Under the Jasmine Tree

On Thursday 27th June, Maryhill Integration Network, Media Co-Op, St Fillans Primary School, teachers Monica Cohen and Saffanna Aljbawi and MIN Development Officer Pinar held the launch of a new animated film based on Saffanna’s poem “Under the Jasmine Tree” at St Fillans.

The film, animated by children attending St Fillans Primary School Migration After-School Club, received widespread media coverage, and is a powerful, moving film about escaping from Syria to Glasgow.

Read the poem, or watch the film here:

Don’t think I came from the past,
Or I don’t have education, history or heart.
Don’t look at me as if I am an insect or a rat,
Simply I just have had a very bad fate
Which threw me away, very far and late.
I didn’t come to stand in a queue
To have food and clothes,
Maybe old, maybe new.
There I have a lovely house
With a garden and lots of friends…
My students, my books, brothers and sisters
And my past –
All of them I lost.
All of them I miss…
Two things I brought
My children and my coat.
I don’t want a flat or flute
Some meat or fruit.
I need your smile and some human rights.
There, under the jasmine tree
I had buried our stories,
Tears, smiles and memories
For fear of them being stolen, like our dreams.
There in the balcony of my house
I left a cup of coffee and a conversation with my neighbours.
On the tray there were some of the jasmine flowers
Which were contaminated with the smell of gunpowder.
My children’s clothes are still there on the clothes line
Waiting for the sun of hope and the wind of love.
The voices of the neighbours’ children are still singing in my ears
When they collect strawberries from my garden.
I ask someone who is still there
To water the flowers which grow on my
mother’s grave.
I ask for someone to feed our cat
Which is waiting for us in front of the door.
It’s great if your memory takes you everywhere.
However forgetting sometimes is much better.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.