How can I find the words,
When tears blind my eyes?
At night, when darkness comes
Shall sleep come peacefully
To this grieving heart?
How can I close my eyes
When in Gaza, bombs
Lit their evenings?
Will a mother not share
The anguish of a fellow mother?
What do four little boys–
Who, despite the insanity around
Still made sense of life and
Find fun on the beach—
Could ever be guilty of?
Then because I was silent,
I was afraid to speak out,
I was indifferent, for
They are not my boys after all,
Because I, together with the rest
Will just walk away anyway
From it all,
They were hit as they ran
Desperately for their lives
Only to fall. Ah, innocent kids,
Don’t they know there is
Nowhere to run?
That it is useless to resist?
And I will maintain my silence,
I will keep my democracy,
Because, I know what you do,
Have already condemned you so,
You have deserved your
Punishment for resisting!
Yes, you—mothers, sons, daughters
Oh, I prefer my silence,
I will turn away from images
Of limbs torn,
Buildings blown up,
Hospitals and mosques destroyed–
Well, civilized people have to defend
Themselves from you!
Can I be wrong?
When the lone superpower on earth
The great police of the world,
The vanguard of democracy,
The great nation that taught me
The grandeur of freedom
Bankrolls those missiles and
The Iron Dome?
Surely, in the wisdom of this
Benevolent leader and other monarchs,
Presidents and CEOs,
Is something worthy to ape.
Night comes again,
The Iftar food is laid on the table
And as I try to eat a morsel
I remember Gaza,
I remember the little girl and her doll,
I remember the orphan who still
Believed his family are at home.
Oh dear God,
I cannot be silent anymore,
I was never really silent.
As the missiles rained on them,
As the world spits on them,
My heart is torn asunder,
The tears flow from my heart,
Why does the world watch?
How can the world see this carnage,
Like it watches a fictional war movie?
Didn’t Shylock also ask,
“Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections,passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge?”
Why can’t a Palestinian raise the same questions?
If others have the right to self-defense,
Why can’t the Palestinians have the right to life?
It wasn’t right for Shylock to get a pound of Christian flesh,
Yet, it is all right to pound the flesh and lives of the Palestinians?
Do they not also bleed? Do they not also laugh?
Ah, but I shall not whisper these questions
To a mute wall of indifference,double-standard
And murderous intent.
That wall will crumble under its own rotten weight someday—
But, I cannot help but cry out,
To the waning last ten days of the Ramadan moon,
Oh, may I ask, where is Salahudin Ayubi?
Where is he among us?
Oh Masjid al-Aqsa
Will I ever set foot on your hallowed steps?
Oh Salahudin Ayubi,
Remember when you liberated Jerusalem?
Muslims, Christians and Jews
Were allowed to practice their religions
In the Holy land.
Do you still recall how you replaced King Richard’s
Horse? Oh Salahudin,
If only you knew how Muslims are notallowed
To pray in your beloved Masjid al-Aqsa.
Oh, how I mourn, o woe!
Oh Palestine. O mothers, sons and daughters,
Let those tears dry now.
No more of them. Even if all olive branches fell,
Even if there is no more a shoulder you can rely on,
Or a patch of land you can step on,
Or never a fellow mother who shall equally grieve—
We are but strangers here on earth.
Those of you—four young Gazans on the beach:
Mohammed, Ahed, Zakaria, and Mohammed Bakr,
When Salahudin Ayubi welcomes you,
Just tell him, he is still remembered.