The above video captures Bahraini poet Ayat al-Gormezi reciting her poem, “Khalifa” (Prime Minister), at a pro-democracy protest in Pearl Square. She was arrested in March and charged with incitement and insulting members of the al-Khalifa royal family. The Guardian reports she was sentenced to one year in prison.

Here is the poem she reads in the video, translated from the Arabic by Ghias Aljundi with Mitchell Albert.


Hear me:
You, the elder,
the “good man,” who “safeguards justice”
(so you have always declared),

if I were to make excuses for you,
I, for you,
for the things you have done,
I would only look the fool,
for you would continue in your ways,
and murder us as “traitors.”

Hear me:
Hear us all, for we all demand likewise—
both sects, all Bahrainis:

You must go.
Take His Majesty with you,
and leave your deeds behind.

You, oppressor,
from where do you derive your power,
the power to keep your people down?—
all your people,
even women
even children
even men.
Yet you call for “dialogue,”
even in the midst of your brutality?

No!… No!…
One word: No!
One demand:
Give us back our Bahrain.
Return this country to its people;
to us, its people.

Our Bahrain is ours.