Our Father’s Day episode (#18: Shouki, Arak with Baba) features and honors the legacy of Dr. Shouki Kassis, father of Laila Kassis (#4: Laila, Goat’s Milk Labane). In the episode we hear about Amo Shouki’s childhood memories of his father. We also hear from Laila, Asma, and Noora about their father and grandfather. In the episode, Laila shares an excerpt from a poem that she read at her father’s memorial five months ago. We have included the poem in full in this blog post; “To my end… and to it’s end” by Mahmoud Darwish.
Amo Shouki (right of center in the dark sweater) cutting his father’s (bottom left) birthday cake.
To my end… and to its end
Did you tire from the walkmy son, did you tire?Yes, my fatherThe night has become long across the pathAnd the heart on your night’s earthYou didn’t cease to move with light steps like a catClimb on my shoulderWe will cross shortlyThe final forest of oak treesThis is the Northern GalileeAnd Lebanon is beyond itAnd the sky is all oursFrom Damascus to Acre’s beautiful stone wallThen what?We will return homeDo you know the path my son?Yes, my father:North of the main street’s Carob treesA small path further narrowed by cactusin the beginning, then as it continues to the water wellit widens and widens, until it looksonto the vineyard of uncle Jameelthe seller of tobacco and sweetsThen it loses itself on the floor,Before righting itself and heading home,In the image of a parrotDo you know the house my son?Like I know the path, I know it:Jasmine covers the wrought iron gateAnd footsteps of light paint the stone stairsAnd sunflowers in the backyard gardenAnd a pleasant bumble bee circles my grandfather’s breakfastOn its bamboo plateAnd in the yard of the house is a water well, and willows, and a horseAnd over the fence sway our leaves…My father, did you tireIs that sweat I see in your eyes?My son I’m tired… will you carry me?Just like you used to carry me my fatherAnd I will carry this longingTomy beginning and its beginningAnd I will cross this path tomy end…and to its end