I would love to just tell you a story of liberty

But that would be unjust for my people

And not very liberating for me

Just a century ago stories of smiles were told

But lo and behold

Al-Aqsa was raided

Oh, how the people turn their heads and wear blindfolds

I too, was born ignorant

At least today I am simply lost

But I now I vow not to hide and understand at any cost

Why I live to witness Palestinian hearts exhaust

Who am I?

Palestinian poet, Mohamed Darwish, once said:

“لا أعَرِّفُ نَفْسي لِئلاّ أضَيِّعَهـا”

“I don’t define myself, lest I lose myself.”

Learning is the first step, knowledge is wealth

But there is no deliverance of truth, not enough books on the shelf

Ironically, I wrote this poem in a bookstore

And believe me I checked the entire first and second floor

Only three books with “Palestine” in the name

I naively scoured for more

Then the realization came

That I was searching for something that did not exist—what a shame

But can I truly be blamed?

My privilege has never been awoken by an F16—only thunder

It’s not the same

And in my case, I happily turn it into a game

I playfully count each second between lightning and thunder to determine the distance between myself and the storm.

I can’t even imagine, but for my people it’s the norm

To anxiously wonder if death will come knocking at their door

They yearn for a tranquil sleep, and can’t understand what for

That they have to count the moments between boom, bomb, and boom again, once more.

You know what? It’s worth the mention

I don’t mind a little awkward “tension”

I typed “Israel” into the computer at that bookstore

I wish I could say the results caused my jaw to hit the floor

“How many books”, you ask?

One hundred and sixty-four.

So, who is to tell me what is wrong and what is right?

Today is the day of blood of red

Tanks of green

Darkness of black

But one day our flag will rise

And in its completeness, fly along doves of white

Today is the day I write their wrongs, in attempts to fight for my rights.


More like, “is this real?”

So normalized are the casualties, we’re so numb we can’t feel

All the media does is censor and conceal

All the government does is force innocent lives into their sick little business deals.

I demand appeal.

They stole what belongs to me, what belongs to us

This is the textbook definition of unjust

Gone on too long, history turns to rust

Our soil that once sprouted olive trees gone to dust

Can’t even afford to use their words

Simply take their guns and start to bust

Deciding the fate of millions

Deeming us the villains, but they’re murdering civilians.


But not surprised

They paint us as terrorists but proceed to terrorize

There is terror in that little girl’s eyes


She watches her mother, shot to the ground—she dies


She witnesses her home bombed and fall to ruins in an instant

There it lies

She hears the meaning of her mother tongue—demonized

Through lies

She feels her motherland ripped from her hands—she cries

”انكسرت فلسطين“

“Palestine has broken.”

Although I am a whole six thousand miles away

I call out to her in response,

“فلسطين لا تنكسر يا قلبي”

“Oh my love, Palestine does not break.”

There is a version of myself that exists back there

One that I have been commanded to be quite literally connected to

And I feel every ounce of it with her, I swear

Oh, I so painfully empathize

I had no say, but I was born in the west and I recognize

That I could have easily been her

I am her.

Consumed with the echoing guilt of a survivor.

I have cried a million tears for you, Palestine.

And would weep a million more

But I promise to work harder than I ever cry

And the harder they try to silence me

The harder I will clench my fist

And the higher I will raise it to the sky.

Forever resisting;

Nothing they could possibly do scares me

Not their censorship nor their blacklisting

What is the worst that they could do to me?

If you haven’t found a noble cause worth dying for, you are not really living.

We are outnumbered.


But their money, ties, bombs and ammo

Could never amount to that of faith, resilience, and hope

Israel, did you hear?

God’s the only One we fear.

And let there be no confusion

There is only one solution

Intifada: Revolution

I don’t need a constitution

Because Palestinians hold the key

To stolen democracy

They don’t know that we are seeds

The seeds of the olive trees

They stole our rhythm, but have never felt our blues

To surrender, I refuse

I won’t wave a white flag without black, green and red too

We may be lost

But we will never lose

Because it can only be over

When we so choose.

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