Mnawar Smadah's "Kalimet" ("Words")*

in double translation from Arabic into English (by Omar Besbes)

and from English into Greek (by George Baloglou)

as sung by Sonia M'barek (music by Ahmed Ashoor)

3indama konto sagheeran konto ahbool kalimet

When I was a child, I used to crawl with words

Konto tiflan al3abol harfa wa alhool kalimet

I was a child playing with letters, amusing myself with words

Arkodol ahlema arkodol awhama khalfal kalimet

Going through dreams, going through fantasies after words

Wara'a zamanil haribi a3dool kalimet

Running after the evading time, along with words

Aaahin wa ta'alamtoo katheeran fi jirahil kalimet

I suffered a lot from words'wounds

Wa safahtol 3omra dam3an min 3oyoonil kalimet

I streamed life tears from the words' eyes

Wa laqad mitoo miraran fi sabeelil kalimet

I died so many times for the sake of words

Salabooha thoma ja'oo wa rathoohal kalimet

They crucified them and now they mourn for the words

Aaahin fa sodooro nasi qad kanat qobooral kalimet

Actually people's minds are the words' tombs

Yastajeerona biha minha wa aynal kalimet?

They fight the words with words, and where are words now?

Qol liman hamhama fi nasi wa khafal kalimet

Tell those of us who are jabbering and fearing words

Inama anta shifafon dami'at lil kalimet

That they are lips longing for words

Wa takhsha nasa walhaqo raheenol kalimet

You fear people but justice can't be done without words

Fa takalam wa ta'alam wa law tamot fil kalimet

Speak up and suffer even if you die for the sake of the words

Aaahin shahidon anta 3alayhim wa 3alaykal kalimet

You are a witness. Thus speak up

Wa yamootoona bila thikra wa tabqal kalimet

They die without remembrance but words remain

*entire poem (in Arabic script) available at &