"Salaøm" is the word for peace in Ge'ez, the ancient written language of the Aksum people who are the focus of this New Year's volume of The Year of The Poet. The Aksum may be unfamiliar to many readers and poets, yet they are one of the great civilizations begun so brightly, a counterpoint to the Greek and Roman worlds of the 1st century C.E. The Aksum forged a trading link between the Mediterranean and the Asiatic spheres. Aksum's rise to power began with international relationships and shifts in trade.
They are a now a "lost" civilization whose descendents are African Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It is an age old story of a people who couldn't get along with their neighbors, were overrun, and pushed out into isolation. This shift set in motion the decline of their civilization.
Before the common era the Aksum Queen of Sheba is said to have birthed a Solomonic dynasty that ruled Ethiopia into the modern era. In the 4th Century C.E., King Ezana declared Aksum an Orthodox Christian state and tried to find peace with the neighboring Arabs and the Jews from Aksum's Beta Israel who read scriptures and prayers in Ge’ez. And for a time, salaøm walked beside shalom. These ancient Semitic people are the ancestors of some modern Ethiopians who moved to Israel in the 1970's.
Evidence of Aksum's greatness stands even today in the heart of ancient Ethiopia: monolithic obelisks, giant stelae, royal tombs, and ancient castles—proof of a powerful African state wedged between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. They commanded the ivory trade with Sudan and their fleets controlled much of the Red Sea trade. They probably thought they would always be great.
But the people couldn't find peace--salaøm, salaam, shalom—in the neighborhood, couldn't find a way to co-exist and so around the 10th Century C.E. they ceased to exist—forgotten. A thousand years have passed and what have we learned of peace, international exchange and fair trade?
The poets of Inner Child Press and the Poetry Posse seek to share in poetic words our lives, our glories, and challenges, always looking for a way to learn and contribute to a peacefully coexistence with our neighbors so that we can continue to thrive alongside all who walk this earth today.
Searching for Peace in Aksum
The first seven centuries
a common era
travelers and homebodies
greeted each other
winding through Aksum
where now walk the people of
Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea,
Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen
peace in Ge'ez
the liturgical language of Aksum
now gone replaced
Amharic, Tigrigna, Orominga,
roll off the tongues
of modern peoples
Nabáda, salaam, peace
powerful words bring us inside
the circle in
Somali, Arabic, English
Hetep in Egyptian
Salaamata carries peace in Afar
the language of present people
Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti
Salām in the Tigrigna of Eritrea
while the Sudanese speak peace in English,
salaam in Juba and Sudanese Arabic
and paix in French
words to thrive by
Nabáda in the Somali
flows into salaam in Yemen
all the places where once Aksumites
Ge'ez or Classical Ethiopic—"Salām" / ሰላም (peace, salutation, safety), "Salaøm" (peace)—Ethiopia, Eritrea (liturgical).
Somali (som)—"Nabáda" (peace), "Nabad" (peace), “Ma nahad baa” (is there peace), “Nabadda maanka” (peace of mind), "Sulux" (peace), "Dajiyaan" (calm), "Xasilooni" (tranquility)—Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia.
Egyptian—"Hetep" (peace), "Em hotep nefer weret" (very great peace, hello)—Egypt.
Tigrinya (tir), Tigrigna, Tigriña—"Salām" / ሰላም (peace from Proto-Semitic šalām), "Selam" (peace, hello)—Eritrea.
Juba Arabic (pga), Sudanese Creole Arabic—"Salaam" (peace), "Salaam taki" (hello, literally, your peace), "Kalaas, shukran. Maa salaam taki" (that's all, thank you, goodbye (with your peace)—Southern Sudan.
Arabic Words For Peace
Together we search for peace
engage in peace
it is a creative process of words
shared, believed, spoken
suhl, salaam, hudna
the peace of submission
followers in belief
the absence of disobedience
but one will triumph
a break in violence
the absence of the negative
a peace of reconciliation
establishes relationships a new
harmony and suhl
binds individuals into a greater community
that lives inside and out
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
أمّا ثمَرُ الرّوحِ فهوَ المَحبّةُ والفَرَحُ والسّلامُ والصّبرُ واللُطفُ والصّلاحُ والأمانَةُ 23والوَداعَةُ والعَفافُ. وما مِنْ شَريعَةٍ تنهى عَنْ هذِهِ الأشياءِ.
Arabic (arb)—"Salām" (peace), "Salaam" / سلام from the S-L-M Semitic root, "Hudna" (peace, cease-fire) or "Suhl" (peace, reconciliation)—Middle East with 280 million native speakers in North Africa, the Mideast, Central Asia, and used in liturgical services around the world.
Longing for Home
Deeply embedded in the human psyche
a longing for home
an innate hunger
buried deep in memories
a yearning for the best of what has been
the anticipation of what can
be desire for home
craving the landscape of dreams
More than a yearning for place
a pleasant memory or a dreamed of future
home is a state of being
the deep need to be anchored
secure a restored past
a transformed, fulfilled future
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Home of the Daily Peace Challenge. Learn about world peace - one word and one language at a time. (c) Kimberly Burnham, 2022
The Meaning of Peace in 8000 Languages
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Author of Awakenings, Peace Dictionary, Language and the Mind, a Daily Brain Health and P as in Peace, Paix and Perdamiam: an Inner Peace Journal To Stimulate The Brain
imberly Burnham, The Nerve Whisperer, Brain Health Expert, Professional Health Coach for people with Alzheimer's disease, Memory Issues, Parkinson's disease, Chronic Pain, Huntington's Ataxia, Multiple Sclerosis, Keratoconus, Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Neuropathy, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Brain Health Coaching ... Contact Kimberly Burnham in Spokane Washington (860) 221-8510 NerveWhisperer@gmail.com.
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I am looking for guest blog opportunities and a position as poet-in-residence. My current project is writing dictionary poems using words in different languages for the English word "peace." You can read some of my poems on Poemhunter .
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