Yet, another niche market

On the quest of indentifying niche markets -purely generated by the individual needs of consumers; One, might wonder if there is any place left for innovation. The answer is: Yes, but could it be affordable enough for an entrepreneur to undertake? Not really.

In a world where big companies run the field, it is crucial to build your penetration strategy to complement, rather than, compete with the big boys.

Take MacDonald’s/or Burger King for example; whatever the branch next to you serves, they have paid for that royalty! Thus, serving a Breakfast Menu means that they are adding more cost to their business. What if you can turn that into an opportunity!! Here we go:

  1. Identifying the Gap: the main components of a Breakfast Menu are eggs and sausage; all other components are available of the main (basic) menu.
  2. The Gap, in Concept: treat Eggs and Sausages as an added condiment like Cheese, Onions or Mayonnaise.
  3. The Gap, Functional: what do you need to make it work? Any functioning restaurant should be equipped with a grill and a freezer at minimal; all you need from your side is your Eggs, Sausages and an employee/per shift.  
  4. A Requirement: getting your Eggs and Sausages certified/ approved by the mother company being Burger King, MacDonald’s, Wendy’s, etc.
  5. Who’s your Customer? Any restaurant that hopes to save cost on their menu i.e., cutting on royalties, increasing competitiveness by offering All-day Breakfast without any added cost, etc.
  6. A Win-win approach: While you can easily charge 40- 60 cents per added condiment being Egg or Sausage, the actual cost is almost half; a decent profit margin when dealt in volume.
  7. The benefits: a) Thousands of employment opportunities could be generated. b) Customers could enjoy their breakfast meal whenever their day starts. c) Restaurants will cut on another cost and probably much more.

So, if their Eggs and Sausages weren’t out of this world, and they weren’t so greedy; companies such as Burger King should have no problem certifying you as a supplier, then you can put an employee at every one of their branches so a customer could enjoy a Western BBQ Cheeseburger with a nice fried egg on top; a combination like no other, served all day long, with absolutely no extra charge to the business :-)

Another example on niche markets could be borrowed of the Coffee chains; each trying to compete under an obsolete business model based on: ‘coffee is how Italians drink it’! Thus the old-same variety you find everywhere!

A little of dried Cardamom grinded with coffee beans, then percolated would make for a great Arabian Coffee; the same dried Cardamom/ or even Sage boiled in water then used for your Tea lowers blood pressure and helps digestion, not to mention the amazing taste. Both additives are purely natural, could be found at any supermarket and truly cheap!

In cities with Middle Eastern taste, such varieties would sell high in volume, but it would require a spirit of change, to drop the old understanding and go global; about time :-)

Until our next niche; Merry Christmas

Firas

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Tobacco: Unrealistic Taxation nurturing the Black Market

The best way for a politician to make you pay, is to shame you first.

I am not going to dwell on the harms of smoking for that I firmly believe of human maturity, and above all, freedom. [for the record, I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life]

One can argue that Lottery should be taxed; after all, I’ve seen people –through working in multiple stores, spending huge sums of money on lottery with a return, less than 12%! Isn’t that harming people?? Hush, lottery is government monopoly… selling dreams is government business after all, and people are mature enough ‘obviously’ to make that decision.

To understand how it worked for both, governments and big tobacco companies, we must look at each group separately:

  1. Tobacco Industry: with many players in the market, the taxation, along with other limitations has forced most of the small operators to sell-out, allowing the big ones to grow even bigger and the small ones to vanish! The outcome was the world-market with 3-5 major players.
  2. Governments: by playing the mind game, governments actually convinced their people that smoking is slowly and steadily killing them, their loved ones and even their unborn yet, allowing them to commit this act of murder for a fee (tax)!

Bottom-line: the end user is an end loser; for tobacco companies’ are still selling their products –demand, no doubt increasing every year [note the lack of statistics when it comes to measuring the actual increasing number of smokers despite all policies]. Governments have subdued their people to pay whatever they’re told to pay in return for “killing themselves”!!

What about the Black Market then? No better example to understanding black market’s volume and the absurd taxation like the one observed on Shisha (Hookah) flavored tobacco, known as Mu’assel.

To elaborate…

Product: Mu’assel.

