note_28 MRD 1944-2021

Mourid Barghouti (مريد البرغوثي) died in Amman on Sunday 14th February, and is survived by his and Radwa Ashour’s son Tamim, to whom I offer my love and heartfelt condolences.

Mourid made this series of humble recordings between June and September 2020, reading a range of his poems in their own language. I was struck by each of them as they appeared, appreciating them for what they are, recognising many but more than that recognising the remarkable man, poet and memoirist in the voice and many gestures that were so very Mourid.

I am not offering any analysis! I am as numb in the wake of this as a dumb black heart emoji. But these are comforting me, and they may comfort you too. It did occur to me that making these gifts in this way might express or signal a consciousness of mortality. Perhaps COVID (in general) was* enough for such an appreciation to develop, as I concluded. In any case, Mourid’s ‘gifts’; the calm, generous, dignity that was so characteristic of someone who became a dear friend and elder, writerly and human inspiration over the last fifteen or sixteen years, ‘fooled’ me (somewhere between waving and drowning myself in those months). They came to an end just before he received a terminal diagnosis of lung cancer in November 2020.

Revisit and appreciate that dignity, the precision and warmth of these indelible words and images in the inimitable voice of their maker. Enjoy their ongoingness…

For now.

I am sorry that I don’t know how to extract or export these to make for a more friendly encounter, but then again they are not mine!

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