The Mother

When she lies down to face the night
Her hands still smell of the mince
She lovingly prepared for tomorrow’s dinner
Her clothes bear witness to her daughter’s breakfast
Her face, etched with love,
Carries bags of exhaustion
Hanging beneath her eyes
Her hair frays upwards
“like the £50 note man!”
She jokes to her husband
No time for oils to pat it down
Sometimes the mirror tells her
Look at you. Such a mess. So ugly
And sometimes she tells the mirror
Look at me.
My face speaks of the dedication
Only a mother can possess
These tired hands weave the future of my family
And that smell of garlic, and the chicken soup in the air, are the
Memories of my children



My name is Homs
And as you sit down to analyse,
Point fingers: “oh its complicated!”
As we sit down to argue
Over power, ideology, greed
I am being


(Homs has been under severe and constant attack since the beginning of the Syrian revolution with 15 of its district under a siege since 13 months. Today, reports cite that thousands of shells have been launched on the city, since the morning, in a heavy serious attack).


The Followers

Leaving this one for the reader to interpret…


The Followers

“I am the King of the Castle”
He stood atop and felt smug and good
Macbeth, Oblivious to the moving woods
“I am great- I reached the top of the hill!”
Cried Jack as Jill leaned into him
“Look on my works and despair!” Ozymandias sneered
The cracks on his visage beginning to appear…

And Macbeth’s soldiers sang along with him.
The townsmen smiled at Jack. Continue reading

If my Eye went Blind

This one is not mine.
The beautiful words of a friend of mine (who prefers to remain anonymous). So beautiful- I had to share.


“Listening to Yann Tiersen’s amazing soundtrack to Amelie. (A movie I am yet to see.)

And I just realised how utterly absurd it is to ever think one can’t change the world.

If my eye went blind it would change the whole experience of my life.

If my feet were no longer usable everything would be different.

Perhaps in the world ‘China’ is a foot and ‘America’ an eye.

The world is very big, there are so many people.

Perhaps in the world I am only as small as an eyelash. Perhaps.

But isn’t it bothersome when an eyelash gets in your eye? Doesn’t it stay on your mind? Don’t you think of ways to get rid of it? Roll your eyeball around or get someone to have a look. Doesn’t it change your behaviour? Continue reading

Of Bread and Blood

On the 23rd December 2012, aircraft of the Syrian regime bombed a bakery in Halfaya, Hama, outside of which civilians had queued to buy some bread. 94 civilians were killed. It was not the first time a bakery was bombed- several before had been shelled in Aleppo and across the country, resulting in atrocious massacres Continue reading

The Worst Sound

Working on collating human rights violations within Syria is not easy. The daily videos which arrive at the inbox and the feelings they induce are difficult to describe. Sometimes you learn to become immune to them or you ignore them, and at other times, you push yourself to watch them… and it is just horrific.

One day as I sat at my desk, someone in the office clicked on a video that had arrived. And although I did not see anything, I heard something else very clearly. It was the sound of  a human… yet it was almost inhumane. It was worse than howling; beyond imagination or perception. It shook me to my core. And it made me write the below.

I don’t know whether this is poetry or prose. It just came tumbling out. But read it aloud with expression if you really want to feel it. Continue reading