textual analysis essay draft 1

Hebah Kharoufeh

English 1121


Assignment textual analysis essay draft 1

In Jerusalem

     Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet, once said. “We suffer from an incurable disease called hope.”  The poem “In Jerusalem” by Tamim Al-Barghouti was written after the poet was denied from entering Jerusalem because he was under 35 years of age. “Israel” claimed it was for security reasons. Barghouti discusses the Old City, Jerusalem, in three views: defining the city, diversity, and the never lost hope.

     Barghouti starts his poem defining his relationship with Jerusalem as two lovers separated by the rules and regulations of the Israeli occupation. As soon as he was turned back Barghouti starts visualizing himself walking through the streets of the Old City. He sees what he cannot bear. People from many different nations all in the city that he and many other Palestinians struggle to enter. To Barghouti Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem, is a human, a lover. Everything in the city has a tongue. You can ask any creature, wall, or street and they will disclose an answer.  Al-Quds’s identification of beauty is an octagonal blue building topped with a mirror like, curved, golden, dome. The Dome of the Rock is a very significant piece of art. Its walls are decorated with citations from the Koran and beautiful decorations that catch the eye of all tourists in spite of their religious beliefs. In Al-Quds there is a strong bond between its people and the sky; they protect each other. Although the Israelis try to deny the history of the Palestinians. History marks the graves arrayed and writes them in the book of soil.

     Another view is diversity. As Barghouti defines Jerusalem he stumbles upon many diverse people. He comes across a cabbage vender from Georgia. Although they are both in the streets of Jerusalem yet they differ in their plans and in their thoughts. Moving on he walks by blond European tourists and again he compares them to himself. “Al-Quds they never see” Barghouti says. Meaning the city doesn’t mean the same to both of them nor does it mean the same to the cabbage vender. Continuing the diversity the poet mentions a school for a Memluke, an Egyptian slave, who came from beyond the rivers. That same Memmluke was sold to a Baghdadi merchant in a slave market in Asfahan. He was taken to Allepo and there he was given to a caravan going to Eygpt. Back in his motherland this slave became the Mongols defeater and a sultan. While walking Barghouti passes by a perfumer’s shop the smell establishes Babylon and India in that shop. Barghouti reaches an end in his journey through the streets of Jerusalem. He notices that everyone passes from here. He defines the kindness of the city saying “Al-Quds accepts anybody who visits it” yet the kindness of the city is restricted by the bitterness of the occupier. Even though the city is open to all the languages that the poet passed by but the enemy is blocking the way with its laws and walls.

     The last view is the never lost hope. Despite the smell of tear gas bombs Barghouti seems comforted by the words he heard from the gas telling him not to worry. Although Al-Quds has been through many nakabat, tragedies, “a smell of childhood there is in the wind… the wind of innocence” Tamim decribes the hope in the air. In that same innocent wind you will see pigeons flying from between two bullets announcing a state. Hope is never lost. Tamim ends his poem describing a smile that reached to him from between his tears and comforted him. He was told that there is hope.

   Jerusalem greets Tamim with closed doors. He reaches the checkpoint and gets turned away by the closed gates but his mind gave him a scenario of the old city but it wasn’t equivalent to actually entering the city. Armed with machineguns the solders stand “protecting” the gates which lead to the Old City. The cab driver turns around as the golden dome flashes in the mirror. The poets three views: diversity, closed doors, and the absolutely never lost hope were all left behind.