Tahar Bekri

Tahar Bekri photo Al Manar

Tahar Bekri Poet, born at Gabès in Tunisia in 1951. He lives in Paris. He writes in French and Arabic and has published about thirty works (poetry, essays, art books). His poetry has been translated into various languages and is the subject of academic works. Prix de Rayonnement de la langue et de la littérature françaises, Académie Française, 2019. Honorary Maître de Conférences at Université de Paris X-Nanterre. Latest publications: Chants pour la Tunisie, Al Manar, 2023, Par-delà les lueurs, Al Manar, 2021; Le Livre du souvenir, 2016, Elyzad Tunis.

I condemn you dire bigotries

We want to build a Tunisia
Brotherly tolerant hospitable
Respecting the faith beliefs of each and all
We want to live together in accord
Peace solidarity openness dialogue
Not in hatred violence mortifying spirit
We want to be on the side of life
No to sowing terror setting up death
To spilling blood
We want to spread the light
To raise the Enlightened
No to darkness fanaticism murderous reason
Not in my name
I condemn the madness the demons
I empathize with the loss of human life
It is a day of sorrow
In Djerba as elsewhere
I want to console you peace
To take the bad blood out of the thugs
To come to your rescue
Defend you with my face and hand
Against the noise of gunloops

10 May 2023 Tahar Bekri
© Translation of French by Patrick Williamson

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Published with the permission of Tahar Bekri