Author: anne-fairbairn

Celebrating NAIDOC Week: 8-15 July 2018

   DJURINGA Dedicated To Dr June Oscar AO and to all Aboriginal people who lived here in Harmony with Nature for about 70,000 years. A star falls across the sky, A man of the desert sighs ”it is my heart” Over darkened Spinifex to Biami he chants his joy For his spirit place among the stars, As star spirits leap and dance on Blackwater Creek, So in the brilliance above him  tonight his spirit is dancing. This man is Djuringa – touched so he will go on in his Dreaming, As the eastern rim of the sky grows pale and...

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Palestinian suffering: my family’s concerns

My grandfather Sir George Houston Reid after being Premier of New South Wales, Prime Minister of Australia, became First Australian High Commissioner to Britain. He was voted into House of Commons during World War 1. He was extremely concerned about the Balfour Declaration in 1917. He was also very concerned about the Problems this would cause for the Palestinians. He talked about his grave concern to Clive, my father when my father was a school boy In London. My father’s older brother Douglas evidently believed that since the Balfour Declaration occurred in 1917, it was the main reason that the United States declared war against Germany He told me all this many years later when I was at school. George Reid’s wife Dame Flora Anne told me a lot about the problem when I was a teenager and she was living in Sydney. Professor Jabra Ibrahim Jabra who was Head of the Department of Literature at Bagdad who was a Palestinian told me a great deal about the suffering of Palestinian when I was a guest many times in Iraq at the annual Poetry Festival. My father’s brother, Douglas Reid’s two sons were killed in World War 2. My mother’s two brothers Colin and Keith Ross Munro were killed in the first World...

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A Dream or a Bet?

Muhammad Umran, Syria translated by Dr Anne Fairbairn AM (Excerpts) Let it be a dream to hold the earth in my hands from ocean to ocean. The earth is a violet or a red rose which I fasten in the hair of my woman. The hair of my woman is moons of gold and waves of flame The hair of my woman is wind, blue clouds, and the hair of my woman is rain.   Let it be a dream To hold the earth in my lips from ocean to ocean. The earth is bread or a cluster of...

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‘Oh Desert’ by Ghazi al Gosaibi

I’ve searched the world.. without finding Land more barren, Love more pure, Or rage more fierce than yours. I came back to you, oh desert, Sea-spray on my face; In my mind, a mirage of tears, A shadow moving in the  sea before dawn And a golden flash of braided hair. On my lips, two lines of poetry – A song without echo. I came back to you, disenchanted. I’ve found there’s No trust between human beings. I came back to you deprived; The world’s like a rib cage Without a heart. Love is a word Devoid of love. I came back to you defeated; I’ve been fighting life’s battles With a sword forged from feeling. I came back to you.. and laid my anchor On the sand. As I washed my face with dew It seemed you were calling me. Then you whispered: “Have you come back to me, my child?” Yes .. mother .. I came back to you. A child, forever grieving, Flew to God’s countries; Unable to find his nest, He came back to search for his life in you. I came back to you, oh desert, I’ve thrown away my quiver and ceased wandering. I dally in your night-web Of Mystery, Breathing on the soft winds of the Najd* The fragrance of Araar*. In you I live for poetry and moons.   NOTE *Najd:...

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Australia Day: Aboriginal sensitivities must be recognised

Aboriginal people had been living for more than 70,000 years on the continent we now know as Australia. Thousands of generations of these people had lived and died here. Europeans from the thirteenth century became interested in details from Asia about this land in the South. From the sixteenth century, European cartographers and navigators gave the continent various names, including Terra Australis (Southern Land) and New Holland. Captain James Cook from Britain raised the Union Jack on what is now called Possession Island on 22 August to claim the eastern half of the continent as New South Wales for Great Britain. In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the British...

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