karama maisha

September 8, 2006 at 1:23 am (lebanon, palestine, poetry, Uncategorized, west bank)

i think sometime later in my life i will look on these few quiet weeks as a precious bridge between the present and the past. not only because of geopolitics, but also because i am alone. my partner is in the states. and so the apartment rings quiet.

hukum theti is the arabic phrase for self-governing community. it is the closest phrase i have come to in arabic for communal anarchy.

karama is the arabic word for dignity. another delicious find.

right now my focus is studying arabic. i want to swim inside the sounds.

what gives us value as human beings? what gives us worth? sometimes i believe in the lie that our value comes from how many people know us, listen to us, how many people we effect. and yet how do we measure this kind of value? how can i know who i effect or to what extent?
i dont know what gives us ultimate value or if such thing is possible. (i am beginning to suspect not) but i want to stop believing in the lie that my value lies in someone else’s estimation. i struggle with this everyday.

i am wondering what gives us value because i am wondering how can i know if i am valuable in this world? i know that what i do is common. that is why i do it–to a certain extent. and yet it is the common and ordinary which feels least valued in this world.

it is the struggle against the common against the people which is the self-defining theme of western history.

and i, an insider/outsider to the west, am highly suspect western self-centerings and self-definitions.

but learning arabic reminds me that i belong here too. a nomadic belonging. ghaish means to live. the name ghaisha means life in arabic. swahili is 40 percent arabic. maisha means life in arabic. my parents gave me the name maisha to connect me with people i met 26 years i was born. i had my 26th birthday in the eastern congo. it is a nomadic belonging. but a belonging i can believe in.

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1 Comment

  1. rabfish said,

    you have an amazing blog!

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