On a mid summer day (
They had the wind in their branches. A million proud palm trees stood high for what this land is all about. They even harboured ambitious schemes to make home out of the 80% of available public land for them and their kinfolk.
But the wind blew otherwise. In the ensuing years, their loyalty was cast under suspicion. Their nightly chatter with the sea was deemed subversive. Plans were devised to bring them further apart. People who come into regular contact with them would be selected from those unfamiliar with their tongue and ways. At a later, more critical stage, it was decided, in the best interest of good governance, that their unruly, dense and over-populated presence be re-landscaped and brought into line with accepted regional standards.
The plan proved to be a roaring success. Today, there are only about 200,000 palm trees (by FAO estimates), in a perfectly safe and fenced state, with the rest of all public land diverted to private development.
تبدت لنا وسط الرَّصافة نخلـــة *** تناءت بأرض الغرب عن بلد النخل
فقلت : شبيهي في التغرب والنوى *** وطول ابتعاد عن بني أهلــــي
نشأت بأرض أنت فيها غريبــة *** فمثلك في الإقصاء والمنتأى مثلـي