Ahmed Hadad’s recent poem collection “Betolou' el-Rooh” (Photo by Egypt Today)
CAIRO – 16 October 2017: “There are many people in my position whether from my family or not, decedents of artistic families, who were not interested in pursuing a career in arts at all. Therefore saying that I inherited the talent is not accurate; poetry is my passion and I started writing poetry at the age of 15,” he stated.
Hadad has published three poem collections in the colloquial Egyptian language, the most recent one entitled, “Betolou' el-Rooh” (With the Last Breath); which is an Arabic expression meant to convey enormous difficulty.
Translating day-to-day Egyptian is a nearly impossible task, as the spirit of the language is a mix of inherited wisdom originating from social surroundings and modernity. Haddad deals with issues that face young people in today’s society in his poems.
“Betolou’ el-Rooh” is also the title for a short poem in the collection; it reads:
“All the dates that we set
With enormous difficulty
Wouldn’t it have been better if we let it go
If you are hurt
The world unfortunately won’t heal you
Not every laughter in your face… is an open road.”
The words have a funny sound in Arabic and can make good lyrics for a song; like most of the poems of his collection.
Hadad tackles various topics in his poetry such as love, criticizing societal behavior, the increasing population, and scenes from the revolution witnessed by the poet himself.
Other topics include the description of a materialistic girl who prefers money to genuine feelings.
Even in the darkest poems, the reader can still relate to Hadad's words.
Hadad depends on short, simple words that carry deep meanings; his words are always cheerful and reflect a lot of hope even when they express a lack of success.
A small poem that sums Hadad’s philosophy in this collection is entitled “Humans are Evil,” and it reads:
“Animals, food and music
enjoy your lives with your eyes shut
do not feel others
humans are evil
life is wicked
especially if you have kind hearts.”
The colloquial Egyptian words are kinder and funnier than they sound; they tickle the reader and put a smile on one’s face; even when describing the dark side of life.
The poems mentioned in the article are originally in Arabic and have been translated by Osama Fatim.