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Maha Al Fahim

If time were a teacher

You can chase me, but you cannot catch me; I am always running Rustling through the trees, looking into the leaves, I find my mirrors; they reflect my changing seasons I enter indoors, and on your wrists and walls, I hear it — tick, tick, tick — this ticking is my tempo With rhythm in my core, I rush out the door, and I see you — an internal clock, a walking hourglass In you, every grain of sand is a magical clay with which you can create Yet you let it flee, you’re killing me, as you procrastinate I may be eternal but you are not While you wrinkle and gray, I am born everyday I rise with the sun, and sink with the moon I am life’s rhythm, giving you a shout I am Time And I’m running out When we read this riddle and realize that time is running out, we become stressed.


I have always found interesting the Arabic word for human, “insān,” which comes from the word “nasyan” meaning “forgetful: It was a mystery to me how out of all the adjectives to describe human, the Arabs chose “forgetful.” However, the more time I spent on Princeton’s campus, the more I came to realize its meaning.

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