Ali Habash

Iraqi poet Ali Habash was born in Baghdad 1965 and started publishing his works in 1985. His poems have appeared in all Iraqi and Arab newspapers. His first book of poetry (Years without Reason) was issued in 2001 in Tunis. His poetry has been translated into French. He is a journalist for Al Khaleej, a newspaper in The United Arab Emirates.




Rockets Destroying a Happy Family

Rockets fill my heart and head
Time is running by
All your friends are being blamed
  for this, Oh Iraq.
These are our dreams
Barbed wire crowds the streets
and people are entangled by it
and get lost in between.

I tried to slip through all this chaos.
I saw a family trying to climb a truck
and I saw a child with eye
full of tears behind a tank
and I saw a coffin waiting
beside the Euphrates bank.

Life has no meaning anymore.
Just tons of metal and iron
Are all these arms just for me,
For my children, my old home.

Questions for Reflection: “Rockets Destroying a Happy Family” 

  1. Have you seen pictures of rocket attacks or heard their deafening noise? How do you think you would feel in being in the middle of an attack? What would it do you physically? Mentally?
  2. Who is blaming whom for this destruction?
  3. What is being implied by the dream? 
  4. What emotion does this poem instill in you? What emotion do you think is being felt by the poet?
  5. What answer do you think the poet expects to get for the question he raises in the poem? What do you believe is the answer?