Surely, You Will Dance | Rasha Abbas

Issue 1 | 1 Oct 2018

He says to you: ‘Do not dance…Do not dance in respect for the flowing blood, oh son of a bitch!’


Then you wonder, like any shrewd son of a bitch would; what the heck this daily violence pumps into you, where would you dispose it off!


 Actually, some things are hard to bear, and it is dreadful to b a Syrian today, a tag one did not apply to belong to. Although no one sought your opinion when coming to this murky world, a place where each of us finds himself or herself apologising for the omissions of parents. On a daily basis, you have to swallow all those corpses on screen, repeatedly showing some mutilated faces of martyred children. We curse that time when someone invented the camera of higher resolution.


After all this, you have to live normally, go about your daily chores and mend the relationships –whatever is left of it- for even relations are now new for Syrians featuring in an unprecedentally different, tasteless favour.


 In the darkness of the alleys, amid blackouts, facial parlour glistens. Look at them carefully without disturbing them, and voila! They are busy plotting the legendary explosives in the street, in a demonstration, in microbus or behind bars.


Even love here seems to be different. She is enthusiastically looking for a hand to catch her in the middle of thick void, then you discover that you are incapable of even saying a flirting sentence. You feel that you are actually tired. Violence has killed every emotion inside us. You will wear your clothes and leave the house once your partner sleeps.


And they say to you: ‘Do not dance ..!’

Do not dance in respect for the flowing blood, oh son of a bitch!


This Syria which everyone is talking about is but a soft and fresh spot of blood on the map now far different from the Syria of yester years ripe and full of life coming out from whichever point you pricked.


For the Syrians, everything is passionate:  if they loved you, and somehow death came faster into this love, they will not hesitate to ask you, albeit lovingly for "Taqbarny" (Put me in a grave) or "Teitla'ah ala bilatet qabri) (come to  my graveyard) or want you to grow a myrtle plant on their tombs, and the most common flirting word is "Ta'abashni"1


It's impossible to find in another part of the world to hear bread's vendor calls on the road: "Ramak Al Hawa Ya Naim", (Wind threw you away, oh soft) and in a rudest way, the vendor of  female underwear in Hamidiya Souq screaming softly in the middle of the market: "a cage for the bird."


This fatal passion is now practically applied to the Syrians. When they once loved freedom, it buried them. Syria never lies. Passion and seduction are as beautiful as bride’s crown passed on the back of her hand, despite the apparent conservation.

Any limit of gracelessness is supposed to reach, until you load it a weapon that is thinner than any political framework ... of any massacre?


And he says to you: ‘Do not dance ..’!

Do not dance in respect for the flowing blood, oh son of a bitch!


She looks over to what is coming at the barricades of death. Never let the factional dreams sway you ever again! The Syrians deserve to rest. She remembers a protester holding a placard amidst demonstration proclaiming: "After the revolution, we will name the name of our Fridays: Friday of cleaning, Friday of outdoors, and Friday of washing.”


No one is freak of the demigod and wise commander's idea. These people want to be like this: they love and toil to create home and family. They quarrel and rejoice in better conditions. They want to regain their sense of everything, without the burden of rotten ideology, and repeated sayings and parroted slogans such as “Castle of Steadfastness”, “Regional role and Spearhead.”


Tomorrow we will be celebrating the first pure generation of children who are a blessing to Syria:


No one will order them at the school to write realistic socialist topics about “Struggle of the Working Class” and “Agrarian Reform.” They will neither have preps such as a drawing notebook, the type  you owned when you were in the primary school.


Each of its pages holds a single candle drawing representing a national holiday. A candle for the  Syrian Corrective Movement, which is the candle that burned to illuminate the way for us. A candle in the occasion for the Party Foundation Day. The party  is a candle burned to “illuminate the way for us…” etc. ... Only the page of the October War, were making extraordinary effort to draw tanks and soldiers. What a stoop asking the children to draw difficult drawings like tanks and battlefield?


Tomorrow, they will only draw only their mothers and fathers without duress. They will write poems about their lives, their toys and their pranks. No tank, no Corrective Movement, no memorial and funeral candles on the drawing books.


And they tell you:  do not dance ..

But you will dance son of a bitch.


You will be in charge of  all current complications and you go down rudely to the streets as I want you. You gyrate in your dance licentiously in the size of what happened to you. You will walk on the rope and spit fire. In the eye of the Lord, you will fix your eyes. You will not be ashamed of it, otherwise, why is He also here? He gave you those thorns and you will dance in challenge. Death will come to you tomorrow or soon. If it entered the door and saw you dancing with us, it will slow down momentarily. Who doesn’t want to see death compelled to wait?



 An Arabic word used in Syrian accent for stuffing cotton into the mouth of a dead body.

Syrian Writer