Nation of stars
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 1, 2007
Sometimes I see graffiti that baffles me, like this one, which I noticed a few weeks ago but only got around to photographing this morning:
I see that in the meantime it has been tagged by the heart-bomb graffiti artist, who has been peppering Hamra with a new crop of February’s romantically explosive images.
Translated, the graffiti says:
the nation of stars
I am here
But what does it mean? And how to punctuate it? Should it read:
Nation of stars – I am here!
the nation of stars, and I am here
I thought it might be a quote (the omnipresent Fayrouz, perhaps?), but google searches in both Arabic and English have turned up nothing.
I have no idea what the correct punctuation should be (though eagerly await any suggestions!), but I love the way it looks on the wall.
I love it. I post this piece on the mysterious graffiti, turn off my computer and head off to meet K for lunch, and come back to find that H has not only identified the phrase – its the first line of a poem called “Watan al-Nujoum” but also provided a link to it. Its author is the early 20th century Lebanese poet Ilya (Elie) Abu Madi.
H says: you should hear little children sing it at school – its a huge performance, with hand gestures and all.
I can’t wait. I’m going to waylay some pre-schoolers and get them to perform this poem for me :P!