Identity Card

Record!I am an ArabAnd my identity card is number fifty thousandI have eight childrenAnd the nineth is coming after a summerWill you be angry? Record!I am an ArabEmployed with fellow workers at a quarryI have eight childrenI get them breadGarments and booksfrom the rocks..I do not supplicate charity at your doorsNor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamberSo will you be angry? Record!I am an ArabI have a name without a titlePatient in a countryWhere people are enragedMy rootsWere entrenched before the birth of timeAnd before the opening of the erasBefore the pines, and the olive treesAnd before the grass grew My father.. descends from the family of the plowNot from a privileged classAnd my grandfather..was a farmerNeither well-bred, nor well-born!Teaches me the pride of the sunBefore teaching me how to readAnd my house is like a watchman’s hutMade of branches and caneAre you satisfied with my status?I have a name without a title! Record!I am an ArabYou have stolen the orchards of my ancestorsAnd the land which I cultivatedAlong with my childrenAnd you left nothing for usExcept for these rocks..So will the State take themAs it has been said?! Therefore!Record on the top of the first page:I do not hate poepleNor do I encroachBut if I become hungryThe usurper’s flesh will be my foodBeware..Beware..Of my hungerAnd my anger!

by Mahmoud Darwish