The Gravest Sin

The Gravest Sin
You declared
Endless adoration,
Now you kneel
Seeking salvation.
And the gift
I bestowed on you
Is now penance’
Sacrificial ewe.
Down it sinks
Casket in the soil.
The pious infidel
Pleads in turmoil,
While luring Eve-
Past sagacious, present fool,
Am your mirror;
The reflection of your soul.
Watch the coward then,
See him run
And see me fall.
The feeble hero
To his Maker
Watch me lure, entice
Then resign
To a fate of cruel design.
Gone my limb, part of my whole.
Tore the script and altered his role.
Promises retracted…
Words recanted…
Making amendments to his God,
The Ten Commandments he forgot
While in passion was consumed.
As for me?
I’ll sketch my path to Hades’ loft,
And bear the wrath to which I’m doomed.
But Carnal Love was not our sin;
Lovers’ lust is sanctioned.
Hypocrisy brought forth your ruin…
Mine?… just blind devotion.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you Amal! Love your poem!
    Note for the readers: Amal’s poem is about one of her relationships in Lebanon. “I was born in Lebanon, moved to Canada at age 13. I received two degrees from the University of Alberta, and I now teach in the French Immersion program at an Elementary School.I went back hoping to live in Lebanon after the civil war, only to find that it was very difficult to raise a child on a single mom’s income. During the 4 years I lived in Lebanon with my child, I met many eligible men. Having been raised in western society, where most men are honest and honor their intentions, I wore my heart out on my sleeve only to find out that what I thought were proposals turned out to be propositions”.

  2. Nice!!
    Appreciating Lebanese women’s poetry!
    I completely agree with having hard time finding an honest man in this country, especially when a woman is divorced or a widow.

  3. Thank you Amal! Great 🙂
    i read on the following:
    “What Men Really Want- Especially Lebanese Men
    1) A smart yet very sexy women- men are picky, they wanna be able to have a challenging conversation with a girl yet they want her to resemble somewhat of a cover-girl. She also needs to be fun and exciting – always up for having a good time.
    2) An open-minded yet conservative girl- she needs to be able to sleep- out on the getaway weekends to Faraya- yet they prefer her to be from a family that actually calls to ask her where she is . ( Bint 3ayleh ya3ni)
    3)She needs to be confident enough to not complain about her body, yet cool enough to share a good hearty meal with him, ya3ni if he feels like having Barbar after the Sahra- she better not complain about her weight.
    4)Respect, respect, respect- men hate it when we go off on them- this is the biggest threat to their masculinity, no matter how bad they eff-up , they don’t expect you to scold them for it. (Yes, we share diff ideas of respect- they think it’s us not shouting at them- we think it’s them not making us look bad by checking out our competition.)
    5) Boy time. Alone. Men need their space, even if it’s sitting home playing pS3 with their best buds, when they feel this no longer becomes an option for them- they’ll be looking for away OUT.
    The list goes on – but I’d prefer to hear from others too! “

  4. But of course not all men in Lebanon are dishonest. There exists a group of honest, loyal, conscientious, decent,genuine men in this country that have eyes only for the women in their lives.

    1. That is certainly very true. This specific man was very much in love, as I was. However to be with him “legally”, I would have had to convert to Islam and our matrimony would have to remain secret.
      I remember once I was at an event and my parents introduced me to their friends. The lady looked at me head to toe, checking out all of my physical assets. She whisked me away to meet another woman who did the exact same thing. Once satisfied with the physical package, she grabbed my hands to look at my ring finger. Satisfied that I wasn’t wearing any, she was beaming… right until my child walked up to me and held onto my leg. After I introduced my little daughter, the woman’s face just dropped.
      I found the whole charade quite disrespectful but still laughable. She hadn’t asked my name, she didn’t ask me what I did, she didn’t address me at all, except to say “oh” when I introduced my daughter.
      The point is, that even if a man is interested in a divorced or widowed woman especially one with a child in tow, he has to be super strong, super independent, super assertive to convince those around him to accept his love interest.

  5. Dear Amal, you are a beautiful and intelligent woman, and the mix is a ‘danger’ to most men in this part of the world.
    Once they realize in a relationship that you have your own opinion and independence (especially financially) ,they run!

    1. I hated the game they played. I would be under the impression that I was pursued as a mate, as a life partner, only to find out that I was an easy target since I was not “chaste”, therefore I have nothing to lose.
      I don’t know how to play hard to get. I never learned that in order to let someone know you’re attracted to him, you need to be very distant and aloof. I am not that person, never was, never will be. However this “what you see is what you get” personality of mine does not fit in the Lebanese society
      As a woman, you can do all the “sab3a wou dimmita” your heart (or body) desires, as long as you do it clandestinely. Everyone will turn a blind eye to your indiscretions. But if you dare to show your true colors and be authentic, then society shuts you out.
      I chose to be authentic. I chose to be myself. That did not sit too well in my community, and my poor parents had to turn a deaf ear to much criticism regarding my actions.
      I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for having parents that wanted my happiness above all else.

      1. Don’t know and don’t want to ‘play hard to get’…
        I also am ‘what you see is what you get’ and i can assure you that you are right saying that it does not fit in the Lebanese society.

  6. Thank you Amal, your poem is beautiful just like you, and thak you for sharing your story.
    I would love to live in Lebanon, but the issues with the status of women is a huge barrier – especially for single women. I’ve met some of the highest quality of characters in Lebanon – of both genders, but societal norms mean that men can get away with a lot of ill treatment of women, with no preassure or expectation of accountability for their behaviour outside of themselves. Due to the status of women, this means the potential suffering is far greater with no guarentee of any access to support of any kind.
    It is really sad, because Lebanon and the Lebanese are one of the worlds greatest treasures and in this life which is so short, I would love to spend the remainder of my days there.
    Thanks again Amal, you beautiul lady!

    1. I had three jobs while I lived in Lebanon. I didn’t even have my own place. My child and I lived with my parents. Even with their support and help, it was evident that I couldn’t save enough to send my child to university.
      The decision to come back was due to financial reasons and reasons of integrity and autonomy. I do not regret going back for those 4 years. It gave me a chance to grow as human being, it also gave me the chance to see Lebanon in its reality. It also gave my child the opportunity to learn Arabic and get connected to her Arabic roots.

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