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الارض تعادل الروح

The Land is Equivalent to the Soul[1]

Quotes from Palestinians

I’ve literally Lost my Joy in life: every day I read about

The Killing of people I know – We have become Numbers[2]

Ink marks the Legs and Arms of Martyrs – each one bearing a Name[3]

Zeina, 5, Ayed, 9, and Hala, 12 – they were Killed, so were their Dreams –

Amira, 4, Bahaa, 5, Malik, 7 … they’re Not Numbers, they’re Human Beings[4]

Casualties are not mere Numbers: they represent the Lives, Dreams and Hopes

Of a people experiencing Barbaric Aggression – by Israel’s Military Occupation[5]

They shouldn’t remain a mere Memory of a person Snuffed out by the Israeli War Machine[6]

The al-Agha Family lost 10 members in One Second – Shelled in their Home in Khan Youni[7]

Over 350 Families have been Erased from the Palestinian civil registry – Bloodlines Wiped[8]

Salma was a Gem of a little Human being, a Beautiful 12-Year-Old Soul who Radiated

Nothing but Positivity and Hope – she brought Endless Excitement to tennis practice[9]

I know how much Innocence, Love, Kindness and Generosity his Heart holds,

And how his Soul flows with Curiosity for Adventures and Discovery and In-

Novation … Abboud had so much Potential that he is now Unable to Fulfil[10]

 

She Lies to her Children: “it’s a Celebration – not a Bombing”[11]

There’s no such thing as Childhood in Gaza – it’s a Meaningless concept

Because the Occupation has Taken Everything related to Childhood away[12]

My Mother’s First Memory began with an Evacuation of her Kindergarten

Class – and ended with Israeli Soldiers surrounding her Village with Tanks[13]

I softly Sing Lullabies, my Voice Trembling, like a Fragile Melody, whose Loving

Tones attempt to Drown out the Cacophony of War and Soothe my little ones to Sleep[14]

I'm Not Afraid of the Bombs – because we're going to go to Heaven like Uncle who Died[15]

If I hold my Toys Tightly in my hand – will they come to Heaven with me when I Die?[16]

To Enjoy Fireworks – you would have had to have Lived a Different kind of Life[17]

When there is a Bombardment, we try to convince our Children that there

Is a Party going on – We try to Dance with them, to Smile as tears flow

From our tired eyes – But these Desperate measures are Ineffective[18]

Kids around the World spend their days Playing around Safely En-

Joying their Life, getting properly Fed and Educated – But not us[19]

When I was a Child I could Count Not Dreams – but Bullets![20]

 

I am Five Wars Old[21]

Israel wages War against them, calls them “Infiltrators,” Executes them

At the Border, and gains International support to “Defend” “Its” “Borders”[22]

The framework is the Crime of Apartheid: a sustained Seventy-Five years of

Settler Colonial Removal, Fifty-Six years of Occupation, and Sixteen years of Siege[23]

The Media have so Obscured Reality that they cannot even report accurately on why Pales-

Tinians are fighting Israel – they Ignore that the Israeli Aggression has continued for 75 Years[24]

Did you Condemn the Slaughter of Palestinians Peacefully Protesting during the Great March

Of Return? Did you Condemn the Brutalization of Peaceful Protesters in Sheikh Jarrah? Did

You Condemn the Routine Attacks on Muslim Worshipers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque? Did you

Condemn the Incarceration of Palestinian Artists, Teachers, Students, and other Activists?

Did you Condemn the Palestinian Child Prisoners? Did you Condemn the Demolished

Schools in Masafer Yatta? Did you Condemn the Murdered Journalists and Paramedics?

