Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

The Arabic world seen from Najet's magic carpet


The Dunes of water


By Najet Adouani Tunisia


Two mountains were scaled by storms in my chest…

Between them flows a sword of dew

And on their dunes “Aous” picking a quarrel with “Ouras”!

Oh ashes of civilizations

Kneaded with the blood of partition…


my path was swept by wind’s anguish

and the stoves of the soul were roaring

when I was set ablaze before it put me out

as if stars, once ignited, fling at our eyes their ashes…

Although the sea lies in tatters,

on them float men's bodies covered by fronds

and in their veins run the sand...

so that cities of my dreams button up with salt

and their ties a scum.

I’m the refuge of a lost caravan...

As if the crisped palms pray to bag water of God's face

As if time is a crystal sky broken up by the stones

flung by children in madness to tear the binding of their innocence….

Or the sky’s glass sends back to us the spit...

As if a withered poop of jasmine shivering in a pale scarf.

This is the crust of a naked soul.

An overflow demolishes the desert bones

And a sword of water in vain fumbles with the grenades of the flame…

The hearses have passed by; they leave

In the asphalt of my eyes traces of wheels

Dominated by a muddy dream.


Marroco--Erribat -30 Janv.1992

Aous and Ouras are the sons of the poetess



von Najet Adouani


Mein Pfad wurde von der Pein des Windes gefegt

und der Herd meiner Seele wütete,

weil ich angezündet ward, noch ehe es mich erlosch

so, wie Sterne, einmal entbrannt, ihre Asche in unsere Augen werfen…

Obwohl das Meer in aller Zerrissenheit dahin lag,

trieben die mit Front überdeckten Körper der Männer dahin

bis in deren Adern der Sand verrann...

so dass Städte meiner Träume sich mit Salz eindecken

während deren Verbindungen nur den Skandal auszeichnen.

Ich bin der Flüchtling einer verloren gegangenen Karawane...

So als würde die knackige Handfläche dafür beten Wasser vom Gesicht des

Gottes im Beutel einzufangen

Es schien die Zeit war ein kristallklarer Himmel, zerschmettert von Steinen

die Kindern aus blinder Wut wegen ihrer Bindung an die Unschuld schleuderten…

Oder das Glas des Himmels dreht den Spieß einfach um...

So als ob ein verwelkender Jasmin Strauss in einem bleichen Schal

frieren würde.

Das ist die Hilflosigkeit einer nackten Seele.

Eine Überflutung zerstört die Wüstenknochen

Und ein Schwert aus Wasser fummelt umsonst mit einer Flammengranate…

Die Kutschen sind vorüber gezogen; sie hinterlassen

Im Asphalt meiner Augen Spuren der Räder

Dominiert von einem schlammigen Traum.


Übersetzung von Hatto Fischer



or before take off

Travels on the magic carpet

with poetess Najet Adouani

to learn about the Middle East,

that is after the Arab spring,

after Tunesia and Egypt,

but then came Libya,

and Syria followed

and ever more rounds

of guns fired

scared the silence

of the trees

standing by

and watching

how children ran

for cover

in the desert of the wind

with sand the only shelter

but the sun showed no mercy

for a haunted land

by strive and bitterness

tasting like a bad lemon

when it could be

such a sweet melody

to make you think

of enchanted dreams

followed by erotic dances

convincing even shadows

that to go around the corner

does not need to mean

that drunkards in blood

have to reappear

with hollowness

underneath their eyes and cheekbones

marking a destiny

no longer to be told

as a tale of al Gahiz.


There was first Tunesia, then came Egypt. It was called the Arabic spring. After the military intervention in Libya, there followed the violent conflict in Syria lasting by now over more than 18 months.

The hopeful sign of the 'blue bird' in the Middle East' being heard in Egypt as sign of political maturation in 2011 has been replaced by what the poetess Najet Adouani writes about the current state of affairs. She states that "troubles are everywhere now, nobody is happy, clouds are covering the blue, birds can't sing free as before."

What has happened? Why the surge of the Salafists and the tendency towards an extreme version of religious law as if this can promise a better way of governing than what was before the case? For outsiders the Middle East has always been a puzzle, an evasive region with many hidden alleys and enchanting eyes behind veils.

When Kapuscinski knew no longer how to judge events in Etiopia, he simply resorted to literature, in order to let intuition and the imagination do the talking. Finding out some truths in the making shall not be simple, but then there is this invitation by Najet Adouani.

"We fly over all the events to see what happens", proposes Najet Adouani. She means to do that by taking "a magic carpet so that we can travel into the depth of the history!"

"But what about the inner need for survival?", I asked her. "Is that not linked to upholding the highest code of ethics possible, even when that would mean a denial of love as it would threaten to undermine the code of the inner circle in power? That question relates to an article about King Arthur and his fateful ending. The king of the round table of knights recognized his true love who had been fighting him all his life long only when first he, then she were mortally wounded."

Najet Adouani response was immediate: "Answers are found where the real and the legend come together and make that harmony possible which is reflected in how every person relates to his or her feelings".

And she explains further: "I like this kind of writing where things have more than one meaning, so that reading the story is like a wonderful promenade by the sea side at sunset."

About interpretation of what is going on in the Middle East, she adds a word of caution: "Of course behind each image there is another meaning which takes one into the present or to what is going on now. If we only change names, we can find the same persons acting out a new role, one which is also inspired by that distant one in the past, and this is so because the two paradoxes prevail: love and hate are always here, we can't erase one of them."

She has written many novels about this hate-love drama and reminds why over and again writers have been drawn to the Arab world once offered to take such a trip on a magic carpet.

Hatto Fischer

Athens 10.8.2012

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