Ramadan is Here. So is our Inclusive Iftar with Saba Ghazi Ameen + The Muslim Otherhood.
I studied got my BA in International Relations, and minored in Politics, and Religion at The University of San Francisco. I had no plans to become a poet until poetry came up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder, and gave me a quick one-two punch when I turned around at the age of 25.
So after 7 years of running poetic and multidisciplinary events to help people connect in new, deeper, yet fun and surprising new ways, I’m thrilled to play a small part in organizing an inclusive Ramadan event next week with The Muslim Otherhood.
What does this entail? You are invited to come with an open mind, a curious heart, and hungry belly, to have a Ramadan feast with us and get to hear from various culturally and spiritually Muslim perspectives on the meaning of Ramadan, and what it means to be a contemporary Muslim person in 2019 in New York City. I can’t wait. And I’m thrilled to share with you a sneak peek at the work of our featured poet for the evening, Saba Ghazi Ameen. Here are two of her poems.
i am a dancer spinning revolutions of devotion
are the clouds drifting through the atmospheres a veil?
are the dark shadows of the towering mounts hiding me?
do the myriad roads and paths create a maze in which you have lost me?
you say walk and i will run
catch you and lift you in embraces of mercy and love
they speak of your compassion and passion
overflowing fountains of heavenly springs
i am tasneem but you have left me dry
i am saba but i stagnate,
finger raised waiting for a cool breeze
i am ghazi but there is no victory in my surrender
i spin a thousand revolutions of devotion
my lips move in silent prayer
my fingers pass strings of praise
is the distance too far to traverse?
is my soul too ashen to glow?
are my melodies too dissonant to discern?
you say call and i will answer
but my voice grows hoarse from muffled cries
my body tired from the bumps and turns
and i am weary
I no longer spin
a thousand revolutions of devotion
what use have i for armaments
primitive tools are for primal man
i wield words as weapons of power
my pen is mightier than any hand
born with double x chromosomes
into a sisterhood more powerful than any legion
I rise up from the feet of of my mother
spreading mercy to every region
so let me be sita,
brown bodied daughter of the hindu nation
foolish men pushed me through fire
as if my purity needed validation
yes i am sita
goddess of feminine love
unscathed i emerged from those embers
phoenix rising, a lucid flying dove
i luminate grace and beauty
i radiate hot pink love and passion
melting blades and munition
anger and violence die ashen.
and i am hajar
tribal mother of the sands
abandoned in the blistering desert
i wished him well and turned to my own two
yes i am hajar
pumping those fists in defiant survival
i bartered my own divine intercession
cool zam zam gushing up glorious revival
i have the divine within me
i radiate harmony and bliss
you can abandon me in hot dry mountains
ill cradle my progeny tightly and blow you a
and I am ruth
tenacious child of pagan forebearers.
widowed, i wipe tears of determination
and walk through the gates of your hebrew
yes I am ruth
I pledge to live and to die by naomi
nourishing, gleaning, fertilizing seeds
I am the sole ensurer of your posterity
oh yes it is through my bloodline
that the messiah came into existence
a defiant pagan to gentile transformation
no weapons, no swords, just my female
so let me be joan
peasant girl tilling fields of the franks
angelic commands permeated me
elevating my purpose above manly ranks
yes yes I am joan
glowing white on my steed I rise higher
when words and wisdom falter
sometimes you must fight fire with fire
yes I am joan
young woman who won back my land with
then you branded me a heretic and burned me
you quivered when my fireproof heart beat
stronger and stronger
the miracle is contained within us
fire and weapons can not extinguish our light
we are the smoldering embers that lie beneath
glowing, sparking ready to illuminate the night
So yes, you are in for a wonderful treat. We are also honored to welcome our featured speaker, Aymann Ismail, as well as comedian Bassam Shawl. Here’s all the info on the Facebook Event, and you can reserve your (very limited still available) ticket here.
More on our poet, Saba Ghazi Ameen:
When she is not busy fighting alongside Wolverine, Saba Ghazi Ameen spends her peaceful moments creating visual and verbal designs. She is a multimedia artist splitting her time between New York and Chicago. She loves exploring the intersections of visual and verbal design. You can find her at @sabaameen1.
Learn more about my company, Ars Poetica, and our work, here.