Description: a syrupy tobacco mixture (usually honey or molasses) smoked in a Hookah/ Shisha. Typical flavors of Mu‘assel include apple, grape, menthol, lemon, chocolate, melon and watermelon. More traditional blends are unflavored such as Saloum and Zaghloul. Some brands of Mu’assel are tobacco-free, using other leafy foliage instead but they are not that pleasant to smoke.

MajorBrands- North America:

  1. Nakhla; Egyptian make. Two distributors in the USA and Three in Canada.
  2. Al Fakher; United Arab Emirates make. No known distributors in North America.

Nakhla Mu’assel is 40% cheaper than Al Fakher; however, Al Fakher is more desired in North America for its extra-sweet taste.

In Canada, with the tax on tobacco is one of the highest in the world; consumers and suppliers have found a common ground in the black market, supplying
Mu’assel for double the price it sells in the USA ((legally)) yet, saving their customers almost 35% of the price they would pay if buying taxed Mu’assel when/if to be found
!

Taxation is not the only cash-cow; penalties and fines, set at unimaginable figures –bankrupting small shops at times, are turning the market into a rather hostile place were either you embrace black-market or pay an absurd tax to kill yourself- if that was the case.

Radicalism is the outcome of oppression; just like, black-market is the result of absurd taxation.

Thus, I think :-)

Firas

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If I were the Marketing Manager

Niche Market is today’s every market; Blue Oceans are not sought, they are created; Online Marketing is a must and it needs to be Spot-On or you’ve just wasted your money!!

As a supplier/ manufacturer, you have two types of consumers to deal with: the ones who enjoy shopping and the ones whom do it because they have to; A simple and straightforward segmentation.

From a consumer point-of-view, an admirer of advertising, a person whom worked in the retail business and a guy that shops for the fun of it; I have listed few cases below, of companies that could do better, much better if they connect with their customers the right way…

  • Febreze - the Wrong Marketing

Sadly, Febreze is a product that could only be appreciated when smelled, not, seen! TV and other printed commercials would tackle the wrong sense i.e., the eyes, not the nose.

A proper marketing strategy should be based on reaching the nose(s) of consumers, impressing those noses would trigger a much cheaper and more effective marketing technique: Word of Mouth!

Sponsoring aroma is much cheaper than investing in advertisements; allowing for product awareness to grow would gradually build brand credibility consequently, providing the brand with enough power to suggest and link Aroma-to-Colour, and this is when TV and other forms of printed advertising could –efficiently, convey the intended message.

-         Concept Design: Associating Smell to Quick Mart → Associating Smell to Colour.

-        Attack Strategy: Identify Aroma Preferences (Zoning) → Generate the sought aroma within the targeted market i.e., Convenience Stores (Promotion/
Sponsorship).

-         Corner Stone: spreading the Aroma within small shops (Convenience Stores) is more efficient, it requires lesser units and the owner(s) would be
more than welcoming to have a nice smelling shop for free! Plus, they receive a high volume of customers with longer working hours; hence, further product [real life] exposure.

-         Tools: Market Research: Survey (What sold Where), and Focus Groups (Product Development and Customization). Paint-work and Design would
be required when executing the Colour phase.

  • DAVIDOFF Instant Coffee – Jameson Irish Whisky; The Unnoticed Opportunity  

In this case, we have two products, appreciated yet, by another set of senses, Taste and Smell; which brings us to the question: Have you ever tried this
combination before?? Boy, as if those two were meant to be together, live forever in perfect harmony. So Poetic :-)

Sharing A Prestigious Brand Recognition would allow for a flexible product positioning; additionally, both could achieve big savings if/ when logistical resources were shared. A Joint Venture might even be a good idea!

-        Brand/ Image: Equilibrium/ Reasonably Happy.

-        Concept Design: Instant Mix → Pre-bottled Mix (Microwavable).

-        Attack Strategy: Introduce Jameson through DAVIDOFF (Non-Alcoholic Dominant Product) → Link Day-to-Component (Jameson-Night/ DAVIDOFF-Morning) i.e., drinkable throughout the day → Promote within two boundaries: at Bars (as Standalone-drink) and Restaurants (an After-Meal choice).

-         Corner Stone: The taste and aroma of this combination is notoriously good; it speaks for itself, just serve the first one!

-         Tools: Outdoor Printed Material: positioned and displayed to reflect the luxurious nature of the product; Indoor Printed Material:
at High-end Bars and Restaurants. Focus Groups (tasting) must be considered to support Product’s development (Lifecycle).

