“Everything has weight.
Your weight is well known to the back walls
because your heavy shadow doesn’t give the asphalt, the paint,
or the writings stuck on the windows a chance to appear.
You also have space, significant space,
in the void.”
– Ashraf Fayadh
On Thursday, July 28, writers, artists, journalists, and bloggers around the world will be composing tweets, blogs, verse, videos, images, and more in support of the Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh, sentenced to death last November in Saudi Arabia for his poetry, which accusers claimed "spread atheism," among other things. His death sentence was repealed this February, following worldwide protests. He was re-sentenced to eight years and 800 lashes.
Writers and artists around the world—including Wole Soyinka, Orhan Pamuk, and Adonis—have shown Ashraf tremendous support. Leading Moroccan poet Abdellatif Laabi had recently published his French translation of Ashraf’s book, which was released by Le temps des cerises. A Spanish collection, Palabras Para Ashraf, includes work by Cervantes Prize winner Antonio Gamoneda and Royal Spanish Academy member Félix de Azúa. An English translation will be pre-released in August by The Operating System press in Brooklyn.
Despite the heartwarming support, Ashraf is still alone in prison. The Saudi regime, disturbed by his campaign, has been pressuring him to stay silent. Ashraf needs your support so that he won`t be forgotten and vulnerable in prison.
Let us be loud enough for him to hear us.
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