Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sooo Translating Ahmed Matar it is!!!!

Democracy is Democracy even if only 7 people Voted!!!
I'm actually very glad that I will have to translate Matar next. I remember when I first started writing Arabic poetry in Grade 4 alot of political stuff that I lost over the years. They weren't at all good but my family pretended I was Hafiz Ibrahim or something so I got a little bit of a "Poet's ego". So my mom came to me one day and she was like of look I wrote a poem too want to hear? And I thought why not! then she started reciting Ahmed Matar's poetry and I thought to myself ah-oh this is really really good and this her first attempt :S :S However to maintain my ego I said it was fine but she needed to work on it. This is when she reveled to me it was actually Matar's work and I was quite embarrassed so I took that huge book of poetry and I read his sarcastic poems and I was really amazed. I tried to model my poems from then on after his and I failed. His poems were such a large part of my life and I love all Iraqis because of him. Anyways fast-forward to 2011 Revolutions Everywhere it seems like Matar's visions are coming true. His most recent poem is a poem for the Syrian Revolution. I found out that he still lives in London I asked everyone I know if they know anyone that could possibly lead me to one of my childhood heroes but alas I found nothing at all!!! One friend jokes A lost Arab in London hmm well you can hang out in Edgware Road and you're bound to run into him. Me being as sad as I am I actually went with my shawarma to Edgware Road still no Ahmed Matar. So if your a stalker, this is my assignment for you. Find me the only man that's ever crushed my ego.
Another thing I don't think too many people read this blog anyways.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This concludes my translation of Ahmed Fouad Negm's Poems

(Your Eyes) عنيكي

English Translation

Your eyes…and your eyes are a travelling voyage
In the desert….and in the oasis
And the longing….sleepless is this world
Neither to slumber…nor to rest
The darkened eyelashes no longer
Call out for the promised

And me, your amorous flirtation sent me to heaven
I drank, there, from the rivers of honey
loved for ages
And me, I lay sleepless many a night, for you
And the people of this world call out to the night

I returned to that travelling voyage
In the desert
And in the oasis

And I call for the night
And for every lover there is the night
O destined heaven
Who came by and asked for us?
Who from our successors cared?
For the roses
From that moment, we were together
Passion is hardship
I returned to that travelling voyage
In the desert
And in the oasis
In your eyes

Arabic Original
عنيكي وعنيكي سكة سفر
في الصحرا .. والواحه
والشوق .. ودنيا السهر
لانوم .. ولا راحه
ولا الرموش السود
بينادوا ع الموعود
وانا اللي خدني الغزل
ع الجنه طوالي
وشربت نهر العسل
وغزلت موالي
وسهرت فيكي الليل
والناس تقول يا ليل
ورجعت سكة سفر
في الصحرا .. والواحه
في عنيكي
وانا باقول يا ليل
ولكل عاشق ليل
يا جنه الملتقي
مين فات سأل عنا
ومين عطف بعدنا
ع الورد .. يا جنه
من لحظه كنا سوا
والعشق كا تباريح
ورجعت سكة سفر
في الصحرا .. والواحه
في عنيكي

( Who are they and who are we?) هما مين و إحنا مين?

English Translation

Who are they and who are we?
They are the princes and the Sultans
They are the ones with wealth and power
And we are the impoverished and deprived
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who is governing whom?
Who are they and who are we?
We are the constructing, we are the workers
We are Al-Sunna, We are Al-Fard
We are the people both height and breadth
From our health, the land raises
And by our sweat, the meadows turn green
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who serves whom?
Who are they and who are we?
They are the princes and the Sultans
They are the mansions and the cars
And the selected women
Consumerist animals
Their job is only to stuff their guts
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who is eating whom?
Who are they and who are we?
We are the war, its stones and fire
We are the army liberating the land
We are the martyrs
Defeated or successful
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who is killing whom?
Who are they and who are we?
They are the princes and the Sultans
They are mere images behind the music
They are the men of politics
Naturally, with blank brains
But with colorful decorative images
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who is betraying whom?
Who are they and who are we?
They are the princes and the Sultans
They wear the latest fashions
But we live seven in a single room
They eat beef and chicken
And we eat nothing but beans
They walk around in private planes
We get crammed in buses
Their lives are nice and flowery
They’re one specie; we are another
Use your mind, guess…
Guess who will defeat whom?

