Aseel Srour Recites “ID Card” Poem by Mahmoud Darwish in Dearborn Open Mic

Aseel Srour recites in the Dearborn Open Mic the famous poem by Mahmoud Darwish titled “Bitaqit Haweyati” (ID Card), and sometimes called “Sajjil Ana Arabi” (Record: I am Arabic).

Aseel Srour is an Arab American college student, born in Dearborn, and learned arabic through Dearborn Saturday schools, in addition to the impressive efforts of her parents, and her amazing determination.  She is a fan of the famous Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish.

She recites in the Dearborn Open Mic the famous poem by Mahmoud Darwish titled “Bitaqit Haweyati” (ID Card), and sometimes called “Sajjil Ana Arabi” (Record: I am Arabic).


“Identity Card” is a poem about Palestinians’ feeling and restriction on expulsion. Darwish repeats “put it on record” and “angry” every stanza. This shows Darwishs’ feeling against foreign occupation. “Record” means “write down”. Darwish wanted Palestinians to write this history event down and remember that they have been excluded. People feel angry when their property and rights were taken away. Palestinians had lived in that land from generation to generation. They took many efforts on their land, so some Palestinians would not want to give up their land.

This poem relates to Mahmoud Darwish’s experience. In the Arab- Israeli war of 1948, Israeli government occupied Birweh, so Palestinians were forced to move and leave their hometown. This recalls me about the American history that U.S. government forced the Native Americans to move to reservations. Many sad stories happened when Native Americans were forced to move. People who experienced exile need to give up some of the property like land they have before and move to another place. This was a hard time for Palestinians because their lives were destroyed, and they needed to start their new lives in a new place. (Source)

The Mahmoud Darwish Poem enraged Lieberman and Regev after an Israeli army radio discussion of the poem.

Here it is translated in 1964 from Arabic by Salman Masalha and Vivian Eden:

ID Card

Mahmoud Darwish

Write it down! I’m an Arab
My card number is 50000
My children number eight
And after this summer, a ninth on his way.
Does this make you rage?
I am an Arab.
With my quarry comrades I labor hard
My children number eight
I tug their bread, their clothes
And their notebooks
From within the rock
I don’t beg at your door
I don’t cower on your threshold
So does this make you rage?
Write it down!
I am an Arab.
I am a name with no honorific.
Patient in a land
Where everything lives in bursting rage
My roots were planted before time was born
Before history began
Before the cypress and the olive trees
Before grass sprouted
My father is from the plough clan
Not from the noble class
My grandfather was a peasant farmer
Had no pedigree
Taught me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me to read
A shack to guard groves is my home,
Made of branches and reeds
Are you pleased with my status?
I am a name with no honorific.
Write it down!
I am an Arab.
Hair color: charcoal
Eye color: brown
A cord around the quffiyeh on my head
My hand as hard as rock
That scratches if you touch it
My address:
I am from a forgotten abandoned village
Its streets nameless
All its men in the fields and quarries
Does this make you rage?
Write it down!
I am an Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors’ groves
And the land we cultivated
I and all my children
Leaving nothing for us and all my grandchildren
Except these rocks
Will your government take them
Like people say?
Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
And I do not steal from anyone
But if I starve
I will eat my oppressor’s flesh
Beware, beware of my starving
And my rage.




A tribute to Mahmoud Darwish:

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