By the Rivers of Babylon

Written and translated by Amel Jibarah


Poetry condenses expressions of thoughts, feelings and emotions, and deploys rhythm. The art encompasses joy and sorrow. Some readers will find a poem uncongenial, perhaps because it  seems exaggerated.  Other readers, though, will sympathise with the poet.  The following works stem from many experiences of dramatic changes in the poet’s life. Although some works are categorised  as private and personal experiences, they don’t have to be considered so, since the metaphorical and symbolic use of words yields layers of meanings. On the other hand, the dramatic changes that happened in the poet’s country, as well as in this world, are astonishing. They are tackled here with the hope that these words may inspire essential changes in this world to make it a better place to live in. Here are themes of political events, terrorism, climatic changes, feminism, equality, human rights, child abuse, health care, morality, and condemnation of war.  The works are invitations to love and care for all creatures. The writing is clear, making it easier for all readers to understand. The eager quest for cultural diversity is evident. These characteristics make the works readable, persuasive  and accessible to readers whether they are of the same nationality as the poet or not.  This book is divided into four chapters according to the themes that are involved in the poems.

 By the Rivers of Babylon: is the first chapter that talks about and criticizes the misery of the people who live in this land and how they suffer because of the critical situation that is created by the politicians with the help of some other ill-minded people there, as well as some invisible power of evil. 

Does Anu Know? Anu is chosen here, as he was is the divine personification of the sky, supreme God, and ancestor of all the deities in ancient Mesopotamian religion. Anu was believed to be the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers. Hence the ideas which are going to be reflected in here are for the whole world. It is the second chapter that involves telling humans what should be done. Because a situation exists doesn’t mean that it should.   Since the poems contain different humanitarian beliefs, such as being humanism, feminism and believing in equality…etc. Their themes are urging people to make changes to achieve self-esteem, prosperity and progress. 

Let Tammuz Come:  Tammuz is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with shepherds, who was also the primary consort of the goddess Inanna (later known as Ishtar). In Sumerian mythology, Dumuzid’s sister was Geshtinanna, the goddess of vegetation. That is why this chapter tries to highlight nature and ecology to persuade us to be careful and concerned about our mother earth.

 A Letter to Ishtar:  Ishtar  is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. Thus, chapter four   contains romantic poems. It also reflects the experiences of love and passion between men and women. Some other personal ideas and thoughts are also found.




Tell Ishtar

Who can tell Ishtar?

 That we are going so far

 Where there’s no moon nor star

 Instead darkness and confusion reign. 

 Could a tree grow from a butcher’s block?

 Has Mesopotamia gone with wind? 

When the devil and evil go hand in hand 

 Deciding the fate of this our land

 Paralyzed it is left unable to stand 

Who could save us from our leaders?

 Who work as tools for evil sowers

 Who repress the proud people, calling them needy 

Turning its flesh to wounds most bloody 

 Full of diseases, infection and fever.


أخبِر عشتار

من يستطع ان يبلغ عشتار

باننا انحدرنا نحو الهاوية

حيث لا شمس ولا قمر

ظلام ولا شيء منير

لا رجاء في انبات خشبة الجزار

لان بلاد مابين النهرين قد ذهبت مع الريح

عندما وضع الشر والشيطان يداً بيد

وقرروا مصير هذا البلد

مشلولا تركوه غير قادر على الوقوف

من ينقذنا من حكامنا

الذين هم أدوات لأعدائنا

 الّذين جعلوا من شعبنا الشامخ مذلولا لحاجة الغير

كجثة ممزقة دامية مايئة  (منخورة )  ؟؟  بالأمراض و الحمى





Hallelujah, the Lord has chosen Umawiyah 

Joan of Arc you are not alone now

 Another woman deserves a bow

 She fought for humanity and freedom

 Used her courage and wisdom

 To resist the oppressive brute

 Trying to pull him out by the root 

Suddenly she became a martyred victim

God has taken her to His kingdom 

Hallelujah, the Lord has chosen Umawiyah 

Although she was not slain like you

 The violence is the same, the tool is new

 Those savage, murdering gangs

 Know how to use guns 

To silence that sound of power 

Who toppled America’s towers 

At the strike of the zero hour

 Maniacal yet unknowing 

Fools lost, boasting

Hallelujah, the Lord has chosen Umawiyah 

No faith rejects love

 Ever since Noah’s dove 

She brought an olive branch to the Ark

 As when at Rouen, Joan of Arc 

Clerics were as your killer unswathed 

 No real Eman, no real faith

 The land is blighted to rottenness

 By those vandals and callousness 

Halleluiah, the Lord has chosen Umaiah



(أميّة هي ابنة عمّي كانت اول شهيدة قاومت داعش ، قاتلت مع صفوف الرجال على الساتر الأمامي ولشجاعتها رماها قنّاص من بين الجميع لتكون الشهيدة الاولى رحمها الله  على يد هذه العصابات الإجرامية  المجد والحمدلله)

جان دارك لم تعودي وحدك

فهنالك امرأة تستحق كلّ الثناء

قاتلت من اجل الحرية والإنسانية بحكمة وشجاعة

لتخلّصنا من شر و بلاء

لكن فجأة قرر القدر

ان يكون مسكنها السماء

الحمد لله لأنّه قد اختارك يا أمية

بالرغم من انها لم تحرق مثلك (يا جان)

فالأوقات قد اختلفت

لكنّ المجرمين كما هم

هؤلاء المجرمون يعرفون استخدام السلاح الان

ليحاولوا ان يُخرسوا صوت الحق

هم من اسقط برجي التجارة

في ساعة الصفر

رغم انهم مسعورون اغبياء لا يعرفون

انت تعرفين (ياجان) منذ زمن نوح:

لا دين بلا حب

هم لا دين حيقيقي لديهم

لدرجة ان الارض أصبحت قاحلة بوجودهم


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1 Comment

  1. The author of ‘By The Rivers of Babylon’ , asst. prof. Amel Mohammed, is a creative writer. She has a kind-hearted, and loving, strong personality which is reflected in her writing. Her simple style dwells in the hearts and souls of her readers; and the themes she has chosen are real: some tell about the suffering of women, others portray certain situations and psychological states. Our mother, nature, has a share in some poems telling us about the transparency of the poet.

    Asst. Prof. Dr. Israa Burhanuddin Abdurrahman.

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