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Description of a Person


QASSIM HADDADI put a mirror on the table. I glare at and wonder: Who is that person? I hardly know him. When I use more mirrors, the person multiplies in front of me, and increases like an echo in the sides of a cathedral of mountains. Then I believe that I am able to recognize him. He is almost ... Qassim Haddad.

Since the beginning of his relationship with writing, I have been living in an inclement hell: I understand that world of literature calls for an amount of tranquillity and calmness, or at least some kind of self-confidence. But this person does not calm down nor is he taken in by the shape of life. He is like a blind madman who looks for non-existing sun in a dark room. He does trust nobody. He does not rest at any region nor has confidence in his own writing. He calls what he writes, the last exercise towards death in an unbearable life. Every day, once he faces a new experiment, he seems as if he writes for the first and the last time in his life. He is just a body that quivers like a terrified child proceeding to a beast. Many times, I leave him alone in the room, sick and on the verge of death. But next day, when I return to him, he puts a text before my hand and sits like a beggar waiting for my reactions. He weeps like a dead man elegizing himself. No sooner I tell him a word, than he recovers and jumps like a devil, ready to live as if he is just born. Although his appearance does suggest gravity, he is, nonetheless, a first degree frivoler! He believes that there is an energy suppressed in the things of the world that should be released. He does not leave a thing as it is. He feels that a text should be full of opposites. He works on writing like he who builds one's body and soul by words. He lays the maps of the road on the table, in front of one but when he begins writing, he forgets all of that. Instead, he writes something else that has no relation neither to the maps nor to the road. He goes forward to the text like a man lost in an unknown land. In the evening, he places his head on my shoulder and begins crying just because a word is still unattainable. He writes as if he is bom, as if he dies. He is fond of despair as if hope is dangerous. When I tell him that writing is somewhat like pouring forth hope into the world, he exaggerates in clinging to despair like that who protects himself against some illusions that nobody can see but him. Nobody would ever know whether he leads writing to dissolution or it prays through him.

I tried my best with him. I got fed up of him. Whenever he grows older, his craving for contradictions exacerbates, and he begins to behave like a light-

headed boy. His body is no more able to afford the burden of his soul which slips away like fire that overflows all over a stove. Many times, he pretends to
have had many adventures, but nonetheless, I have never met a coward like him. He pretends to have penetrated deeply into the night of meaning, although he fears nothing but the dark places. He pretends that he is consecrated to the wave of experience although he has never learned how to swim. He is possessed by an ambiguous loss of things he likes.

What can I do for him? He is a person crammed with contradictions. He is known of extremity in all aspects of his life, while he is vulnerable to deterioration by any incidental gust. He pretends to be an adamant person while he is just a fragile being because of the excessive daily sensibility. Why should I be always a consort for a person ambiguous up to such degree? His heart is but a child approaching puberty. He talks like a sage and dies a little. I expect he is sick. I take him to physicians skilled in curing bodies and souls, but they all shake their heads: "No hope. His case in incurable. He ought to receive a coup de grace like a crippled horse." On our way back home, he jumps and runs away to the steppes. I barely hear about him. Next day, he reprimands me to read his new book, but when I talk to him about ambiguity, he carefully smiles and says, "Had they understood the meaning, I would have been proscribed."

His skill to transmigrate puts me in dilemma. He has more than one image, and the mirror does not reflect a person whom I know every time. Whenever I double the mirrors, they always reflect a different person. I do not trust my vision and, he in turn, does not respond to my supplication to quit. It is not easy to live with a person who cannot excel in something more than misleading the others, so they do not follow him. He doubts everything. To him, writing is but some black lamps held by a blind creature leading a group of people deeply asleep, towards some dreams that are equal to nightmares.

I would recommend him as a remedy for those healthy minds and guarantee them headaches! One should avoid the traps he sets up in the curves of his pathways. You will never escape self-reproach once one of his texts crosses your body; while you are asleep or awake. He crosses the comfort of others and grant them some abiding anxiety that flows over their need. He tells eloquently that heaven is within reach, and that one is only required to believe the jokings of the elegant corpse traversing towards your bed. It is your corpse.

