A Syrian refugee granted asylum in Melbourne has started a magazine to give Australians a different perspective of her homeland, which has been ravaged by years of war. Syria was once a nation of 22 million people and home to historic sites that predate the bible. But now the UN estimates nearly 11 million have fled their homes after years...

My Country

My Country - by Nizar Qabbani, - translated by Norma Medawar From the lisp of the blackbird… From the saddening huskiness of the flute… From the flickering sounds of the folk songs From the sighs of the minaret… From a cloud at sunset woven by a chimney and by the wound of the bricks of the decorated and widespread villages… From the whispers of a star settled in our east From a story between a rose and a...
… any attempt to force cultures and peoples into separate and distinct breeds or essences exposes not only the misrepresentations and falsifications that ensue, but also the way in which understanding is complicit with the power to produce such things as the “Orient” or the “West”.’ Edward W.Said - A Scholar with Courage In 1998, the late Edward W. Said, a...
On a crisp winter’s morning in December 2008, a group of university students from Melbourne began their tour of Syria with a visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Damascus, where over 250 Australian soldiers from both world wars have been buried. Kurt, an Australian Army officer, spoke to the students. A veteran of the war in Iraq, Kurt...

I have no power

I have no power By Nizar Qabbani translated by Norma Medawar I have no power to change you Or explain your ways… Don’t believe a man can change a woman and the claims of men fancying that woman comes from one of their ribs are false… Woman never emerges from a man’s rib…. It’s he who emerges from her pelvis like a fish rising from a basin of water he...