During the French occupation of his country in the early 1900s, Tunisian poet Abo Al Qassim Al Shabbi wrote a poem that has become
a rallying call for protestors in Tunisia and Egypt:
To the Tyrants of the World
Lovers of darkness…
Enemies of life…
You've made fun of innocent people's wounds;
Your palm covered with their blood.
You deformed the magic of existence
And planted the seeds of sorrow in the fields
Wait, don’t be fooled by the spring,
The clearness of the sky, or the light of dawn…
For on the horizon lies the horror of darkness,
The rumble of thunder, and blowing of winds.
Beware, for below the ash there is fire
And he who grows thorns will reap wounds.
For you have harvested the heads of mankind
And the flowers of hope, and watered the heart
Of the earth with blood and tears until it was drunk.
The river of blood will sweep you away
And the fiery storm will devour you.
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