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    Identity Card - Poem by Mahmoud Darwish

    Identity Card

    Record !
    I am an Arab
    And my identity card is number fifty thousand
    I have eight children
    And the ninth is coming after a summer
    Will you be angry?

    Record !
    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?

    Record !
    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 !

    Record !
    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?!

    Therefore !
    Record on the top of the first page:
    I do not hate people
    Nor do I encroach
    But if I become hungry
    The usurper's flesh will be my food
    Of my hunger
    And my anger !

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