In My Mother’s World

LINA ISMAIL ALHABAHBEH

My mother told me since I was young

Do not call me Mama in front of an orphan.

Do not laugh in front of someone sad.

Do not eat apples in front of a poor person.

Do not show off. Be humble.

Do not show your muscles in front of the weak.

If you speak, speak truthfully.

And apologize if you make a mistake.

Do not oppress anyone.


Embrace the one you love with your heart.

And make your heart into fields of love.

Love is purer.

Honesty is the best.

I grew up with my mother’s commandments

Until it collided with another life and world

It does not resemble my mother’s world

and her virtuous teachings

A world eating in front of the hungry

Depriving the weak

This world contains hate, malice and abuse

Neither kindness nor softness

Cruel world! No mercy. No forgiveness.

And I am lost in this world.

Where is your world, mom? Why does it not exist?

Why did you make me think the world is like you –

Not of survival for the strongest

But kind, lovely and warm?

My mom hugged me, stroked my head tenderly

Kissed me and then she said

“It is the survival of the purest.”

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