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Mar 2017
you okay Syria?
Heard you were unwell,
according to Wikipedia.
Set out searching
for something uplifting.
Started cruising the news,
then started drifting.
You were looking pretty fit,
On your wiki-profile,
10 millennia of Mediterranean:
temperate and fertile.
Boasting a motely religious crew:
Sunnis, Shiites,
Christians, Druze and Jews
So ethnically diverse,
with your Arabs, Kurds and Turks.

And as complex historically,
in terms of genealogy.
Just take a look at your etymology:
“the Levant”, meaning:
‘where the sun rises’
And like the sun’s rising,
there is no denying
your history of reprising
war of blood and fire.
Lest we begin at the beginning:
the Ottoman Empire,
which was succeeded by Babylonia,
then conquered by the Persians.
From Macedonia,
through countless imperialist conversions.
And the mosh-pit persisted
Full of havoc and haters,
Jews, Muslims, and Christian crusaders.
Through multiple millennia
to the twenty-first century,
you hardly gained independence
As a republic, parliamentary
Then on loop, military coup after coup…
Still looking more cliquey
Than an American penitentiary.

Not that conditions
Were too civil before
but from the Arab Springs,
sprung yet another civil war.
Claiming nearly half a million casualties
And ten times that in refugees.
Syria, are you begging, are you bawling,
are you crawling on your knees?

Mesopotamia, the market’s hot.
Leading natural resource: petroleum.
Coincidence? Of course…not
So Syria who’s in charge?
Who’s assigned to officiate?
Let’s get this straight:
You’ve got your head of State-
That is mister president.
And mister prime-minister,
well he’s official head of government.
May I ask where is Mrssssss….
No, no. Not much room for her in parliament.

Pardon me, my political perspective
might be a bit bourgeois
but might there be connection
between your strife and sharia law?
Again, pardon my impudence
but Allah’s jurisprudence
hardly seems prudent.
So, Muhammad, the prophet
left behind a prophecy,
spelled out in religious text
on which you base your polity
From which are governed
all matters of legality,
like, for instance say: the death penalty,
which seems to be the official decree
on any member of  the L, G, B or the T.
A strict hetero-only-policy.
Nothing is guaranteed in life though,
except for death and tax.
Thankfully, on these matters
Muhammad was a little more lax.
The *****, the infidel,
the unbeliever, the abomination
has a bit of say regarding
Death or taxation.
For those who do not believe
reprieve is a matter of yes or no:
Yes – conversion and enslavement
Otherwise, refusal means death row?
And even less leniency is granted,
to the lady adulterer
caught in twisted **** laws
punishment must not evade her
Wait, nope: Allah’s sharia clause –
lest he, the victim, opts to marry her.
And should she deviate
Muhammad left a legal loop-hole
For the gentleman may repudiate
any respective young mate
Should she have already
begun to… *******?

(C’mon, really? I mean
I genuinely don’t get it)

I confess though, I’m a bit ethnocentric
It’s just that to me,
sharia methods seem too eccentric,
nay, morally questionable.
Kafirs, gays, women,
basically anyone vulnerable,
well their disenfranchisement,
seems culturally commendable  
if legally permissible.

It may not be my place, so again
I apologize for the tangent.
Does this Muhammad though,
not seems unfit for management?
To govern your soil
as drenched in blood as it is in oil,
land, so godly-blessed,
Syria, why is it that your name is so
synonymous with civil unrest?

Back to where I started, though
Syria, tell me: how are you?
But answer only if that query
is not too risky to respond to.
With arbitrary censorship,
detention and torture so widespread,
journalists must be etching cell walls
with “blog when you’re dead”
while offshore expeditions
on the Mediterranean Sea-floor
in the six years since
you declared civil war
leave you reliant on foreign credit
more than ever before.

So, how are you, Syria?
Just curious to hear from ya.
J Penpla
Written by
J Penpla
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