Will you carry me?

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

Mahmoud Darwish

Did you tire from the walk
my son, did you tire?
Yes, my father
The night has become long across the path
And the heart on your night’s earth
You didn’t cease to move with light steps like a cat
Climb on my shoulder
We will cross shortly
The final forest of oak trees
This is the Northern Galilee
And Lebanon is beyond it
And the sky is all ours
From Damascus to Acre’s beautiful stone wall
Then what?
We will return home
Do you know the path my son?
Yes, my father:
North of the main street’s Carob trees
A small path further narrowed by cactus
in the beginning, then as it continues to the water well
it widens and widens, until it looks
onto the vineyard of uncle Jameel
the seller of tobacco and sweets
Then it loses itself on the floor,
Before righting itself and heading home,
In the image of a parrot
Do you know the house my son?
Like I know the path, I know it:
Jasmine covers the wrought iron gate
And footsteps of light paint the stone stairs
And sunflowers in the backyard garden
And a pleasant bumble bee circles my grandfather’s breakfast
On its bamboo plate
And in the yard of the house is a water well, and willows, and a horse
And over the fence sway our leaves…
My father, did you tire
Is that sweat I see in your eyes?
My son I’m tired… will you carry me?
Just like you used to carry me my father
And I will carry this longing
my beginning and its beginning
And I will cross this path to
my end…and to its end