I’ve always been a fan of the esteemed Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature on nine different occasions and has a sea of quotes attributed to him. Two of them, in particular, really strike a chord with me.
One is on his tombstone:
“I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. I am free.”
The other is from his novel Zorba the Greek (which was later turned into a film):
“Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to unfasten your belt and look for a fight.”
With Nikos Kazantzakis as my muse, I’ve written this poem to reflect my mindset when it comes to social justice:
I fear nothing
As I expect nothing
I am a free woman
And, free I shall remain
as that is my strength
Those who place
their personal interests
above justice & human rights
should fear me
as those, I shall expose
Art comes in all forms. It is the very thing that reflects our culture and identity. When paintings, sculptures, frescos and other antiquities are stolen from the places where they were created, it leaves a hole in the identity of entire communities. As a refugee, I’ve experienced this acutely–it’s why I’m so passionate about stopping culture crime in its tracks. But you don’t have to be a refugee to connect to the importance of art in society.
This poem was the inspiration for my book ‘The Icon Hunter’. I hope that when you read it, you too will be inspired to take action and help to return invaluable antiquities to their rightful place.