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thylane loubry

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UNRAVELLING, AFZAL SHAUQ / Layla el Asri from France
By thylane loubry
Sunday, August 01, 2010

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No one knows
the cause of their crime
making difficult
this passing through life
Afzal Shauq in “life is not less than hell”

Peace, how did a mere word become such a utopia ? I could tattoo it on my skin and still not feel it because we simply have forgotten the meaning of this word. Aware of this brand new epidemic, Afzal Shauq has made it his quest : scattering peace, love and respect all over the world, reminding man the noble creature they used to be before they started craving for money and personal comfort. Unifying with the words wiseness has taught him, the peace wisher believes art can make the world a better place.

Once you have read these words, they stay with you : words such as sharing, brotherhood, and friendship have a meaning again, an essence. This is when you know that M. Shauq’s quest has been successful , when you feel overwhelmed by the arcane feeling that is inner peace.

He is a man who has dedicated his work and life to others, to bringing back kindness to this earth; he writes verses like “I present this begging heart for love's sake” : such a magnanimity ought to be made an example.

Moreover, Afzal Shauq’s poems are melodies, pieces of music that will make your soul rest, rebel or sometimes mourn and I think that there lays the great strength of his words. Synesthesia I experienced reading “Blind world” : I started hearing the words, each made a different sound but all together a rhythm began to shape into an eerie melody. Then I understood the grand power of his talent : feeling the words with different senses made me understand them like I had never before, I had assimilated them.

In this world
no spark of light

No sun rise
sunset long gone

Deaths to soon
two loves buried

World gone blind
indifference rules

All will enter
none can escape
the grave.

Afzal Shauq in “Blind world”

I believe his poetry is a wonderful way to teach children, teaching through sensing the words, the soul. Every child should learn these words by heart, recite these verses to unravel their precious gift : the universal awareness of a man to his environment, a humanism that could awaken millions of people from their allocentric coma.

All of this is possible because M. Shauq is a sharing man, he can put words on the wounds of his soul, he can translate every bruise into a song, a song that will travel the seven seas to whisper its words to the reader’s ear, making them feel, experience the words in their deep complexity until their sense is obvious again. Every poem is a rebirth, the rebirth of a word that had lost all content for far too long, I learnt back the meaning of such words as “dream” and “light”, I saw progressively their empty shell filling up again, glowing under the simple light of truth.

I know what Afzal Shauq’s poems are, they are a trip to Plato’s eidos, where you are reminded what you intrinsically know, bringing back to you order, sanity and hope.

I was near ...
about to find
the way out
from this cage

I was willing to sit
on the shoulders of air
Keen to fly high
towards the sky,
To be free...

Suddenly my wings of thoughts
were aflame ,,,
And I like a bomb
hurling toward earth
a blaze.

Once again
Wounded ...
Feeling trapped
amid the layers of pain
I was a prisoner of the body

Afzal Shauq in “Prisoner of the body”

With wisdom, the poet is not afraid to show himself as only human, offering a journey to his soul because only there you can find the universal. He is “a prisoner of the body” but this does not keep him from trying to escape because Afzal Shauq is a sound inspiring example of hope and faith. An example of humanism too, as he seeks to share his experiences as a human being with others, for he knows there is nothing more powerful to bring people together than a shared feeling. He knows people as human but he seeks them in their individuality, difference does not scare him and he keeps pacing towards others, like in the following poem :

I ...
like you..

and the fall.

I ...

You ...
a mirror

towards you

Afzal Shauq in “I...You”

In this book, the reader will find a millennium treasure, the paradigm of a whole world concealed in a perfect miscellany, halfway between mystery and reality. Afzal Shauq is setting a motion, for the world to remember the true essence of words and the genuine meaning of human being.

It is a great honour for me to welcome the reader on board for a journey into the world of ideas, where Afzal Shauq has left pieces of his heart for us to be brothers again.

Layla El Asri

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