The horror of the world

Andrzej Leder published some days ago on Facebook:

Oussama Abbes

Not to forget the real heroes of this world:

18th of August 2015

On his knees, he awaits his beheading.

This is Syrian archaeologist Dr. Khaled al-Asaad, chief of the excavations of Palmir (Palmyra). Khaled al-Asaad refused to reveal the location of the treasures and antiques of Tadmur (now Palmyra) that he hid before the arrival of the Islamic State.

Al-Asaad was beheaded in the square in front of the museum where he worked for over 50 years.

His mutilated body was then hung at a traffic light.

Khaled al-Asaad was the top guardian of Palmyra antiques and, in July 2015, he was captured by Islamic State fighters. Despite many tortures, he did not reveal the location of the museum’s treasures and was executed in the central square of Palmyre. When it became clear that fighters were going to capture Palmyre, scientists led by Al Asaad went to all lengths to hide Palmyre’s unique and invaluable antiques. He played a central role in saving hundreds of artifacts, transporting them from Palmyre to a safe location.

Khaled al-Asaad spoke five languages in addition to six ancient idiomatic languages, some of which are now extinct. Several European countries offered him residence and citizenship, but he refused to leave Syria.

He fought to his death to save the heritage of humanity.

Kaveh Akbar

                                                 after Khaled al-Asaad 

bonepole bonepole since you died
there’s been dying everywhere
do you see it slivered where you are
between a crown and a tongue
the question still
more god or less
I am all tangled
in the smoke you left
the swampy herbs
the paper crows
horror leans in and brings
its own light
this life so often inadequately
lit your skin peels away your bones soften
your rich unbecoming a kind of apology

when you were alive your cheekbones
dropped shadows across your jaw
I saw a picture
I want to dive into that darkness
the rosewater
the sand irreplaceable
jewel how much of the map did you leave
lthere were so many spiders
your mouth a moonless system
of caves filling with dust
the dust thickened to tar
your mouth opened and tar spilled out

I am an archeologist, I cann’t stop thinking about Khaled – al Asaad.
Requiescat in Pace, Brother.

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