Poem of the Week - 'I am' by Amir Darwish
I am a chicken tikka masala in a Sunday night take-away for lovers.
I am Mohammed to my Parisian friends but Jacques on my CV.
I am a Friday night doner kebab after a good night out.
I am a taxi driver ready to pick up and drop you on a cold winter day.
I am a London sheesha smelling of apple.
I am an off-license shop with a pint of milk ready for tea when guests
I am hot-to-touch naan bread.
I am a little boy who cannot understand why my school-friends won't
play with me anymore.
I am a New York pizza delivery boy who is spat at when I deliver food.
I am a young girl who has taken off the hijab in order to feel safe.
I am an old man who has started to shave my beard.
I am a grandmother who has exchanged the zari for a pair of jeans.
I am a mosque with broken windows.
I am a Muslim.
I am not a terrorist.
This powerful poem is one of my favourites from Amir Darwish's debut collection Don't Forget the Couscous. Strong statements and evocative language, this poem achieves an empowering voice.