  •   Nestle -Getting it Wrong   

I have been blessed with great taste buds –a big nose too, allowing me to memorize the taste and smell of any food that I have consumed throughout my life!

As a result, I can tell you for sure that Nestle has committed a big mistake when changing the taste of Lion Bar back in the 90’s; transforming a quality chocolate into another commercial piece of candy! But that’s not the issue here.

Nestle, in their effort to dominate the Islamic market, started certifying their food as Halal, a smart move if it was implemented correctly!! Sadly, what they did was actually offend any Muslim with a brain when they read Halal on –for instant, Onion Soup!!

Probably, Nestle was trying to say that this soup/product has no pork in it –since, Onions are Halal anyway. What we see here is an example of a company relaying on textbook marketing rather than actually understanding their targeted costumers and how they perceive Halal thus, convey the right message and build trust.

  • IKEA -Not Listening      

When you think IKEA, you think: Nice, and IKEA is truly nice. The problem with IKEA is almost unnoticed yet, it is preventing IKEA from reaching its full potential!

The company has failed to establish an open, two-way communication with its customers, while relaying solely on its innovative designers to develop the solutions, being the furniture of course.

How could IKEA talk to us? There are several ways to do so, some of which could be:

-      Attach a drawing sheet by the end of every section of their annual catalogue -distributed for free in most countries, a
sheet that could fold as a letter (postal paid); they will be astonished with
the designs their customers will develop.

-       An actual annual competition, with the winning designs put to production; involve the customers by allowing them to vote for their
favourite design with the opportunity to win something.

-      Dedicate a wall for their loyal customers, a virtual online wall/ or an actual one based on domestic regular purchases/ visits.

-      Enrich the dull-looking website and add an easy to use: Your Opinion Matters section. Any feedback should be gathered
and analysed while thanking the people for offering it.

-      Gather the recent/ expected trends in the market to support IKEA’s concept development by: Conducting drawing activities
at schools (Kids furniture); Surveying office workers (Office furniture); Interviewing Couples (Living room, Kitchen, etc.).

Imagine, if IKEA is to open their ears and listen, they might –for example, stop making girls rooms in pink and shift to blue-purple being Justin Bieber’s favourite colours :-)

As always, all of the above reflects my own personal opinion and my hope is, it was useful ;-)

Firas

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What is Canadian Experience?!!

Canadian Experience is a Mystical Creature; a mirage of some sort. You could spend years trying to catch it but never succeed for that it does not exist! At least, not in the form claimed to be.

To become Canadian(lly) Experienced has more to do with: How you Appear rather than What you can offer! Sadly True… Some might reach there after few years, few might have luck (or destiny) by their side and get there faster, but most, would eventually give up and become –less than what they wanted to become.

What you Should Know and What you Should Do has to do with You.

In Presenting Yourself:

On Paper/ Online

-         North American Terminology: your Resume, Yes, it’s called resume here, not a Curriculum Vitae (CV). Say: Resume.

-         Stick to short, to the point statements when conveying a point, writing a resume or even a cover letter. Do not list your ‘Job Duties’; list ‘Your
Achievements’
instead.

-         Customize your profile to fit the job you seek. Borrow Key Words from the job ad and place them in your resume so you won’t be disqualified –by the system, before someone gets the chance to review your application.

-         Seek any job that has to do with your previous experience –sacrifice finance if you could; it surly pays back. That will help you grow constantly, and peacefully.

-         Humble yourself, and your previous titles. Let’s be honest: No one is going to hire some ex-CEO/ Boss of Bosses whom has done it all to work
at the bottom of the scale. Start small, and then grow big ((again)).

In Person

While most of the people you might encounter are less educated than you are; they are way far sophisticated and this is because they read a lot plus, the advanced media which keeps them up-to-date with all areas of life. Scary Stuff! Ha? No Worries

-         Stop all that you’re reading and start on some inspiring stuff. Start building your sophistication.

-         Check if there is any course you could take to upgrade your professional capabilities. Something that ends with a useful certificate of course; we’re
not talking Basic English/ or Computer courses here.

-         Follow the News, locally and internationally; be aware of what is happening socially, economically and politically. Become truly and sincerely involved
in your new environment. Localize your sophistication.

