‘I Am an Arab’ T-Shirt

T-shirt with ‘I am an Arab’ by Mahmoud Darwish, calligraphed in the shape of a fingerprint

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STORY

Crossing an Israeli checkpoint, every Palestinian has to present a magnetic card containing personal information, fingerprints and eye scan. So when someone passes a barrier, he holds his finger on a scanner and this tells the soldiers his whole story. As the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish wrote in his poem ‘Identity card’: “Record! I am an Arab, and my identity card is number 50,000; I have eight children, and the ninth is coming after the summer…”

The fingerprint designed for this t-shirt is made from this poem. When you look closer you can see that what seems to be a fingerprint is actually much more. The design is an invitation to the world to look closely at this story and not to judge anything from a distance, as nothing is what it might seem.

Translation:

Identity Card, Mahmoud Darwish, 1964

Write down!
I am an Arab
And my identity card number is fifty thousand
I have eight children
And the ninth will come after a summer
Will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
Employed with fellow workers at a quarry
I have eight children
I get them bread
Garments and books
from the rocks..
I do not supplicate charity at your doors
Nor do I belittle myself at the footsteps of your chamber
So will you be angry?

Write down!
I am an Arab
I have a name without a title
Patient in a country
Where people are enraged
My roots
Were entrenched before the birth of time
And before the opening of the eras
Before the pines, and the olive trees
And before the grass grew
My father.. descends from the family of the plow
Not from a privileged class
And my grandfather..was a farmer
Neither well-bred, nor well-born!
Teaches me the pride of the sun
Before teaching me how to read
And my house is like a watchman’s hut
Made of branches and cane
Are you satisfied with my status?
I have a name without a title!

Write down!
I am an Arab
You have stolen the orchards of my ancestors
And the land which I cultivated
Along with my children
And you left nothing for us
Except for these rocks..
So will the State take them
As it has been said?!
Therefore!

Write down on the top of the first page:
I do not hate people
Nor do I encroach
But if I become hungry
The usurper’s flesh will be my food
Beware..
Beware..
Of my hunger
And my anger!

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making off

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Design
Nadya Hazbunova (PS)
Jaroslav Toussaint (DE)
Diala Isid (PS)

Manufacturer
Al-Arja Textile (Beit Sahour, PS)

Year of design
2013

Material
Silkscreen on Cotton

Size
S, M, L, XL

Additional information

Weight 0.145 kg
Size

Small, Medium, Large, Extra large

Material

Cotton

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