Muzaffar Al-Nawab: Poems

Palestine, The Raped Woman College

In the poems Awlad al-Kahba (Sons of a Bitch) by Mudhafar Al-Nawab and Face Lost in the Wilderness by Fadwa Tuqan, there is great commonality in each poet’s personification of Jerusalem as a raped girl. Through the perspective of each poet, both works reflect upon the diminution of Jerusalem through a gruesome occupation that took its toll on the land just as a rapist takes their toll on a victim. Both poems personify Jerusalem as a girl who is being raped to demonstrate what the strain of an Israeli occupation on the city and the neglect of the international community looks and feels like. It is interesting to examine that both poet’s decision to describe Jerusalem as female; however, even though the depiction of Jerusalem as a raped girl is similar, the purpose of doing so and the meaning of each differs between poems.

Tuqan uses it as a mechanism to enhance her elegy and use the brutality of rape to emphasize the grief she feels for the brutality that Jerusalem is receiving. By describing Jerusalem as a “raped girl”, the vulnerability and helplessness that Jerusalem feels under occupation is similar to that of a raped girl. Conversely, al-Nawab’s poem invokes a sense of revolution and a demand for justice. He compares the...

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