Arabic Original

هما مين و إ حنا مين .. ؟
هما الأمرا و السلاطين ..
هما المال و الحكم معاهم ..
و إحنا الفقرا المحرومين
حزر فزر شغّـل مخك
شوف مين فينا بيحكم مين ؟!!
إحنا مين و هما مين ..
إحنا الفعلا البنايين
إحنا السنة و إحنا الفرض
إحنا الناس بالطول و العرض
من عافيتنا تقوم الارض ..
و عرقنا يخضر بساتين
حزر فزر شغل مخك
شوف مين فينا بيخدم مين ..؟؟!!
هما مين و إحنا مين ؟؟
هما الامرا و السلاطين
هما الفيلا و العربية
و النساوين المتنقية
حيوانات استهلاكية
شغلتهم حشو المصارين
حزر فزر شغل مخك
شوف مين فينا بياكل مين ..؟؟!!!
إحنا مين و هما مين
إحنا قرنفل على ياسمين
إحنا الحرب : حطبها و نارها
و إحنا الجيش اللي يحررها
و إحنا الشهدا بكل مدارها
منكسرين أو منتصرين
حزر فزر شغل مخك
شوف مين فينا بيقتل مين ..؟؟!!!
هما مين و إحنا مين
هما الامرا و السلاطين
هما مناظر بالمزيكا
و الزفة و شغل البوليتيكا
و دماغهم طبعاً استيكا
بس البركة بالميازين
حزر .. فزر شغل مخك
شوف مين فينا بيخدع مين ..؟؟؟!!!
هما مين و إحنا مين
هما الامرا و السلاطين
هما بيلبسوا أخر موضة
و إحنا بنسكن سبعة في أوضة
هما بياكلوا حمام و فراخ
و إحنا الفول دوخنا و داخ
هما بيمشوا بطيارات
و إحنا نموت بالاوتوبيسات
هما حياتهم بامب جميلة
هما فصيلة و إحنا فصيلة
حزر فزر .. شغل مخك
شوف مين فينا حيغلب مين

(What’s wrong with our president?) ماله الريس?

English Translation

I never fret, and will always say
A word, for which, I am responsible
That the president is a compassionate man
Constantly, busy working for his people
Busy, gathering their money
Outside, in Switzerland, saving it for us
In secret bank accounts
Poor guy, looking out for our future
Can’t you see his kindly heart?
In faith and good conscience
He only starves you; so you’d lose the weight
O what a people! In need of a diet
O the ignorance! You talk of “unemployment”
And how condition have become dysfunctional
The man just wants to see you rested
Since when was rest such a burden???
And this talk of the resorts
Why do they call them political prisons??
Why do you have to be so suspicious?
He just wants you to have some fun
With regards to “The Chair[1]”
It is without a doubt
All our fault!!
Couldn’t we buy him a Taflon Chair?
I swear, you mistreated the poor man
He wasted his life away, and for what?
Even your food, he eats it for you!
Devouring all that’s in his way
After all this, what’s wrong with our president?

[1] Power

Arabic Original

أنا مابخفش وحفضل أقول
كلمة حق عليها مسؤل
إن الريس راجل طيب
وبشعبه دايماًَ مشغول
مشغول إنه يلم فلوسهم
بره سويسرا يحوشهلنا
وف حسبات سريه يشلها ....نفسه يأمن مستقبلنا
شفتوا إزاي بقه قلبه رحيم
عنده إيمان وضميره سليم
بيجوعكوا لجل تخسوا
آه يا شعب محتاج لرجيم
من جهلكوا بتقولوا بطاله
وإن الأحوال مش شغاله
دا الراجل نفسه يريحكم
هي الراحه تبقي عواله ؟؟
أما حكاية المنتجعات
ليه بتسموها معتقلات ؟؟؟؟
ليه الظن...... وسوء النيه
نفسه يفسحكوا يا بهوات
أما الكرسي واللى تقال
دا كلام مش محتاج لسؤال
الغلطه دي غلطتنا يا عالم
إن مجبناش كرسي تيفال
والله إنتوا ظالمين الراجل
ضيع عمره ومين يستاهل
حتى الأكل بيكله بدالنا
طالع واكل نازل واكل
ماله الريس بعد دا كله ؟؟؟

