Like hundreds of other prisoners of conscience now languishing in Sisi's prisons, Ahmed Douma has a long background in activism. One of the founders of Kefaya and the April 6 Youth Movement, Douma was incarcerated eighteen times under Mubarak and SCAF and twice again during Morsi’s brief year of rule. Most recently, Douma was arrested in December 2013 for violating the country's harsh anti-protest laws. Though his health has deteriorated to the point that his life is now at risk, an Egyptian judged recently sentenced him to three years in prison.
Forgotten in all this is that Ahmed Douma is also a poet with an original voice. His diwan, Sotak tali3 (Your Voice is Rising, Cairo: Dawwan, 2012) is a remarkable document, wholly unknown in English. It deserves to be widely read—not just by people interested in Douma's case, but also by people interested in seeing the whole range of Egypt's literary scene.
Read the poems over at Mada Masr