Project Description

Fouad M. Fouad is a poet and public health physician. Currently, he works as a professor at the American University in Beirut and a senior researcher at King’s College London.

In 1980, Fouad was one of a group of younger Syrian writers to participate in the formation of the Aleppo University Forum, a group that made a novel contribution to modern poetry in Syria and the Arab region.
He has published five collections, the most recent a bilingual Arabic-English (co-translation with poet Norbert Hirschhorn), Once Upon a Time in Aleppo, of the latter’s poems – Hippocrates Press, 2020.”


tell this Syrian waiter
not to chuck the dishes
onto the wood table,
and to keep his thumb out of the hummus.
a few olives,
a pickled cucumber,
a loaf of bread.
the sea does not reach Aleppo
nor reaches the moans of its displaced people,
those thrown into the freezing air of winter.
it’s not more than half-tomato,
these red slices.
I heard them laughing,
the dead who returned to the flattened Grand Mosque of Aleppo;
they carry dust which may be from the collapsed minaret.
O Allah, I complain to you about the painful matters you know.
don’t say anything else.
don’t stay away from the Sahet el Hatab.*
don’t get lost.
the waiter’s shaking his head
while he licks his finger
that carries traces of hummus

*Name of an old square in Aleppo