Identity Card

By Mahmoud Darwish

Write down ! 
I am an Arab 
And my identity card number is fifty thousand 
I have eight children 
And the ninth will come after a summer 
Will you be angry? 
Write down! 
I am an Arab 
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry 
I have eight children 
I get them bread 
Garments and books 
from the rocks.. 
I do not supplicate charity at your doors 
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber 
So will you be angry? 
Write down! 
I am an Arab 
I have a name without a title 
Patient in a country 
Where people are enraged 
My roots 
Were entrenched before the birth of time 
And before the opening of the eras 
Before the pines, and the olive trees 
And before the grass grew. 
My father.. descends from the family of the plow 
Not from a privileged class 
And my grandfather..was a farmer 
Neither well-bred, nor well-born! 
Teaches me the pride of the sun 
Before teaching me how to read 
And my house is like a watchman's hut 
Made of branches and cane 
Are you satisfied with my status? 
I have a name without a title! 
Write down! 
I am an Arab 
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors 
And the land which I cultivated 
Along with my children 
And you left nothing for us 
Except for these rocks.. 
So will the State take them 
As it has been said?! 
Write down on the top of the first page: 
I do not hate poeple 
Nor do I encroach 
But if I become hungry 
The usurper's flesh will be my food 
Of my hunger 
And my anger!

Listen to the famous song of this poem, for which Mr Darwish  was placed under house arrest by Israeli Occupation: 

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Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
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