-         Don’t feel offended; it’s a different culture and people over here are “practical”, to the point of sounding rude sometimes.

-         Widen your contact base. If the people you’re associated with now are still where they were one year ago, move on.

-         Go out; observe and associate.

Connecting with the Opportunity

Having that said, and done; opportunities will start to come your way, do not let it pass by; evaluate each opportunity as if its you’re only one, then move to the next one.

Catch the 1st Chance Study the 1st Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons

Choose / or Combine

Catch the 2nd Chance Study the 2nd Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons
Catch the 3rd Chance Study the 3rd Chance Chance’s Pros vs. Cons
Catch as Many Study More Chances Chance’s Pros vs. Cons

Responding to the Opportunity

Mr./ Ms. Sophisticated: Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk

-         Visualize: Rehearse for every interview/ or meeting like an actor. A great chance to practice the right terminology.

-         Repeat: Repeat the information you have gathered, the notes/or comments you have generated. Repeat like a believer.

-         Control: You’re in it, to win it. Extinguish your fears like a firefighter.

-        Confidence: Smile, in your way in and out.

-       Respect: Listen, Take notes, wait, wait, Answer. Be nice, not ridicules.

-       Excite: Have something impressive yet, helpful to say by the end.

Follow-up: don’t just pick-up the phone and ask: “what the hell is taking so long??” No, prepare something to offer, an advice or a gesture; something you have captured in your previous meeting. Show that you can add value, simply by showing that you care.

Wow, that was a lot…

SO, Becoming Sophisticated (reading, dressing, thinking, and responding) → Helps you fit → Fitting, exposes you to opportunities → Opportunities are evaluated with your new skills and attitude → Nurtured with continuous learning and development → Results in Acquiring the Opportunity.

Building for your Canadian Experience means building your Canadian-Self, the rest is by-product ;-)

I hope, by sharing my own experience, some might benefit.

Thanks,

Firas

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Understanding Middle Eastern Youth (Middle Class)

From my most–humbled, point of view..

The Middle Eastern young, mainly the middle class ones are born with modest options for their governments ignore them when they need it the most and their society adopts them for a price of a life served within complex traditions. Sadly enough, some of which –lucky enough to make a life out of the box, would curry on their traditions deep inside and one day; would come to surface –out of regret, demoralizing event, financial benefit, etc. and it will turn that person into a religious freak! I have seen many of my own good friends whom went to the Gulf region (Dubai, Kuwait, etc.) and came back with ideas, some would consider a bit extreme!!

Several phases a Middle Eastern must pass from youth in order to fully graduate into his/her society; first, when being categorized as a teenager, an already accused of all bad doings until proven otherwise, most parental focus falls on girls at this age, mainly from male relatives (brothers), then mother and father; second phase, you graduate and start to work while barely making enough money for a new dress, cigarettes, transport yet, viewed by the family as a parasite still draining the family resource while –theoretically, generating own income… at this phase (age), girls start to focus on their looks and approaching potential husbands with different techniques, unphysical –unless really needed, all under the table of course; if we’re lucky to leave home for a job in the Gulf, away from the parents and provided no direct relatives whom might report back home live over there, one might actually get a chance to experience some freedom; starting to make some money and build up savings automatically upgrades a person to the final phase, which is, basically for a guy, having a job and enough cash to: 1) rent/buy a house, 2) buy furniture, 3) own a car, better two, 4) enough disposable cash to spend ridiculously just to impress the girl’s parents’ during the engagement phase , concluded by a fancy wedding party. Afterwards, the guy goes back to his job in Dubai/or some other Gulf state to sustain his living standard, along with/or without the new wife and society will welcome the new family –not as an irresponsible bachelors, but rather, a respectable, tradition abiding couple, expected to make a lot of kids so they would be judged by them; observed and judged by the surrounding society, all over again!

A we will see later, the real and only difference between Middle Eastern and Western young’s is that, the latter enjoys more options!! Simply stated; yet, a lot in between to consider..

Financially: When, at a young age, deprived from the right to Financial Security, we create a young society controlled by inherited traditions and mislead religious believers, especially when governments ignore their role presented by all sorts of governmental and nongovernmental organizations focused on helping the young to stand on their feet without going back to their families for financial support; we tell those folks that they have nothing but their family contacts/ties, family resources and absolute surrender to their cultural boundaries regardless of how bad they resist it!  

