The Corridor.

 Fouad Mohammad Fouad*

(A corridor that leads to the operating theatre of a hospital in Aleppo)

The wolf in the corridor –
like a stray soul
in the recovery room
where antiseptics don’t work
and passers-by
only pass by with heads bowed


Let bandages unroll in the waiting room
Follow the drops of blood


They are sick with cruelty
Rancid fat on the bed


The wolf in the corridor –
its shadow on the wall
wounds the little girl and the grandmother


Don’t rest your head on a dirty shirt
Don’t ask why the woman is crying behind the door


The wolf in the corridor –
Stop the music

He is dying

*Fouad Mohammad Fouad

Fouad Mohammad Fouad is a Syrian doctor, public health researcher, and poet. He was born in Aleppo in 1961.

In 1980, Fouad was one of a group of younger Syrian writers to participate in the formation of the Aleppo University Conference, a group that made a novel contribution to modern poetry in Syria and the Arab region.

He has published a number of collections of poetry: Taghut al-Kalaam (The Idol of Speech, 1990), Matruk Janiban (Left Aside, 1998), Qal Baydaba (Baydaba Said, 2004) and Ajza' al-Hayawan(TheParts of the Animal, 2010). He participated in a workshop on translation at the International Centre for For Poetry in Marseille, which resulted in the publication in 2002 of a collection entitled Import / Export, Damascus / Marseille. The collection included the work of three Syrian poets and three French poets.

He has published both poems and critical articles in Arabic journals and magazines. Among the conferences in which he has participated are the 'Voices of the Mediterranean' conference on poetry held in France in 2005, the First Cultural Festival for Young Writers held in Algiers in 2009, and the first Conference on the Prose Poem in Cairo in 2010.

In 2007 he participated, along with a group of Egyptian poets, in publishing Muqaddima(Introduction), a journal dedicated to prose poetry.

He's travelled a great deal: desire, curiosity, and his profession have taken him to more than forty countries. This has allowed him to live - in the words of the philosopher, poet, and doctor Avicenna - 'a life that is broad rather than long'. He has written a number of essays on these journeys to be included in a book that will be published in the future. 

The circumstances of the war in Syria have forced him to leave Aleppo for Lebanon, where he currently works as visiting professor in the College of Health Sciences at the American University in Beirut.