Suffer the curled up corpses of the tortured
Suffer the cluttered ranks of the bound and the beaten
Suffer the pleading eyes of those to be slain
Suffer the insanity of the bullet, the tank, the gunship
And the firebreathing jet
Suffer the shredded streets and the destroyed dreams
Suffer the stretching legions of the bereft and tormented
Suffer the terror-stricken and the destitute massed into heartless refuges
Suffer the geostrategist heads of abattoirs seeking their pounds of flesh
And their share of the carcass
Suffer the unpitying despot and the holy warrior
Suffer the theft and wreck of an eon’s inheritance
Suffer the cowardly soulsearchers and the mendacious handwringers
Suffer the glib wordiness of the actionless purveyors of sympathy


Yet, take heart from the millennia of priceless History
Take heart from the passing of countless invaders and tyrants
Take heart from a nation sewn from a galaxy of threads
Take heart from a people forged in the conquest of adversity
Take heart from a heritage of inclusion and embrace
Take heart from the majesty of Palmyra and the spirit of Zenobia
Take heart from ageless Aleppo and eternal Damascus
Take heart from those who gifted humankind the alphabet
Take heart from the builders of Canaan and the founders of Carthage
Take Heart from the saga of St Paul and the glory of the Ommayads
Take heart from the rise of the Phoenix from its fabled soil

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