Do you truly support Peace – or do you support Palestinians Absorbing Violence Passively?[25]

Covered with Blood – due to Israeli, American, British, French, and Austrian Terrorism[26]

The World would rather show Solidarity with our Corpses than Honor our Resistance[27]

We will never get used to Their War – but Their War is Well-Accustomed to Us[28]

Palestinians simply and Passively “Die” – while Israelis are Actively “Killed”[29]

Nothing is Too Illegal for it to be Used on us[30]

 

There are No Blankets or anything to have a Human Sleep[31]

We enjoy Silence, because it means a Break from Death and Destruc-

Tion – at least until it is Rudely Broken by the sound of Missiles again[32]

I Walked under the Bombs for 45 minutes to find the Internet to Speak to you[33]

Every Phone Call is Hard – because you're just Calling to make sure they're still Alive[34]

Each Step she takes is a Gamble against Fate as the Menacing Roar of Warplanes Looms Overhead[35]

Those Missiles were Less Powerful than the Hallucinations that would Haunt me through the Night[36]

They can't even open a Window to Breathe Air that's now thick with Dust from Destroyed Build-

Ings, Smoke from the Missiles that caused the Destruction, and the Stench of Blood and Death[37]

When I Eat or Drink, I feel Guilty – as my Family struggles to find Water, Food and Sleep[38]

Everything is a Struggle: Bread Lines go on Forever – my Child goes to sleep

Hungry Every Night – there is No Water – the Washroom Lines are Tragic[39]

Our decision to Stay in our Homes isn’t a testament to our Bravery or others'

Cowardice, but rather Grim Acceptance of the reality that No Place in Gaza

Is truly Safe: We've Witnessed the Horrifying Fate of those who Attempted

To Flee – their Vehicles Targeted and their Lives Extinguished in a Blaze[40]

 

Home? Where? These hours when Calm and Conversation

Flash by like Commercials in a Television series called War[41]

In Jerusalem – the Soldiers march with Heavy Boots over the Clouds[42]

It wasn’t enough that they Took the Land – Now they are Conquering

My Sky … What’s the point of having Wings? When all the Air is Stolen[43]

We all live under the Same Sky – but the Planes flying above us are Not the Same[44]

A Bullet may Land in your Land – turning your Dream into Ash your Cause into Cash[45]

We Can’t Go anywhere – the Best we can do is just be Away from the Windows[46]

As long as you still Hear the Bombing – it means you are OK, you are still Alive[47]

Every time I Leave the House, it’s Suicide – and each Return, a Failed Attempt[48]

Am I a Witness to all of that, or is my mind Trapped in an Inexplicable

Mess – a Confusion of Fear, Dream, Memory, News, and Rumor?[49]

Before we would say Inshallah, which roughly Translates

As “God Willing” – that has turned into “If we Survive”[50]

 

Before she was Killed, she told a friend to Light a Candle

Over her Grave: “I am Afraid of being Alone in Darkness”[51]

The feeling in my Heart is like giving the Sun a Last Kiss as it

Sets into the Sea and the Darkness comes down all around you[52]

Ceilings Tumble: Waterfalls of Stone – and under the Rubble the

Last perceived Image hangs: a Final Painting sculpted on our Faces[53]

Can I change Death’s Mind and convince it of its Failure? Can Death

Believe I’m Walking with my Departed’s Feet? Because my Steps are

Their Steps, and my Eyes are their Eyes, and this Poem is their Listening[54]

There is no Allegory and no Poem, no Chant and no Comparison that can Revive them or Encap-

Sulate Losing each and every one of them – yet still, we Rewrite and Edit sentences to make Senseless

Brutality more Eloquent, Reading words out loud as if they were an Incantation for their Resurrection[55]

Sometimes, I wish we could face Death without understanding the Horrors that Invade our Lives[56]

The Land embraces the Falling Body, Absorbs his Tender Blood, Witnesses his Soul Ascending

Towards the Smoke-filled Sky, Whispers: “Sleep, now – an F-16 won’t Wake you this time”[57]

I had only Three options: Try to Save her somehow, Stay with her as she Died in my Arms,

Or Leave her and keep Looking for others who may have a Higher Chance of Surviving[58]

A House I can Rebuild – I can’t Replace my Father – I can’t

Replace my Grandmother – I can’t Replace my People[59]

I am Not Fine at all, my Neighbors and my Colleagues

Are Martyrs now, it's My Turn now ... just Pray for us[60]

 

I prefer to be Killed in my Home and Not be Displaced[61]

They are Residents of their own Bodies and their Home is

Collapsing over them while their Flesh grows over their Flesh[62]

