Oct 17, 2021

Pity the country

Poetic reflection by Mazin Qumsiyeh 17 October 2021 updated 19 December 2023

Pity the country

Whose citizens do not have time to reading

…specially the serious reading that can make a difference

Whose population pays taxes to fund wars and oppression

...or who is impoverished but does not challenge its oppressors

Whose leaders care about themselves and not their people

...and whose populace let them do it

Whose young people do not know the meaning of hard work in the land

....or who are not given the opportunities due them

Whose middle class has no kindness or empathy

… not even to their neighbors

Whose healthcare system is falling apart 

.....while its police forces are armed

Whose poor are angry but feel helpless to change

...while its rich live in gated communities

Whose elderly and children are not listened to

...while pundits fill the airwaves

Whose education is a regurgitation system

...while critical thought is suppressed

Whose laws equate anti-Zionismn (anti-racism) with anti-semitism

...while suppressing calls for ending genocides and wars


Pity the country

Which produces waste and damages its environment

...and eats junk food packaged in plastics or sprayed with chemicals

Which cares to build houses of worship more than houses of education

...and ignores the teachings of its prophets

Which does not teach the value of time, the values of respect (for ourselves, for others, for nature)

...while teaching consumerism and self-centered "me" ideas

Which lives in concrete “jungles” in square rooms 

....while not valuing the green earth

Which does not know the taste of real freedom

….Freedom from oppression

….Freedom from guilt

…Freedom from hate

...Freedom from racism

…Freedom from self-pity

…Freedom from powerlessness

Pity the country

That has more cars than bicycles

That is crowded but has so much loneliness

That has more houses than homes

That imports its food, cloths, and tools and uproots more than it plants

That votes for the lesser of two evils 

....instead of changing the system and challenging the lobbies

That does not know how generous is its land

….if only it is tended

That has more TV watchers and few bird watchers

That has many talkers and few listeners (to nature) and doers (of good deeds)

To change our country, we must chose to be different

…to rebel

…to fight

…to work

…to love

…to respect ourselves, others and nature


  1. Well done! A very thoughtful piece, Mazin. It merits more than a single read. God bless, jean hughes

  2. Thank you Mazin for your heartfelt mournings. Helps me to mourn too. and thanks for the closing notes of strength, which also help me to be stong. Blessings, Deb Van Poolen

  3. You were great in describing the Arab world as it is now, and as it should not be. Unfortunately, only words we have but actions are missing. While our world is sinking to the abyss.

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  5. Thank you for all the information you share with us. Thank you for this beautiful reflection. And thank you for always encouraging us to keep fighting, giving us strength when we get discouraged, and reminding us that we really can make a difference - because we must.