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    IFLAC is a voluntary Association that strives for peace by building bridges of understanding and peace through culture, literature and communication. IFLAC is founded and directed by Egyptian-born Israeli writer Ada Aharoni (Ph.D), since 1999.

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    Wind of Change: A Comment to Mahinour Tawfik’s poem “Chained Wings”

    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

    8 Comments on “Wind of Change: A Comment to Mahinour Tawfik’s poem “Chained Wings””

    1. Dear Dr Hilarie ,

      My sincerest thanks for your comment that has built up so much faith in me and belief that poetry could have a deep impact, stand up against wars, famines and inhumanities

      The pain is already there but it’s our duty to steal it from the innocents & defenseless, Mistakes have already been made, but eyes are more guilty when they are shut, giving in

      One person can’t save the whole world
      But the world can be saved if each individual tried, The simplest can do so much

      Consciences exist but silenced, adapted to the bigotry
      Others refuse to accept that the truth out there “apart from theirs “is devastating

      Despite the fact that their peace was made through the struggles of many innocents,
      Now it is our turn to pay our debt to humanity

      Australian Lands are witnesses, irrigated by their bloods and sweats
      skulls and bone have mixed with the silt ,no power on earth can separate them

      Injustice can never last forever, no matter how long it exists, no matter how much power, money, it is defended by

      I am sorry for humanity but feeling sorry is never enough for me
      I promised that I will never gag my voice until the last day

      If I had to fight for centuries to save one innocent, That’s more than enough

      We need to find mercy in our hearts for humanity, for our brothers, for innocents we don’t know before we ask the aggressors

      Thanks again

      Mahinour Tawfik


      • adaaharoni06 says:

        Dear Mahinoor Tawfik,
        Your poem is moving and well written, but unfortunately it only perpetuates the chaining of wings and does not free them. I too was born in Egypt and had to leave with my family in 1949. I invite you to listen to my PEACE POETRY READING for PEACE DAY on this IFLAC website, in which I tell my story through poems and music, and spread my hand in peace to my Palestinian neighbors, at.
        I hope a Peace Treaty between Palestinians and Israelis will be reached soon, like the Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel and Jordan and Israel, with the help of our poems too.
        Prof. Ada Aharoni
        IFLAC Founding President

        Liked by 1 person

        • Prof Ada,

          Thanks for considering my poem
          I understand what you have said, the Palestinian refugees’ crises in 1948 created another one in the Arab countries, where Jews fled in fear during the Arab-Israeli war,
          Until this day there are massive causalities on both sides, this can’t be denied,

          I too wish for a permanent ceasefire to prevent further losses “on both sides “and help peace pervade among the whole world

          In the end of the poem, I wrote
          Until my wings can break the chains
          until my voice can sing again,
          So I am not making the chains perpetual

          And as a poet-human, I want to save innocents’ lives regardless of age-sex-race- religion They are Innocents
          And you are right; it is our duty to help them find a solution

          May God strengthen us
          To spread peace among humanity
          I will be glad to read your poems 🙂 🙂

          With all my respect  

          Mahinour Tawfik

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks for a dignified reply, Mahinour. I believe you capture the pain very well in your poem. It’s genuine, and it’s your voice, and nowhere do you say that the chains are perpetual. Seen through my unbiased glasses, your poem ends on a hopeful note, and I pity those who do not see that. It’s legitimate to picture moments of pain and injustice or love or whatever in poems, or to shout or whisper. Not every poem has to be an overly explained political manifesto for the message to shine through. Keep writing. We need new and modern voices to change old mindsets. 🙂


            • Thank you for getting the drift of my message ,
              I am glad I was able to convey it , There will always be hope,
              we will always whisper and shout to wake up humanity and recall consciences to life,

              There will always be hope, as long as voices are listened to
              Thank you for listening to mine  

              Liked by 2 people

            • adaaharoni06 says:

              Dear Mahinoor,

              Thanks for your reply, you are a true poet and I appreciate your deep feelings. President Assissi is right in saying this week that it was high time Palestinians and Israelis should make peace, and we poets and writers should help to promote the atmosphere of peacemaking.
              Palestinian poetry sometimes tends to victimization and to spread hatred of the Israeli “aggressor”, which of course does not help to create an atmosphere of peace. These poets forget, or perhaps do not know, that when the majority of the United Nations in 1947 voted for the establishment of the State of Israel, it was decided that there would be TWO STATES: PALESTINE and ISRAEL. The Israelis agreed, but the Palestinians refused and said No we want the whole. Seven Arab States fought against Israel then, and Israel won. Since then the Palestinians have tried to destroy Israel in five bitter wars that have caused rivers of blood to flow on both sides. In the Hamas Charter until today it is written that Israel and all the Jews have to be destroyed!
              We poets should base our poetry on real facts and help to change hatred into understanding and into bridges of peace. I am very glad you agree with me, I would be happy to hear what you think about my poetry. Prof. Mohamed Fawzi Daif, of Minha University, wrote a book about my poetry called “The Meaning of Peace in the Poetry of Ada Aharoni: “Mafhoum el Salaam Fe Sheer Ada Aharoni.” It is a beautiful book which i cherish, and I was glad to see him recently on Cairo TV talking about me, my peace poems and about his book. He translated my poems into beautiful Arabic and they appear in Hebrew and Arabic face to face in his book. You can read a little about his book on my Homepage, which Solveig expertly directs at:
              \i warmly invite you to join IFLAC and our daily IFLAC Digest, in which yoiu can publish you beautiful poetry yourself, if you become a member. As Solveig said, we indeed need bright and talented young people like you. I was glad too to read that you are studying medecine. My son too studied Medecine, and he is a Gynecologist in Haifa.
              With you Mahinoor, Solveig, Hany Eldeib (who was born in Egypt), and is our Iflac Digest director, Motti Gerner our IFLAC Radio Director, and all the fine members we have at IFLAC together with other NGO Peace groups, I hope we will soon have peace, and the Palestinians will have their own Palestinian State and flourish by the side of their neighbor Israel.

              With warmest peace wishes,
              Ada Aharoni


    2. adaaharoni06 says:

      Dear Hilarie,

      Your comparison of the Palestinians to the Aborigines in Australia is unfortunately far-fetched and wrong. You are invited to listen to the reading of my peace poems and music on this IFLAC website at: that shows the real story and promotes peace between Palestinians and israelis.
      In peace,
      Ada Aharoni

      Liked by 1 person

      • What I read in Hilarie’s comment is the need for repentance and reconciliation, to say sorry. When time comes, there will be plenty to apologize for on all sides in the I-P conflict, including your country, Ada. It’s not just about who had the highest number of refugees in 1948.

        So many atrocities, so much bullying and humiliation of the other, suicide bombings and evictions. So much self-righteousness and yesterday’s thinking. Enough responsibility for both parties to take.


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