The Streets of Makkah

The streets of Makkah
Long bordered with tall, tall homes,
White-washed homes, wooden homes,
Built on every corner, mountain top, ridge,
On the valley floor of the sacred land.

Tall, tall homes,
Centuries old homes,
Studded with brown aged latticed windows,
Overlooking mysterious labyrinths, winding walkways,
Alleys echoing with the passage of sounds,
Voices of those long gone.

Voices of families, friends all known to one another,
Welcoming strangers from other lands,
Spending sheeshah -filled nights,
Quite nights, loud nights,
In the open on the dakkah ,
Hours of tea drinking, hours of tales,
Brimming with told and untold stories,
Of past generations, present generations,
Held in the collective memory,
A memory retaining the glorious past,
Undeterred by the present.

* Sheeshah a water pipe used by men and women
** Dakkah a raised bench

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Nimah Ismail Nawwab

Nimah Ismail Nawwab is an English writer, photographer, Saudi Arab activist, lecturer and internationally recognized poet. Her work and best-selling book The Unfurling have been featured in Newsweek International, BBC World News, MSNBC, AP, The Washington Post reproduced in the Japanese English Yomiuri Shimbum, LA Times, Asian Age, the Malay Berita Harian, Hi magazine, Arabian Lady, Arab News and Saudi Gazette among numerous other publications. Her latest book ‘Canvas of the Soul Mystic Poems from the Heartland of Arabia’ published by Tughra Books available in hardcover and paperback, has been reviewed by prominent scholars and artists globally and promotes Islamic art, calligraphy as well as the mystic poems.

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