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For a prisoner, reality hits the hardest when his loved ones make a long trip to visit with him. Brief moments of dreaminess, but once the visit is over, life for him proceeds in the must heart-sickening way. 


With glint in your eyes like honey in the sun.

With unknowingness in the “now,”

Like a fugitive on the run.

With a thousand eyes squinted on,

Two inseparable separatees

Savor fleeting seconds in a single kiss,

I stayed your gaze in my gaze and acquiesced-

Piece by piece- to a prisoner’s loss of peace;

When man goes to bed without his manhood bed,

Then, in yearning, grows his sun-shy morning

For the ones who brought his mornings meaning.

I acquiesced to this deliberateness,

When man laments and grieves and craves

The father who’s hemmed in the heart of his.

I acquiesced to this non-rarity

When mediocrity scrapes thin the skin of men,

While men drape in the skin of mediocrity.

With no love for enemy, nor blind enmity,

I stayed your gaze in my gaze, habeebi,

And wished I could step closer, a toe closer

And wrap my arms around your coldest nights,

And camp my heart around your cruelest frights,

And scan your Arabian eyes, count their lashes,

Memorize their mazes– verbalize their sighs,

I wish I could cup my hands around your jawline,

And rub away the tears that filled your cup and mine.


I wish I could cling closer, a pulse closer

And let my heart console your heart,

And let my breath console your breath

Until my heart ran out of breath..

And died—  For you, my loved, I died.

I wish I could lean my head like some clueless child,

And rest my chin against your bashful neck

Then, at ease, acquiesce– and in peace I crash

Like when cold, but deep-in-love wavelets wallow

Into the assuring warm-heartedness of shoreline.


 (“Habeebi”  ~ Arabic for “My Love”)


To learn more about the Holy Land Foundation case please visit Freedom to Give.

Shukri Abu Baker

Shukri Abu Baker is one of The Holy Land Five, a political prisoner sentenced to 65 years in a maximum security federal prison because of his dedication and charitable contributions all around the world, including the Palestinians in Gaza.

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9 Responses

  1. annie on January 8, 2015, 2:01 pm

    makes me weep

  2. bintbiba on January 8, 2015, 7:49 pm


  3. Walid on January 8, 2015, 8:50 pm

    Very sad.

  4. Pixel on January 9, 2015, 3:56 am

    Deeply moving.


  5. ivri on January 9, 2015, 5:25 am

    The problem with these people is always the huge gap between how nicely they talk and the gruesome results of what they actually do. Money channeled to Hamas in effect financed the second Intifada with cafes and buses blown up heartlessly – leaving many people weeping for long years after their dead loved ones.

    • annie on January 9, 2015, 6:03 pm

      that’s a blatant lie ivri.

      the sentences of 65-years and life, followed a first trial in 2007 that ended with a hung jury. The guilty verdict came after post-9/11 legal changes, which criminalized charitable donations to the besieged Gaza Strip, even though the Holy Land Foundation was donating to the same zakat charities that the U.S. government supported via USAID.

      “secret evidence” was used by an anonymous source. A so-called Israeli intelligence expert testified under a pseudonym and said that the defendants had ties to Hamas. How did “Avi,” the Israeli intelligence officer, prove a “terror” affiliation? Elashi told me, while on the stand Avi said he “could smell Hamas.”

      Attorney Michael Ratner says that Avi’s testimony violated the defendent’s sixth amendment right to face their accuser.

      See more at:

      this was an historical conviction for the US in that secret evidence was presented by an anonymous the defense didn’t get to question. at what expense to our freedoms were they convicted? did you ever think of that.

      byw , i interviewed HL5 attorney Nancy Hollander for this article:- See more at:

      This is travesty of American criminal justice. I don’t think American citizens understand that this effects all of us and the world that believes in the American criminal justice system. Anyone in any court in America now risks being convicted based on the opinion of someone who claims to be an expert without any opportunity to cross examine that person because everything about that so-called expert can remain secret.The right to Confrontation, so long enshrined in our justice system, died today.

    • eljay on January 15, 2015, 1:16 pm

      >> ivreee: The problem with these people is always the huge gap between how nicely they talk and the gruesome results of what they actually do.

      You’re right: For over 60 years, Zio-supremacists have been talking nicely and getting away with the gruesome results of what they actually do.

  6. jimby on January 9, 2015, 9:58 am

    Thank you, what a travesty of justice this case is. So terribly sad and a blot on American Justice.

  7. ivri on January 10, 2015, 5:28 am

    Annie, you must understand that since Sep 11 “the party is over” in regard to any understanding organizations like Hamas that target civilians as a matter of POLICY (rather than inevitable consequence due effective “human shielding” practices, as in Gaza) may have – and if you help them IN ANY WAY you have dirtied your hands in the blood of their victims. Like what will happen in France now following the recent events in Paris and was long understood in Israel, which was the first to be hit by massive terror killings (mainly in the second Intifada), you got to fight these organizations to the their very end and by any means you have. You will see that happening anywhere now.

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