Poem: the Lake of Tears

Since 2009, a new and nameless lake has been created behind the Merowe Dam on the Nile. Archaeologists working to save the cultural heritage of the land to be flooded were among the only foreigners to enter the doomed land, but they failed the responsibility to speak out about the violations of human rights and the killing of a natural environment. The poem below summaries the events with the voice of the affected people in a lyric style, while a more informative approach can be found in the latest issue of Journal of Social Archaeology. We include this poem today as our fear of more dams being built in northern Sudan is augmented.

The Lake of Tears 

Our voice was never heard
by the one who decides.
In our ancient land
a giant lake now resides.

Archaeologists came and stayed.
They dug up our buried bones.
Archaeologists stayed and left.
They took our picture stones.

In all directions
we have cried out our fears:
Our land will be flooded
by a nameless lake of tears.

Despite our efforts
no one heard the countless pleas.
Now fish are swimming
between our beloved palm trees.

We lost the fight,
a new life will begin.
The lifeless desert is
the river’s evil twin.

The photo shows a settlement set up by people refusing to leave the Fourth Cataract for the government’s resettlement sites far out in the desert. They prefer to make a new life on the shore of the lake where the former farmers and herders have become fishermens.

This entry was posted in dams and alternative energy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Poem: the Lake of Tears

  1. This is so sad…and your point is made very clear…in this lovely piece..Eliza Keating

    • Henrihafsakos says:

      It is indeed very sad. I can hardly bear to think of the fate of the people I know who lived there. Perhaps I one day will gather the emotional strenght to write about them.

  2. chirine nour says:

    i’m also thinking of all these people, i dont know them, but i have red about them by you, i have seen them in your photos and since they are in our hearts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s