[QODLink]
Artscape: Poets of Protest

Hala Mohammad: Waiting for Spring

Exiled in Paris, the Syrian poet despairs for her country as the crisis there deepens.

Last updated: 23 Mar 2014 07:13
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Renowned and outspoken Syrian poet Hala Mohammad explains how she thinks poetry was essential to the political awakening in the Middle East, and especially to the fight against Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.

Her work is respected for tackling memory, fear, alienation and loneliness and they are feelings which pervade this moving meditation from a woman trapped in exile for medical reasons.

She may be living in Paris, the city of romance, but her stay is marked by despair and claustrophobia as she is forced to watch from afar the deepening crisis in her country.

But even with her faith in politics exhausted, Hala retains her belief in the power of poetry to inspire change.

Filmmaker's view: Watching from afar

About the series

Poets of Protest reflects the poet's view of the change sweeping the Middle East and North Africa through its intimate profiles of six contemporary writers as they struggle to lead, to interpret and to inspire.

Poetry lives and breathes in the Middle East as in few other places.

In a region long dominated by authoritarian regimes, poetry is the medium for expressing people's hopes, dreams and frustrations. Poets became historians, journalists, entertainers - and even revolutionaries.

By Yasmin Fedda 

I have been visiting Syria all of my life and when the uprising began I felt hopeful that much needed change would come to the country.

However, as time goes on, and more people are killed, it becomes an increasingly painful struggle. At the same time, it has been inspiring to see and read about the artistic work and courage of protesters in Syria.

I wanted to find out more about how Syrian poets are responding to the conflict and uprising in their country.

When I came across the poems of Hala Mohammad I was struck by their clear, refined structures and use of everyday language to evoke her feelings and thoughts about what was happening in her country as she watched from afar, exiled in Paris.

I also wanted to use this film to highlight the work of artists, poets and protesters on the ground in Syria - people who have been finding creative ways to express and resist ever increasing violence and oppression.

Poets of Protest was first broadcast in 2012

 

This episode of Artscape: Poets of Protest can be seen from Saturday, March 22, at the following times GMT: Satudary: 2230; Sunday 0930; Monday 0330; Tuesday 1630.

Click here for more Artscape: Poets of Protest.

502

Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.
Mail Chimp Subscription Form 2
join our mailing list