Suheir Hammad’s new poem and short film: “Into Egypt”

steady you will want
a vision ahead
redemptive dissonance
music for the end of
chorus for the coming of
manifest hum into hymn
the noise of it rivers you
you will cry water into flames
vulture your own heart to feed

- from “Into Egypt” (Suheir Hammad)

Poet Suheir Hammad’s illuminative words have the power to strip the cloak from our rage, our love, and our fears.

Whether it’s poems that resist the drumbeats of war or hold a mirror up to the sorrows of New Orleans, Hammad’s work continues to articulate the redemption that she reminds us is always there. In her new poem, Into Egypt, Hammad dives into the energy of the current uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, holding the narrative of Egypt’s revolt in a personal, deeply moving light. 

Her new poetry project is a multimedia initiative — Hammad in her own words, with activists and artists helping her sing the visual tempo, in an exquisite short film “dreamed, directed and created,” as she says, by Waleed Zaiter. Zaiter is a New York City-based animator, designer and alchemist, according to his website

The entire poem can be read here, but the film is by far the best way to experience Hammad’s new work.




Can anyone explain what is Mona EL-Tahawi doing in this film?

Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).