(We support your Excellency) نؤيد سيادتك لفترة جديدة

English Translation

We support your Excellency for another term
In which we will continue the happy march
Maybe we can sell the curb
As there is nothing more one can sell

We support your Excellency to achieve more
Than what has already been accomplished under your reign for sure
We are now at last under the mercy of God
And God alone can have mercy on us

We pledge allegiance to your Excellency and no one else
It’s quite enough for us to swarm in your luxury
The people of Egypt are sound asleep
Which tells the thieves, to steal on

We pledge allegiance to your Excellency, your son and his son
There is nothing like an old idea renewed
Our ruin will be at his hand
And as if anyone in you hears to Al-Adhan

We kiss both your hands and feet
Stay with us, Mr. President
Your presence is essential, enforced by the times
Without your presence, we’ll be really lost

Egypt is yours and we are just guests
It’s enough for us to see your face
We excuse your Excellency, we understand your circumstances
You just need to order, we’ll oblige

Your dogs kiss your Excellency’s feet
They, walk above the impoverished
Now the people’s lives, your Excellency, have become
Humiliation, bitterness and insults

As long as we are the people of affiliation
And constantly in a state of absent-mindedness
Don’t pay us in any attention
This is your Excellency’s manor, and in it you are free

Constitution, what constitution? It no longer matters
It’s all nonsense
Isn’t it enough that the corruption sucks
Our hard work, it is nesting and its roots are growing

So what, if the devastation torment us
Daily, catastrophes, scandals, and bribes
We will just sit in the Cafes
Waiting for your heir to follow

Arabic Original

نؤيد سيادتك لفترة جديدة
نكمل خلالها المسيرة السعيدة
و بالمرة فيها نبيع الحديدة
مفيش حاجة تانية نبيعها خلاص
نؤيد سيادتك لأجل المزيد
من اللي تحقق بفضلك أكيد
بقينا خلاص ع الحميد المجيد
و ربك لوحده ف ايده الخلاص
نبايع سيادته ولا حد غيره
كفايا علينا نبرطع في خيره
و نوم شعب مصر العظيمة و شخيره
يقول للحرامي ما تسرق كمان
نبايع سيادته وابنه وحفيده
مفيش زي فكره قديمه و جديده
خرابك يا مالطة حيحصل بايده
ومين فيكي يعني بيسمع آذان
نبوس ايد سيادتك و رجلك كمان
تخليك معانا يا ريس عشان
وجودك ضرورة فرضها الزمان
و من غير وجودك حقيقي نضيع
دي مصر بتاعتك و احنا ضيوفك
كفايا علينا يا ريس نشوفك
و عاذرين سيادتك و فاهمين ظروفك
عليك بس تؤمر و احنا نطيع
في جزمة سيادتك كلابك يبوسوا
و فوق الغلابة بجزمهم يدوسوا
و شعبك ليلاتي يا ريس غموسه
مذلة و مهانة و حوجة و مر
لكن يعني ما دمنا شعب انتساب
و دايما وأبدا ف حالة غياب
متعملش لينا يا ريس حساب
دي عزبة سيادتك و فيها انت حر
و دستور مدستورش مش فارقة خالص
كلام فاضي كله يا فندم بناقص
كفايا علينا الفساد اللي ماصص
عرقنا و معشش و ضارب جذوره
و ايه يعني تهري جتتنا البلاوي
يوماتي كوارث فضايح رشاوي
كفايا علينا القعاد في القهاوي
بنستنى لما الوريث ييجي دوره