EllusiveID: when IDs are illusive and elusive.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I cannot not start the first issue but by Rauda Morcus’s poem. Rauda is a Palestinian lesbian living in Palestine. She is one of the most active and out-spoken woman in Aswat, a Palestinian lesbian group- based in Haifa, Palestine. Aswat (أصوات) means voices in Arabic, and it is a courageous group of women, who decided to act on their sexual and political positioning and form a group that deals with all what lesbian Palestinian women go through in a patriarchal society and in an apartheid Zionist state.
The poem speaks about the concepts of departure, displacement, denial of acknowledgment, violence, absence, presence and illegal status, all in the context of Palestinians living inside the so called “state of Israel”.
The poem is one of my favourite since it pictures accurately the reality of many Palestinians who live inside Israel and has to deal with the state paradoxical position towards them as presence-absentee: they exist but they do not exist. In fact since 1948 the “state of Israel’ has not really done much to reconfigure how to deal with the existence of ‘non-Jews’, once we are demographic problem, once we are Falafel, Hummus, Tabouleh, belly-dancing, ‘primitive’ weddings, and others security threat or pregnant women with bombs.
Life under colonization, imperialism or occupation is about ongoing forced “Departures”:

سأرحل مدينة، بيت سقف وسرير
سأرحل أنا مكان أو حتى حياة
مهجرة أنا داخل أرضي وبلادي
سجينة أنا داخل بيتي، أرضي وبلادي
سأرحل مدينة ومكان
لأول مرة في حياتي رحيل
أحد عليك تل-أبيب
بلد شبابي
طفلة، فتاة، امرأة كنت في قرية
عنف وقسوة ما قد يذكره جسدي
فتاة، طالبة، امرأة كنت هنا
مثلية، فلسطينية و ضحية هكذا أذكر
في تل-أبيب
مثلية، فلسطينية، شاعرة وعاشقة
مدينة حاضري أنا رحيلتك
مهجرة أنا داخل أرضي وبيتي
غير قانونية أنا في كل مكان
بدون هوية مكان أو حتى قصيدة

Departing a city, a house, a bed, a roof
Departing I am, a place or even a life
Displaced I am inside my country, my land
A prisoner I am inside my home, my country, my land
Departing a city, a place
For the first time in my life, departure
Mourning you Tel-Aviv… the city of my maturation
A child, a girl, a woman I was in a village
Violence, aggression all that my body knew
A girl, a student, a woman I was here
Lesbian, feminist and a victim I remember
In Tel-Aviv suicide
Lesbian, Palestinian, poet and a lover
The city of my presence I am leaving you
I am displaced in my land, and my home
Illegal in every place
Even my identity does not exist
Without “status” or poems

Rauda Morcus
2003-Translated from Arabic


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