But whenever he begins talking about truth, I place my hand on my heart. His lies are innumerable. One will never meet a person who can tell lies in such a fascinating truth like he does. That puts me under the rage of the others who declare their condenmafion of such a frivolous poet. What can I do for him? What can I really do for a person that neither takes me in nor leaves me alone?

Whenever I try to make him sit down so we reach an agreement with each other, he declares: "I am not in agreement with the others nor am I ready to be so." He is amicable and belligerent at the same time, as if he writes the text not to communicate with others, but separate from them, and go far away. He exaggerates expressing this notion and feels proud of it.

His inner self is more voracious than his appearance. He is venturesome at writing but fogyish in life. His text is more progressive than him. However, when I tell him about such a paradox he shrugs his shoulders and says, "It does not matter. I am not you. I am different!" He has lots of friends, but his enemies are innumerable. He always repeats: "As long as we are unable to gain new friends, we must keep our old enemies." His talent to create friends is matchless, but he does not let the enemy go by easily. He says, "To transform a friend to an enemy is easier than making the enemy a friend." To him, the enemy is more honest in the relationship than the friend. It might be because the enemy is more explicit and more frank. The enemy does not repent of being so. On the contrary, the friend sometimes feels sorry for being a friend.

He escapes from everywhere to go home. He always feels at danger when he is outdoors. That is what makes him like to travel in theory, but does not bear to go abroad when it becomes true. Once he is caught up by evening while he is away from home, he will be inevitably befallen by an ambiguous panic. He acts then like a wounded and blockaded beast. Few hours after his departure, he feels sorry for committing such a foolishness. I don't really know how could he be able to write poetry when he is in such a state of panic. Once, I put forth such a question to him. He looked angrily at me and said, "The person who is always at ease does not write poetry. He does not fear a thing, and not befallen by an inexplicable inner tremor. I write poetry because I am scared and always at danger. Only poetry can protect me against this world. You don't understand because you don't feel loss of something that already lost." He tried to commit suicide many times, but he had no time to do so. That what he alleges. I know him. He is more cowardly than to make it. He doesn't dare to live, so how could he even dare to die. His passion for suicides and mad people stimulates doubt. Perhaps he is still capable to identify with others. Many times, I become afraid that I wake up one day to discover that he is no more alive. He enjoys making me so scared. As if he tampers with someone else. Just imagine a person who wakes up to find himself in a form of a suicide person. I can't bear such not ion, but I am unable to get rid of this companion who frivols with me and pretends that I am he.

That is Qassim Haddad ... approximately.

I imagined that I had seen him in one of those mirrors while he was identifying with mercury. Here I am more confident that I don't know him at all. Who can pretend that he knows himself?


Bahraini poet. Born in Bahrain, he did not finish his secondary education and is largely self-educated. He rose to fame both as a poet and as a revolutionary, writing much verse on political subjects dealing with freedom and progress. At present, he is the head of the Union of Bahraini writers. The most famous poet of Bahrain, he has published 15 collections of poetry,

  • Good Omen , Beirut , 1970
  • Exodus of Hussain's Head from the Traitorous Cities, Beirut 1972
  • The Second Blood , Beirut , 1975
  • The Heart of Love , Bahrain , 1980
  • Resurrection , Beirut , 1982
  • Relating , Beirut , 1982
  • Splinters , Beirut , 1983
  • Walking Guarded with Ibexes , Bahrain , 1986
  • Solitude of the Queens
  • Qassim's Grave , Bahrain , 1997
  • The Breasts (with Amin Salih
  • The Story of Majnoon Layla

He also wrote and published some prose books such :

  1. Critique of hope , Beirut
  2. Not by this Way nor by the other, 1997
  3. Theatre in Bahrain , Experience and Horizon , Bahrain , 1980.


He is a founding member of "Bahrain Writers Association" established in

  • A member of "Awal Theatre" in Bahrain
  • A member of the editorial committee of the literary periodical
  • "KALEMAT" issued by Bahrain Writers Association".
  • Contributes in writing critical Essays and studies in Arabic
  • Newspapers and periodicals.
  • Many of his poems had been translated into English, French, and
    German language
  • Participated in many Arabic and International Symposiums, Conferences
    and forums on poetry and writing.
  • He have personal home page in entrant