-          For a ME, middle class boy, turning 18 clearly means that he will feel no freedom whatsoever for another 4- 6 years –since no student/part-time job could help a guy back-home pay for his gas, meaning: you’d still be getting your monthly/weekly allowance from your parents hence, you’re their b*^~h. Oh boy :-) Now, some might think that I am exaggerating, trust me, I am not. The real independence comes from financial independence and how to achieve that level of independence while your ultimate goal is to get it over with and graduate so you would be employed by a big company/name –something to put on your empty CV, and work your butt off for free/or close to nothing until you’re 22- 24 years of age? That if you’re lucky to be making any money at that age anyway!!

-          As a girl; well, it’s even harder. Our society most always has a certain image when it comes to a female figure; a mother, a housewife/or half of each but nothing like career oriented, goal driven, achiever, CEO, a president, etc. So, for a woman to achieve anything she has to always work harder, be sexier, very organized, tolerant, etc. and you know what? The return might not even cover all the hours, makeup, accessories and new dresses invested into it, at least, not after a very long time!

-          Some might get lucky though, leaving home during your university years to study somewhere far but you will be back, and even after 2 or 6 years; the minute you step back home, all that is gone and your back to that same level of control –with less tolerance from your side this time after you have tasted freedom!! Basically, as long as you live under their roof, there is nothing much you can do about it other than buying some image by participating in paying the bills or buying something for the house/your parents and such gestures made solely from your own pocket –if there is anything left in it!

Socially: Young usually pushed into role-playing i.e., they will go to prayers for the sake of showing off, they will attend family events in order to be well spoken of, they will approve and insist on applying all sorts of tradition-religion activities in order to show how ‘authentic’ they are and while religion is employed by tradition, tradition becomes religion and no one can tell the difference anymore with everyone’s focused towards belonging and achieving the ultimate approval. I remember when we were kids, all loving, innocent and playing together and after a dose of tradition-religion, we come to believe that this nice person is actually going to hell and that one is going to heaven based on their religion; that this good person cannot marry my sister/or daughter because his believes are different than ours.

-          Your elder brother(s), neighbors, the guy who work at the shop next-door, a jealous friend; they will inform on you to your parents, whom will have to overreact so that everyone is satisfied! A girl would be having a coffee with a male friend and someone tells the family; that girl will be –at minimum, blamed for inappropriately exposing herself in a way that brought shame upon the family. Boys, mostly get away with this one but as a twisted reaction on behalf of the society they very much dislike, they start talking about that girl, making up sexual fantasies that might get to her family and sometimes, gets the girl killed by her family. As a result, females –mostly, feel unease where’s a male presence, expecting nothing but the worse; making up lies and deception becomes a lifestyle within the young’s from both genders and no one can blame them.     

-          Why is it not acceptable for a single adult to live alone? Sex, that’s why. A single person is a tempted-to-do-wrong person by default, a good example would be of a single guy walking toward a shopping mall in Saudi Arabia during weekend, the security would not allow him to enter the mall as it is a family-only day; as in, by default, this guy is going into the mall with the soul idea of rapping someone! Consequently, the socially accepted way of moving from your parent’s home is if you have gotten married /or, as previously stated, were presented with an irresistible job offer in the Gulf region such as Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc. taking into consideration that for a female, convincing the family (parents, uncles, male cousins) of moving off to another country –let alone living alone as a single woman, is as difficult as reaching to an agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis’! Although; sometimes the family may see it as an opportunity for their daughter to find a rich catch hence, marriage for the girl is the first priority.

-          Which brings us to the marriage issue;  Now, when it comes to you announcing a partner; everyone is perfect and everyone is a judge, and you play along in order to be ‘socially accepted’; this is when the pretending and ass covering starts until the whole thing is a big play intended for everyone’s amusement/approval, excluding yours. Women tolerate the most, that until they discover the secret ultimate weapon against their male oriented society known as Religion, lots of kids too! This is when they trade what they really are for a boost of authority with the price of taking the whole family into a religious crusade that would definitely drive their kids i.e., the new generation, into further extremism while losing the spiritual fundamentals of one’s own religion!  

 

Most of the Western world might not know that the restrictions applied nowadays –on us, Middle Easterners, in forms of tradition and associated religious behaviors did not exist/or at least, had minimum effect on people’s lives 60 years ago! not that long Ha… Broken from within into many religions and different believes, for each has its own rules, driving our thinking to the point of entering the new century with a computer, wrapped in a tribal flag!