After all we’ve Lived through – the Years she Counts in precise Con-

Currence with the Nakba, and the ones I count while I Bite my Tongue[63]

Pieces of your Heart will Forever be in more places than one – Never with you,

Never Whole, always in Search of another Palestinian to ask: “Where are you From?” [64]

I have never felt that I Belong anywhere else but Here – If we are to Die, we prefer to Die in Gaza[65]

The Lesson: “What is your Hometown?” the Question: “Do you dream of Returning?”[66]

If someone comes to Take your House, and after that Pushes you to the Garden,

And later Pushes you and your family Out of your Garden and even your City,

What should you Do? How should I React – because it has happened to Me?[67]

A Deaf Air said to me that Borders believe Space is Smaller than the World[68]

I could Never Include what is Important to me in a Backpack[69]

To leave Gaza is akin to a Soul being Torn from its Body[70]

 

They’ve Killed my Family Outside Poetry? –

Poetry is my chance to Settle the Score with Killers[71]

This is Not Grief – this is our Revolutionary, Indigenous

Love Fighting against the Apocalyptic violence of Genocide[72]

You Bombard us with White Phosphorus so we can Shine –

You Bombard us with Depleted Uranium so we can Radiate –

You Experiment with all your Weapons to Test our Resistance[73]

Gazans are not seeking mere Humanitarian Aid – but rather, we yearn for Liberty[74]

Convert your Disapproval of Israel into Action – Disavow Israel Publicly – Stand in the

Same Trench as the Palestinians – Fight as they Fight and Die as they Die – Shake off the

Tribalism and the Fear of Disloyalty and stand with Justice, for it is the only Lasting Principle[75]

A Small Besieged City has made the Region Jittery and on the edge of an All-Out War –

And it has Driven Israel to its moment of Madness – Palestine is now Alive Everywhere[76]

I condemn all Language now – the Only Word that Matters now is: “Gaza!

This is the Only Word that does not fail me now: Gaza! I want to Etch it on

Every part of my body ­– nothing should be said but: Gaza! Gaza! Gaza! My

Final words are to cry the only word that matters now: “Gaza! Gaza! Gaza![77]

Let my Words, Instead of Endless Litany, be an Index, Unhinging

The Foundations of Every Category and Name Forced upon us[78]

If the Memory is Alive – we will Not Lose our Land[79]

I Give the Walls Back to the Rocks[80]

 

Will the Land Succeed – or will the Jets?[81]

I want a Flower on the Back of my Neck, on the spot that’s

Known for Renewing Energy – And let it be an Olive Blossom[82]

Today, the Angels of Death Protested in Heaven, Chanting loudly to the

Lord: “We’re Exhausted, we need Rest” – some Objected to working such long

Days and Nights in Gaza – they asked for a Transfer to someplace Less Severe[83]

We still have Bits of Country left in our Hands – so Rest awhile lest we Lose what Remains[84]

The Sea remains, Untouched by Bombs – a Silent Witness to our Collective Pain[85]

If I had the chance to Kill an Israeli man in Revenge for what they are doing to

Us, I Wouldn’t – Simply, because I am a Human and Humans aren’t Barbaric[86]

The day I'm Killed – my Killer will find Tickets in my pockets: One to

Peace, one to Fields and the Rain, and one to Humanity's Conscience –

I Beg you – please don't Waste them – I Beg you, who Kill me: Go[87]

The Similarities between People – no matter how much they Insist

On their Differences – are more Pronounced and more Meaningful[88]

Come, let’s Hold Hands, and walk over the Flames – the Fu-

Ture of the Free, no matter how Remote, will happen Soon[89]

Poetry happens when nothing else can in Gaza[90]

 

Utopian Dreams stay Alive – in their Veins[91]

Despite our great Distance, Existence unites us – Existence![92]

My friends and I have been sending each other our Final Messages:

We are Writing down what we wanted to Achieve – our Aspirations[93]

Drowning in the time allotted for Truce – we Manufacture Spare Hearts[94]

Not the Color of our Skin, nor the Seed of our Kin – could Dim our little Sinless Lights[95]

