Simorgh At Islamabad Arrivals

In Islamabad arrivals, a great hullabaloo arose, like a volcano erupting. Hundreds of tired and disgruntled travellers crowded the luggage belts, struggling to catch sight of their possessions, like a flock of herons, frantically searching the water for fish. Faces scowled; babies wailed; ladies sat back, fanning themselves with their scarves. It had been two hours; their luggage had failed to arrive and, to make matters worse, the luggage of the next arrivals was beginning to appear instead.

“What the hell is this!” yelled a large, moustachioed fellow, in a rich, white salwar qameez. The officials, in blue uniforms, continued to play dumb, expressing platitudes: “we have some technical difficulties… One of the computers has malfunctioned, but it will be fixed, and your luggage will be here soon.”

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Never Again, They Said

Never again, will it happen, they said

Never again, will the Nazis purge, they said

Never again, will the children of Israel grieve, they said

Never again will we sit by

While they use their poisoned words, they said

While they call them vermin, rats and traitors, they said

While they spread their hate and theories, they said

About their faith and about their intentions, they said

While they say the Jews are treacherous, they said

While they prepare the ground for the gassings and rapes

While their poison works through the public’s veins, they said

While their headlines and stories purvey the hate, they said

While their propaganda blinds the masses, they said

Never again will such hatred breed, they said

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Ramadan Poem

Ramadan is a month of fasting

From dawn to dusk every day

The rewards of which are everlasting

We observe our fast and we pray

Ramadan is the month of the Holy Quran

The month of God’s revelation

We read the Quran full of patience and calm

And we feel our souls’ elevation

In the morning, we rise for an early meal

We call it suhoor or sehri

Porridge and fruit so no hunger we feel

And yoghurt, some toast and berries.

Then all through the day we continue our fast

No eating, not even any drinking

So slowly and gently the time seems to pass

Eventually our bodies sync in

During our fasting in our Ramadan

The point is to be a better person

Our actions should conjure patience and charm

We should promote our better version

The actions, the fasting, the praying this month

Should make us become inspired people

The hunger we feel should provoke gratitude

Our thirst should make us better people

In the evening upon the repose of the sun

We open our fast with dates and water

Our hearts are so glad and enriched with the food

Our throats are enhanced with flowing water

Then after iftar the evening supper

We observe some special prayers

Taraweeh, a cycle of eight or twenty

Exquisite verses we hear

In the final ten days, we increase in our prayers

We believe these days are really blessed

The night of power counts for one thousand months

The mercy of God is our lesson

Then upon the appearance of the crescent moon

We rejoice on the night of joyful Eid

The families exult and prepare lovely food

There’s sweets, offerings and lovely mehndi

I hope I have told you about Ramadan

In some clear and engaging poetry

And now I am off to adjust my alarm

Soon I’ll be waking really early!