I, honestly have no idea why no one bothered telling the confused, so called Middle East Experts that in order to give people democracy, you provide them with a job, a decent minimum-wage/income, a flexible financial system to support the young bundled and supported by governmental institutes, allow the educational syllabus to self-upgrade by not limiting research to the university level only, allowing religion to be taught from a historical point of view  and through neutral authors and researches while focusing on the spiritual messages instead of outlining who is wrong and who is right!! This is how it was in the Middle East back in the 40s and up until the end of the 60s; a period when cities from Tehran to Cairo had a life standards we tend to see nowadays in cities such as London or Paris.. Monarchies started falling and gotten replaced with the ‘one and only’, followed by another ‘one and only’, and another until we lost the last bit of our freedom to the ‘one and only’ concentration camps managed by his loyal buddies and engineered by the masters of Cold War and justified/or covered up by their media machines –depending on the chess board.

Over 50 years of walking backwards, 50 years of continuous withdrawal, a century of being sold and bought by different players, wars we didn’t want, boundaries we never had, an economy with no bases and a future with no foreseen future, nationalities we were given then encouraged to seek another, lust for the West, proud of a history we once had and unless somehow tied to the ‘one and only’ and/or his buddies in any way, foreigners we live in our own land! When the youth are left with no options, they are most likely to listen to this guy whom would make up stories of heaven and what awaits there if you do this/that; then it’s a matter of time before someone goes Kaboom?

Provide means and they shall have opportunities; Opportunities will bring up energy; Energy will ignite change; Change will teach freedom; Freedom will bring democracy; Democracy is about having options and Options will bring those continents closer.

Stated in my humble opinion :-) 

 

Comment: it is of utmost importance to note that the Middle Class and no other, has been always the soul element moving and changing societies across the globe. Having that said; the MC has been shrinking in our region with, 1- 5% of it moving up the ladder to join the rich, while the rest is dropping so fast to the bottom i.e., trading the lifestyle they once afforded with a better awaits in heaven –if been religious enough. Hence, expanding extremism by expanding the audience base!

Note: Arabs are not terrorists’, Muslims are not LALALAla Crazy; they are people whom their parents, even grandparents attended the best schools and universities (females too), Cairo was a place for Greeks and Italians to immigrate and make a living; Syria’s economy was the third most developed in whole Asia back the 50s; Beirut was better than Paris and so was Tehran; Baghdad’s universities were among the best recognized worldwide; people were free to practice whatsoever religion they follow, including Jews of course (the first Minister of Finance in modern Iraqi was an IRAQI who happens to be a Jew; get it?); they lived among each other’s and they were respectful and over 40% of the society was Middle Class, concentrated in those cities until the ‘one and only’ came along and brought his loyal monkeys to rule over our heads.. the rest, ongoing history.

Firas  

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أتسئليني من أكون –شعر

أنا يا بنت من طين العرب

في داخلي حبٌ وفي الممشى غضب

أنا من سليل الأصل عنقود الذهب

في غامدي سيفٌ فإن سُل إحتَرَب

أنا إبن آدم.. فكم من رسول لإبن آدم إنتسب

أنا مَشرِقُ الشمس مَغرِبُها أنا

من بَعدِ إطلالي.. ما عاد في الدنيا كرَب

كل النفوسِ صغيرةٌ لمكانتي

            والعزُ كل العِزِ من عِزي وهب

أنا الأسد المُبجلُ حاميها الحمى

            صهيل الخيل عند الحرب في أُذني طرب

يا بِنتُ..

أنا إبنُ هارون الرشيد

            ذات المكانةِ.. بل أزيد

وعدُ الرجال أمانةٌ برِقبِها

            والحُلمُ عندي قد أفاضَ على الوعيد

إن النفوسَ معادِنٌ في أصلها

            وصلابةُ الفولاذِ من أصلِ الحديد

ميزان عدلٍ والحقوقُ رسالةٌ

            أديتُها.. وعن الرِسالةِ لا أحيد

أسموا بنفسي عن مجالسِ حُسنِكِ

            ما لاقني أبداً.. مجالسةُ العبيد

بلْ لو كان حُسنُكِ كلَ الحُسنِ

            ما عُدتُ مِن حُسنٍ أُريد

بدفيء الشمس تسموا وتزدهِرُ الدُنى.. وكُلُ ما فيكِ جليدْ

تأبى النذالةُ أن تُفارق أهلها

            من مِثلُكِ.. عن دين أهلِهِ قد يحيد

بمنازِلِ الأبرارِ مسكننا.. أنا

            تُلقَينَ أنتِ مع كُلِ جبارٍ عنيد

يا بِنتُ..