I imagine that Sustainable Architecture will Rise from the Ashes of this Genocide in Gaza[96]

To be Alive right now is nothing short of a Miracle, and the opportunity to Speak

Directly to you is both a Privilege and an Uncertainty – I may be gone by the time

These words reach you, but I assure you, it’s never too late – Gazans have spoken

From the Grave in the Hopes that Someone, Somewhere – Finally Listens[97]

It is not Poetry’s job to wipe away Tears – Poetry should dig

A Trench where they can Overflow and Drown the Universe[98]

Our Love amidst this Genocidal War expose the Frac-

Tures and the Limits of the Colonial Infrastructure[99]

In Paradise, there is a New Gaza – without a Siege[100]

[1] Palestinian proverb

[2] Muhammad, Gazan living in the US

[3] Basma Almaza, Palestinian student in Malaysia

[4] Tamer Ajrami, Palestinian political science student in Belgium

[5] Ghada Hania, Gaza based researcher & translator

[6] Tareq S. Hajjaj, Gazan journalist

[7] Ghada Ageel, 3rd generation Palestinian refugee & visiting professor at University of Alberta

[8] Ahmad Al-Batta, Gaza-based journalist

[9] Mahmoud Nasser, Gaza-based writer & photographer

[10] Ahmed Abu Artema, Palestinian writer, activist & refugee from Ramle

[11] Palestinian woman living in Gaza

[12] Nour Masiry, Palestinian mother in Gaza, tr. Eman Abdelhadi

[13] Noor H., Palestinian writer & public health student based in America 

[14] Ahmed Abo Rizik, Gaza resident

[15] Jad, 4-year-old Gazan, tr. Rasha Moumneh

[16] Kareem, 4-year-old in Gaza

[17] Naomi Shihab Nye, Palestinian-American poet, No Explosions

[18] Ahmed Dremly, Gaza-based journalist

[19] Abdallah Ayman, 13-year old boy in Gaza

[20] Lubna Ahmad Abu Dahrouj, Gazan poet, I Can Count

[21] We Are Not Numbers’ journalists

[22] Maria Nadotti, Palestinian Jew living in Europe

[23] Noura Erakat, Palestinian Human Rights Attorney

[24] Mohammad Abu Shambala, refugee in Gaza

[25] Students for Justice in Palestine at Columbia College, solidarity statement

[26] Doaa Alremeili, Gazan student in Istanbul

[27] Fathi Nemer, Ramallah-based writer & researcher

[28] Mahmoud Mushtaha, Gaza-based journalist & human rights activist

[29] Stephen Bennett, Director of the Institute for Palestine Studies

[30] Sara Besaiso, 16-year-old Palestinian from Gaza

[31] Raghad Abu Shammalah, Gaza resident

[32] Yousef Maher Dawas, Gazan journalist martyred Oct. 14, 2023

[33] Reemah Saleh’s brother, Gazan, tr. Rasha Moumneh

[34] Narmin Abushaban, Gazan living in Michigan

[35] Afaf Alnajjar, Gaza-based journalist & student

[36] Rimah Saleh Gazan intern at the Institute for Palestinian Studies in Beirut, tr. Rasha Moumneh

[37] Sara Sbaih Palestinian research assistant at the Institute for Palestinian Studies in Beirut, tr. Francesco Anselmetti

[38] Sahar Kaloub, Gazan studying in Dublin

[39] Abu Muhammad, Gazan schoolteacher

[40] Marwa Abu Hatab, resident of Al-Shati (Beach) camp in Gaza

[41] Eman Ashraf Alhaj Ali, Gazan poet & student at the Islamic University of Gaza, My Home

[42] Tamim Al-Barghouti, Palestinian-Egyptian poet, In Jerusalem, tr. Houssem Ben Lazreg

[43] Baraah Qandeel, Gazan poet, They Took My Sky Away

[44] Ahmed Al-Sammak, Gazan MBA student in Dublin

[45] Gazan poet, If the Sky Ends

[46] Nour, medical student in Gaza

[47] Mahmoud Nasser’s brother, Gaza resident

[48] Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, Palestinian poet, What If, tr. Fady Joudah

[49] Sarah Shurrab, Gazan poet, Am I a Witness?

