Saturday, April 10, 2010


April 9th was the second Poetry of Palestine night, held at the cute little Cafe la Vie for the second time. The first POP was in February 10th (it's supposed to be every second Wednesday of every month) and saw performances from Remi Kanazi, Tala Abu-Rahme, and Birzeit's very own TA from the English department, Laila Shikaki. There were interludes from Tashweesh, and the atmosphere was buzzing and infectious. The tiny cafe was crowded with people, but we all had such a good time we were prepared to ignore the mass smoking and dragon flasks of beer circling around.

This second night had mostly Arabic poetry from Zakaria Mohammad, Najwan Darwish, and from Haifa, Asmaa Azaizeh (who has such a deep melodic voice). Tashweesh participated again, and after 8 pm there was an open mic session where wannabes can read their words they have ripped off from somewhere. Ok, that's harsh, but it's part of our hilariously (un)witty humor. A cultural anthropologist from Montreal, Canada also performed, and she was one of the few English voices of the night. Her poems she sang in a most beautiful voice. Yet for the life of us we can't remember her name...Nira..somethingRussianesque. As opposed to the first POP night, instead of standing seats were provided.The atmosphere was a little quiet, but we blame that on the putrid smoking fumes infesting our brain cells. Seriously, the hell is up with that? We never knew we could hold our breaths for as long as two poem readings just so we won't end up dying at the tender age of 25 from second hand smoking.

Our sardonic nature made us a bit disorientated with the night though. How can we articulate this eloquently...let's start with Disillusionment. The first POP night seriously inspired us. Here's a secret: we wrote a few poems. Yep. We were on a roll, we had fixed in our minds that we could single-handedly turn Birzeit Uni into a love shack, liberate Palestine, and achieve world peace. It was all in our capability. Yesterday night, as we looked around, we started to make fun of the people in attendance. Including ourselves, since we have no shame. What kind of people are we? Are we turning into that layer of Palestinian society, the "artistic artists", the ones who grow out their hair and wear a satchel and sit in cafes/coffee shops smoking and typing away at laptops, quoting a couple of verses from Mahmoud Darwish's poems to make themselves sound 'cultured', getting high on cannabis and viewing the rest of the people as sad, unhappy fools who just need LOVE in their lives, unaware that they're the ones who have gone off the deep end by making a lover a figment of their imagination and calling her Rita?

We need to go lie down.

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