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I Am Your Brother, Adam

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I am Your Brother, Adam

Written by ArShad

I am Malaysian Pakistani and Somali and Arab:

I am Turk and Irani and native of the Maldives:

My home is in Paris, Berlin, London;

in Mexico City, Port-of-Spain, Durban;

in Karachi, Zagazig or Kuala Lumpur,

I am as at home sailing in a lateen

rigged baggala along the red-rock Oman

shores bound for Socotra's island as I

am crossing the Khyber Pass in a camel

caravan...or driving a Mercedes taxi

in Istanbul.

Na'am, aiwa, acha, kha,

I am your brother, Adam.

You will know me in the mosques when

I stand shoulder to shoulder with you

and wish you peace when prayer is done:

and you may see me in Isfahan talking with

a miniature painter or in Dera Ismail Khan

listening to a young and vocal teacher of

Urdu or in Medan listening to a old man

chanting the Quran or in Sacramento listening

to a college boy who has all the problems

of the universe solved.

You will know me becuase I am your brother

and in a real and forceful sense I am

a part of you, dependent on you as you are

dependent on rocks in a city wall...

round as the ancient wall of Baghdad.

I am Egyption and Tunisian and Syrian:

I am Berber and Kurd; Fulani and Nausherwani

and Pawenda;

I am Maliki, Hanafi, Hanbali, and Shafii:

all these I am, for I am your brother

standing besides you in the mosque waiting

for the iqama...white-garbed in the plain

of Arafat...fasting with you in Ramadan.

I am at home in the black tents of the bedu

and the tall buildings of Hadhramaut...;

I am always lingering at the Great Mosque

to circle the Kaaba and to kiss the hajr

al-aswad and drink from the well of Zamzam;

and I am standing, too, in the Haraam ash-sharif

in Jerusalem and in Karbala...and all of them,

each of them, has meaning on meaning for me.

Na'am ya habibi, ya azizi, ya akhi,

I am your brother Adam.

You will know me when you see me

becuase I wll be fingering my beads

and you will know well what this means...


You will know me and I will know you

for we are real brothers; and I am of

one place as I am of much a

part of one as the other; the lover

of all lands where I can listen to the

call of the muezzin coming over the night,

or hear the beat of a single Muslim heart.

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