[50] Refaat Alareer, Gazan writer & academic

[51] Rana Al-Shorbaji, Palestinian teacher in Qatar

[52] Hamza N. Ibrahim, student in Gaza

[53] Rawan Hussin, Palestinian poet, Dawn, tr. Fady Joudah

[54] Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian poet, A Small Eternity, tr. Fady Joudah

[55] Nikki Kattoura, Palestinian writer & editor

[56] Sahar Qeshta, parent in Gaza

[57] Gazan poet on their cousin Ali Mohammed Khjafa, martyred May 14, 2018, Ali

[58] Abdullah, Gaza resident

[59] Abu Omar, Gaza resident

[60] Mona Ameen, scholar is Gaza

[61] Ibrahim Abed, resident of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza

[62] Dalia Taha Palestinian poet, The Man Who Writes Newspaper Articles While the Trees Disappear and No One Listens, tr. Lana Tuffaha

[63] Sheikha Hlewa, Palestinian poet, Exam, tr. Lena Tuffaha

[64] Bayan Fares, Palestinian poet, That One Day Is Coming Soon

[65] Ahmed Issa, communications coordinator from Gaza

[66] Palestinian teacher at UNRWA

[67] Ziad Abbas, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance

[68] Taghrid Abdelal Palestinian poet, Not Blind, tr. Fady Joudah

[69] Roaa Aladdin Missmeh, Gaza resident

[70] Sama Hassan, writer from Gaza

[71] Alham Bsharat Palestinian poet, How I Kill Soldiers, tr. Fady Joudah

[72] Devin G. Atallah, diasporic Palestinian from the US & Chile, professor of Psychology at UMB

[73] Abdelfattah Abusrour, Assistant Professor at Bethlehem University

[74] Walaa M. Alfaara, Gazan student in England

[75] Salman Abu Sitta, Palestinian researcher

[76] Abdaljawad Omar, PhD student at Birzeit University in the West Bank

[77] Ahmad Almallah, Palestinian poet & artist in residence at University of Pennsylvania

[78] George Abraham, Palestinian-American poet, The Palestinian/Queer Specimen’s Index

[79] Yacoub Odeh, 83-year-old Palestinian refugee expelled from his home during the Nakhba

[80] Mahmoud Darwish, Palestinian Poet, The Prison Cell, tr. Ben Bennani

[81] Ghassan Zaqtan, Palestinian Poet, Conversations with My Father, tr. Fady Joudah

[82] Amna Muhammad Abu Safat, Palestinian poet, Popular and Known to No One, tr. Lana Tuffaha

[83] Basman Derawi, Gazan poet, Protesting in Heaven

[84] Ibrahim Tuqan, Palestinian poet, Lest We Lose, tr. Salma Khadra Jayyusi

[85] Fedaa Alsoufi, Gazan student at MIT

[86] Noor Yacoubi, Gaza resident

[87] Samih al-Qasim, Palestinian Poet, Tickets, tr. Nazih Kassis

[88] Amal Amireh, Palestinian immigrant to America

[89] Tawfiq Zayyad, Palestinian Poet, A Nation Crucified, tr. Aida Bamia

[90] Shahd Safi, Gazan poet, Your Eyes Are Poetry

[91] Qasem Waleed El-Farra, Gazan poet, A New Day to Die

[92] Fadwa Tuqan Palestinian poet, Existence, tr. Michael R. Burch

[93] Ghayda’a Hasan Owaidah, writer in Gaza

[94] Hosam Maarouf Palestinian poet, Specific Details, tr. Fady Joudah

[95] Amana Diab, Palestinian poet living in the US, The Forgotten High Life

[96] Salwa, aspiring architect in Gaza

[97] Abdallah al-Jazzar, Gaza resident from Rafah

[98] Zakaria Mohammed Palestinian poet Untitled Poem IV, tr. Lena Tuffaha

[99] Sarah Ihmoud, Chicana-Palestinian, founding member of the Palestinian Feminist Collective

[100] Heba Abu Nada martyred mother in Gaza, tr. Aya Jayyousi

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