A prayer for Palestine
The loveliest of all countries in the Middle East was Palestine,
that no invaders in the past could so easily undermine.
In thy bosom are holiest shrines, Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem,
pilgrims with thy pride and glory did overwhelm.
As the cradle of ancient culture and civilizations,
a cross road of East and West, and faith of nations.
To save thee, here fought Sultan Saladin against Richard,
and with valiance and generosity made him retard.
Still proud are the Ottoman for thy rich heritage,
vicissitudes of fortune spares neither man nor age.
The devils conspired in the dark hour of the night,
thus planted poisonous tree in thy garden for this plight.
The cruel and torturous Jews plundered thy treasure,
with all my heart thy pain I feel beyond measure.
A cursed nation, cursed for crimes of massacre,
can never miss human hatred and pressure.
Sweet Palestine, long is the night of sorrow,
think of glory, hope for better days of tomorrow.
A nation so brave and patient with unblemished fame,
none can tear on earth from pagesthy lawful claim.
We think of your leader Arafat and other martyrs,
then a glory forever shines upon our tears.
Oh! God to my brothers and sisters in Palestine, be kind,
that with justice divine return their lands from behind.
Protect them from foes that caused untold harms,
let enemies be destroyed by their own piles of arms.
Down with the savage Israelis for usurping the holy city,
where angels sit everyday and weep with pity;
for the Palestinians who love it as their capital,
we support their longing despite US betrayal.
Long live Palestine as a growing state,
and have Jerusalem to change their fate.
—Professor Matiur Rahman is Vice-Chancellor (In-charge), Britannia University, Bangladesh