Wind of Change: A Comment to Mahinour Tawfik’s poem “Chained Wings”Posted: 2015/09/28
Text: Solveig Hansen
Mahinour Tawfik’s poem Chained Wings (The Palestinian Song) has been very well received on this site, with almost 150 Likes on Facebook within the first 24 hours.
“…Silenced with chained wings
Crying for Humanity, for conscience
For mercy and for justice…”
In her comment to the poem below, Hilarie Roseman writes that Mahinour Tawfik “seems to be blown in the wind, seeing things from afar, but with her wings chained. She is, in another way, the wind of change herself.” She goes on talking about the plight of the Aboriginals in Australia and how long they had to wait for an apology. “Why does it take so long to say sorry?”
There is an age difference of sixty years between the two of them. Mahinour Tawfik is a 22 year old medical student from Egypt, while Australian Hilarie Roseman graduated in 2014 (at the age of 82!) with her PhD in international communications focusing on Abrahamic communities, and the role of forgiveness. Her thesis, Generating Forgiveness and Constructing Peace through Truthful Dialogue: Abrahamic Perspectives, has been published by Dignity Press.
Wind of Change: A Comment to Mahinour Tawfik’s poem “Chained Wings”
By Hilarie Roseman
I write this comment with the face of an Australia Aboriginal in front of me. He is crying. The Government have given him, and his tribe, part of their original land to care for and regenerate. In his face I see the hope that Mahinour Tawfik is writing about, the hope of her land regenerated with humanity, conscience, mercy and justice. She seems to be blown in the wind, seeing things from afar, but with her wings chained. She is, in another way, the wind of change herself.
The winds of change have taken a long time to blow for the Aboriginals in Australia. For over two hundred years they have suffered under the rule of white people who have ruined their land for profit…and sometimes just for sheer laziness and convenience. I remember trying to get some help to rehabilitate the beautiful waters of the East Gippsland Lakes. My granddaughter had been taken ill because she had swum in them. And those in power just brushed me off. There was no way forward.
It was a different scenario with openly acknowledging the massacres of Aboriginals in the area. Their bones and skulls were buried in the silt, and sometimes caught in the fishermen’s nets. I set out to paint a narrative to show that, even if the white people had forgotten what they had done, the land had not. The land itself keeps the history and the blood of yesterday. The spirits of those who suffered and have not been buried, wait. The paintings were exhibited, and in due course engendered enough energy for the Bishop to come down and say “sorry”. “Why has it taken so long” he said, “to say sorry?”
Indeed, we can echo the same question, “Why does it take so long to say “sorry”? What can we do to bring a sense of responsibility and hope, mercy and justice. It is the artists and the poets like Mahinour Tawfik who will speak from the heart and pave the way for repentance and reconciliation. Our wings will be unchained, and we can construct a lasting peace.
Hilarie Roseman PhD 28th September, 2015