Behind the Veil by Rida Hassan
2019 finalist: Grade 10 to 12 category
Rida Hassan is a finalist of the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie Student Writing Challenge. This annual writing competition challenges students to write a soliloquy or monologue in the voice of a Shakespearean character based on a prominent news, pop culture or current affairs event from the last year (April 2018 to April 2019).
Hassan, who attends Westminster Secondary School in London, Ont., wrote about the alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China from the perspective of Macbeth's Macbeth.
In 2019, I would now expect;
Technology to certainly progress.
Perhaps advancements in health care will bloom.
Old biases; would they cease to exist?
Time halts; the needle anti-clockwise ticks
Chinese officials; they plot thy demise.
In veiled estates, the ill deeds they pursue,
Thy arm they grab and shove ye to thy feet.
Mine heart doth ache, but I can't comprehend;
The agony ye children scared do feel,
When seized away, in camps their folks remain.
A boarding school they call the prison camps,
A euphemism for the watching world.
To abrogate thee of Islamic faith,
Or torment'd to death will be thy fate.
Religion they will force ye to renounce —
Thy name, thy views, thy personality.
Ye hast to give in to ghastly control,
Allegiance pledged to communistic ways.
Forlorn the loved ones liberate a breath —
Their hatred they conceal and chain their tongue.
Or knocking comes a fate identical.
Uno, the game of which this plight reminds;
The card, reverse makes the system turn back,
As it repeats the actions of the past.
Bright red ignites the flame of wrongful acts;
How this mankind's humanity has sunk.
A prayer I create for ye my friends —
Will ye be patient, in this hour of grief?
As hope; that sanctuary can revive.