أنا لو تعرفينني من أنا

            معذورةٌ.. من كانَ مثليَ قد فنى

مثارِبي مِثلَ الجِبالِ..

            أنا.. جبال عِزٍ من بنى

يعلو صليل السيف.. آه

            لو تدرينَ كم سيفاً لسيفيَ إنحنى

تهوى الفَخارَ كِلابٌ.. ويسمو الفخار

            بِأنَهُ.. لبابِ داري قد دنى

بِيضُ الصفائِح والنفوس

            طُهرً.. تطَهَر هو بِنا

            يا بِنتُ. ما دينهُ للمال منْ.. من طيبِ أصلٍ إغتنى

مثل الصِراطِ جهِلتِهِ.. لُبي

            قويماً عظيماً ما إنثنى

سُكناكِ في الدَرَكِ الأخير

            قد خابَ ساكِنُهُ والمسكنى

لولاهُ ذُلٌ فيه..

            ما كانَ للمسكينِ أن يتمسكنَ

            عِزُ النفوسِ نجاتُها.. فيه السعادةُ والهنى

قد طابَكِ فعلُ القبيحِ ليُسرِهِ

            فأنِفتُ في مسعاي عنكِ.. تيمُنى..

هاذا، قد كان بعضُ مِن أنا..

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من العراق.. شعراً

بدأت علاقتي بالشعر الشعبي من شعرت إني حبيت، وكانت أول الكلمات:

“قصيدة عشگ لعيونچ أكتبه.. وبعيونچ الحلوات أحلف

وبعدين أدگ الخشب، مو خاف أحسده”

 

بعد ما علاقتنا إتطورت، بدأ الشعر مالتي نفسه يتطور:

“راح الصيف، وإجه الشته بظلوعي ينخر، ماْ حَد يواسيني

لِميني..

لِميني من “إشه” البرِد، ذبي الشعر، بالربطة لِفيني”

 

ومن خلال قرائتي للشعر؛ أعجبتني تشبيهات الأستاذ بدر شاكر السياب، ومنها بديت أستسقيت أبيات جديدة:

“ذبيت بشط الحزن، مركب عمر

ومن قهري، حكِتله شراع

وبنيت بيت، علآه الرمل

بس من إجه روج الدهر، ساواه ويه الگاع”

 

طبعاً تركت كل ما كتبت بالعراق، وما بُقه ويايه غير قصيدة وحدة وبعدني شايله بگلبي:

“يا قداح البساتين، يا دنيتي الخضره

دم الفرات يصيح، يكول “أنا نهره”

ودجله ألأصيل، والثالوث سموه المصب العام

وبين الثلاثة ولد العام

شعبي الأصيل، رافع الأعلام

والگاع، الگاع خضرة، بزودة الزلام

وحدودي حد النار

 إحنه الرُفظنا العار، ونحارب الغدار

عِدنه العبادة مال، وللشجاعة رجال

وتحارب الأهوال

يا عراق الخير؛ إبدمنه.. داوينا، جروحك

وبحلگ العدى، سم خلينا

لأجلك.. وياما ظحينا

باهلنا، شبابنا، إخواننا.. بس أبد ما نسينه

من جاب الأذى علينا..

خلينا  

اليوم ننام، وباچر نكمله حچينا

وحچينا ما يخلص، مهما العمر ينگص

وباچر، باچر ناخذ الثارات

وباچر، باچر نرفع الرايات

ونگول

ونگول للگاع، وبكل فخر “جينا”

جينا، ظمينا بصدرچ ظمينا”

 

 وبعد فترة إنقطاع عن الكتابة، حاولت أرجع أكتب، وبعد عدة محاولات، كتبت وكان أول بيت:

“لو تبچي، لا تخلي الدمع ينشاف

عيب الدمع يا فلان، گدام الخلگ ينعاف”

 

(وللشعر بقية)

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