Khaled Al-Asaad Beheaded


“Khaled al-Asaad was a treasure for Syria and the world. Why did they kill him?”
Khalil Hariri

They came–pirates
in search of the exquisite
art of antiquity—
not to take the pieces
for themselves but to bury
any beauty in the rubble
of destruction.

With the ardor of a young man,
the wisdom of a sage, a world
scholar of stone and its secrets,
his greatest love was Palmyra.
At eighty-one his mission
was to save its magnificence
from the marauders.

Facing the invasion
of ruthless brutality, the scourge
of a caliphate of catastrophe,
his lovelies safely hidden
to tell their stories for eternity—
he died a martyr, the treasure map
they could not open.

Newlinks: CNN, Al Jazeera, NY Times, NPR, BBC
Audiolink: SoundCloud

Poet with a Press Pass features original poems written by Anne McCrady in response to news and world events. The series is produced by InSpiritry. More about Anne and InSpiritry is at