Maya and Me


The great Maya Angelou died earlier this week at the age of 86. In 1978 she wrote a wonderful poem titled Still I Rise that beautifully narrated the African-American experience.

Shortly before my trial in 2005 and while in solitary confinement I wrote a response poem titled We Shall Rise drawing a parallel between the African-American and Palestinian struggles.

At the time I was gratified to know that my late attorney Bill Moffit gave Dr. Angelou a copy of the poem which she appreciated very much.

Here it is given below for anyone who appreciates poetry. May the souls of Dr. Angelou and Bill rest in peace.

May God have mercy on them and all of us.


by Sami Al-Arian

To Maya Angelou

Like the dream of the slave
You rise
And with the scream of the brave
I shall rise

In honoring the memory of your ancestors
You rise
With my stateless brothers and sisters
I shall rise

Like dust in the sunlight
You rise
And as ashes in a fiery night
I shall rise

You offend
Because of your existence
And I
For my resistance

You upset them
Recalling their past
And I
By holding steadfast

They may trod you in dirt
May cause me all the hurt
Inflict upon you excruciating pain
While they shut me up and detain
But they won’t see you broken
Neither would my faith be forsaken

As you’ve never bowed your head
And never lowered your eyes
I’ll continue to raise my fist
And hide my mother’s cries

They may shoot you with their words
Cut me up with their swords
They may insult you with their eyes
Denigrate me with their lies
Trying to kill you with their hate
Bury me alive to seal my fate

But they’d certainly
Be shamed and fail
As the free chant and sing
On their march to prevail

So keep your head held high
As I follow you and try
And keep your beautiful smile
As I walk my first mile

They’ll pressure and blame
Throw us in prison to control and tame
They’ll exile and defame
Lynch us all or shoot and maim
Burn crosses with no shame
Target our children in a dirty game

By why is that a surprise?
Despite their evil and terror
Their falsehood and lies
You shall rise
And I shall rise

You’re the black ocean
Leaping and wide
I’m the Mediterranean
With a stormy tide
Staying together
Side by side

It’s no surprise
We shall rise
Surely shall rise
We together shall rise

Dr. Sami Al-Arian is a Palestinian civil rights activist and academic. He lives in Turkey.

October 07, 2015
Nancy Scheper-Hughes
Witness to a Troubled Saint-Making: Junipero Serra and the Theology of Failure
Luciana Bohne
The Double-Speak of American Civilian Humanitarianism
Joyce Nelson
TPP: Big Pharma’s Big Deal
Jonathan Cook
Israel Lights the Touchpaper at Al-Aqsa Again
Joseph Natoli
The Wreckage in Sight We Fail To See
Piero Gleijeses
Jorge Risquet: the Brother I Never Had
Andrew Stewart
Do #BlackLivesMatter to Dunkin’ Donuts?
Rajesh Makwana
#GlobalGoals? The Truth About Poverty and How to Address It
Joan Berezin
Elections 2016: A New Opening or Business as Usual?
Dave Randle
The Man Who Sold Motown to the World
Adam Bartley
“Shameless”: Hillary Clinton, Human Rights and China
Binoy Kampmark
The Killings in Oregon: Business as Usual
Harvey Wasserman
Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors
Tom H. Hastings
Unarmed Cops and a Can-do Culture of Nonviolence
October 06, 2015
Vijay Prashad
Afghanistan, the Terrible War: Money for Nothing
Mike Whitney
How Putin will Win in Syria
Paul Street
Yes, There is an Imperialist Ruling Class
Paul Craig Roberts
American Vice
Kathy Kelly
Bombing Hospitals: 22 People Killed by US Airstrike on Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
Ron Jacobs
Patti Smith and the Beauty of Memory
David Macaray
Coal Executive Finally Brought Up on Criminal Charges
Norman Pollack
Cold War Rhetoric: The Kept Intelligentsia
Cecil Brown
The Firing This Time: School Shootings and James Baldwin’s Final Message
Roger Annis
The Canadian Election and the Global Climate Crisis
W. T. Whitney
Why is the US Government Persecuting IFCO/Pastors for Peace Humanitarian Organization?
Jesse Jackson
Alabama’s New Jim Crow Far From Subtle
Joe Ramsey
After Umpqua: Does America Have a Gun Problem….or a Dying Capitalist Empire Problem?
Murray Dobbin
Rise Up, Precariat! Cheap Labour is Over
October 05, 2015
Michael Hudson
Parasites in the Body Economic: the Disasters of Neoliberalism
Patrick Cockburn
Why We Should Welcome Russia’s Entry Into Syrian War
Kristine Mattis
GMO Propaganda and the Sociology of Science
Heidi Morrison
Well-Intentioned Islamophobia
Ralph Nader
Monsanto and Its Promoters vs. Freedom of Information
Arturo Desimone
Retro-Colonialism: the Exportation of Austerity as War By Other Means
Robert M. Nelson
Noted Argentine Chemist Warns of Climate Disaster
Matt Peppe
Misrepresentation of the Colombian Conflict
Barbara Dorris
Pope Sympathizes More with Bishops, Less with Victims
Clancy Sigal
I’m Not a Scientologist, But I Wish TV Shrinks Would Just Shut Up
Chris Zinda
Get Outta’ Dodge: the State of the Constitution Down in Dixie
Eileen Applebaum
Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Not Tax Credits, Will Help Families
Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure
“Boxing on Paper” for the Nation of Islam, Black Nationalism, and the Black Athlete: a Review of “The Complete Muhammad Ali” by Ishmael Reed
Lawrence Ware
Michael Vick and the Hypocrisy of NFL Fans
Gary Corseri - Charles Orloski
Poets’ Talk: Pope Francis, Masilo, Marc Beaudin, et. al.
Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria