Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Poem “أَنَا مِنْ هُنَاكَ” by Mahmoud Darwish Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

I thought this week, we could look at some شِعْر عَرَبي Arabic poetry by the well- known Palestinian national poet محمود درويش Mahmoud Darwish. When learning a foreign language, it can seem overwhelming to dive into poetry or literature in that language. Yet, even if we do not understand each and every word of let’s say a poem, we can try listening to the poem and practice reading it ourselves to experience some of its جَمال beauty. If we happen to come across a translation of a poem, despite that translations can rarely ever capture the true جَوهَر essence and إيقاع rhythm of the original poem, it at least helps us understand the gist and meaning behind its writing. Try not to let any difficulty you may be facing in learning Arabic keep you from reading and listening to Arabic poetry. It opens up a whole new realm in your Arabic language learning experience.

Before looking at the poem, could you understand the title? What do you think it could be about? A central theme in Darwish’s poetry is the concept of الوَطَنُ or homeland.

Try reading and listening to Darwish’s reading of this poem before looking at the translation and see how much you understand.

أنا من هناك – محمود درويش

Image by creative_octopus on

أَنَا مِنْ هُنَاكَ. وَلِي ذِكْريَاتٌ. وُلِدْتُ كَمَا تُولَدُ النَّاسُ. لِي وَالِدَهْ

.وبيتٌ كثيرُ النَّوافِذِ. لِي إِخْوَةٌ. أَصْدِقَاءُ. وَسِجْنٌ بِنَافِذَةٍ بَارِدَهْ

وَلِي مَوْجَةٌ خَطَفتْهَا النَّوارِسُ. لِي مَشْهَدِي الخَاصُّ. لِي عُشْبَةٌ زَائِدَهْ

وَلِي قَمَرٌ فِي أقَاصِي الكَلاَم، وَرِزْقُ الطُّيُورِ، وَزَيْتُونَةٌ خَالِدَهْ

.مَرَرْتُ عَلَى الأَرْضِ قَبْلَ مُرُور السُّيُوفِ عَلَى جَسَدٍ حَوَّلُوه إِلَى مَائِدَهْ

،أَنَا مِنْ هُنَاكَ. أُعِيدُ السَّمَاءَ إِلَى أُمِّهَا حِينَ تَبْكي السَّمَاءُ عَلَى أمَّهَا

.وَأَبْكِيِ لِتَعْرفَنِي غَيمَةٌ عَائِدَهْ

.تَعَلّمْتُ كُلِّ كَلامٍ يَلِيقُ بمَحكَمَةِ الدِّم كَيْ أُكْسِرَ القَاعِدهْ

تَعَلّمتُ كُلِّ الكَلاَمِ ، وَفَكَّكْتُهُ كَيْ أُرَكِّبَ مُفْرَدَةً وَاحِدَهْ

….هِيَ: الوَطَنُ

I Am From There

By Mahmoud Darwish

I am from there and I have memories. Like any other

Man I was born. I have a mother,

A house with several windows, friends and brothers.

I have a prison cell’s cold window, a wave

Snatched by seagulls, my own view, an extra blade

Of grass, a moon at word’s end, a supply

Of birds, and an olive tree that cannot die.

I walked and crossed the land before the crossing

Of swords made a banquet-table of a body.

I come from there, and I return the sky

To its mother when it cries for her, and cry

For a cloud on its return

To recognize me. I have learned

All words befitting of blood’s court to break

The rule; I have learned all the words to take

The lexicon apart for one noun’s sake,

The compound I must make:



If you are in the mood for a bit more شِعْر by محمود درويش, I think you’ll enjoy this clip. 😊

Remembering Mahmoud Darwish

Till next week, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


  1. Francisco B:

    Wow, this is awesome… The reading in the video has such strength and courage. Thanks for sharing!