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March 14 – celebrate the Middle East

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vraag me niet hoe oud ik ben
en wanneer ik jarig ben
jaren heb ik niet
ik tel momenten

~ Baban Kirkuki 

On Monday 14 March, the Vrije Hogeschool, Kamerkoor JIP and guests celebrated the culture of the Middle East. Students of the VH turned the building into an Arabic palace. Baban Kirkuki (click here to see his website), a poet from Kurdistan, Iraq, told us in a very expressive way about his youth in Kirkuk, his carrier as a critical poet, the flee to the Netherlands and his life here. Many beautiful, sometimes funny and sometimes very personal poems were read out, in Dutch, Arabic and Kurdish.

After the poetry there was time for dancing. Anthropologist and dancer Etrona van der Heijden led the crowd into a ritual of whirling dancing, a dance from the Sufism.

Lastly, the dance floor was free for some moves on Arabic hits, being selected by the attending youngsters from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

And with this evening the journey of Kamerkoor JIP, on their way to 4 concerts in April, has come to a great first peak. We are very happy that the poems of Baban will be used for the exhibition and concerts in April. Thank you for your inspiration, Baban!

 

Do you want to go back?

They ask me
Do you go back to Kurdistan
when the country is safe

I answer:
If I ever should go back
To the womb
I would not ask for asylum
And not choose for a flight of my soul
I shall not let tremble
My body in the cold

I swing between two worlds
The one I am living in
The other in my dreams
A land for a passport
Written in the drawer
Of a municipal office

My other land
lies in the north

The north of my heart

Wil je terug gaan?

ze vragen mij:
ga je terug naar Koerdistan
als het land veilig is

ik antwoord:
als ik ooit terug
naar de baarmoeder zou gaan
zal ik geen asiel aanvragen
en geen vlucht voor mijn ziel kiezen
ik zal mijn lichaam
niet laten trillen in de kou

ik schommel in twee werelden
de ene waar ik nu in leef
de andere in mijn dromen
een land voor mijn paspoort
geschreven in de lade
van een gemeentekantoor

mijn andere land
ligt in het noorden

het noorden van mijn hart