Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Bal’s Poetry at Days of Palestinian Culture

On the night of November 24th, at the closing ceremony Days of Palestinian Culture in Collegium Artisticum,  the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Assoc. Prof. Dr.Mustafa Bal performed his poem Gazzeli Yusuf'tan Cevap" (“A Response from Gazan Yusuf”) in Turkish language.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bal’s poem was written and published in 2014 and is inspired as a response to the poem by Turkish poet Cahit Koytak under the name of "Gazze Risalesi" ("Dispatches to My Gazan Son") in which he describes and contemplates on atrocities surrounding Gaza and Palestine in general by addressing a boy named Yusuf. “A Response from Gazan Yusuf” opens by addressing Cahit Koytak and tells him that Palestine now is a modern, fragmented poem. It further tells him that in order to write up about his homeland, Koytak needs to write a lost epic first and dig up so deep a pit into the earth and bury it there. That will mean that Koytak’s poem will be spread around the world just like Palestinian diaspora that lives in separate parts of the world. Then Yusuf continues to describe his birth place by saying that he was born in a flower bed where there are flowers that sprout watered by death. That’s why Yusuf is now a bit mute in speech and hysterical when he gets happy. Then with the fourth chapter, Yusuf starts to deconstruct the great, civilized humanity myth – humanity that is supposed to help, improve and progress. While doing this he intertextually uses one of the most famous speeches by Shakespeare: “all the world is a stage” soliloquy, and concludes that since those great writers such as Shakespeare died, humanity now is born, lives and dies all in the modal of death. With the next chapter, Yusuf expresses his disgust with the myth of humanity, and claims that humanity is on the cross, humanity was raped in Grbavica and Nanjing, humanity was reserved in reservations in America, and etc. In the 6th chapter, Yusuf, this time in a richly rhymed poem, defines who he is, and depicts his identity by emphasizing his birthplace Gaza. The poem closes with Yusuf’s defining Cahit Koytak as the poet of love with the scent of Palestine.

With his performance Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Bal greatly enriched Days of Palestinian Culture in Sarajevo in both linguistic and artistic manners.  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bal’s participation in the event, as well as the cooperation with our Department of Arts continues the trend of  our cultural cooperation with both local artistic community and worldwide.