Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Do you hear me?

Shahd Safi | 14-05-2021

Painting by Malak Mattar

Israel's tongue keeps telling
a lie within a lie,
while sticking its tongue out
at me.

In response, the world believes
I will tolerate all the
assaults, insults, ignorance,
not giving a damn 
for me and my people.
I am just a Gazan, at her desk, after all—
freaking out while writing these lines

Before they target any stone next to me.
and end my life, I am determined
to fulfill my desire, my urge,
to tell the truth.
I hope you will read my truth
as well as you do their lies.

My truth:
The voices of bombs and tanks
shatter my peace of mind.
Children the age of my little siblings,
just 1 year and another 3 months,
are hit as if they were insects.
A woman with no weapons or power
is knocked down to her death.
Buildings that are homes are targeted,
toppling as if in slow motion.
I wonder, is mine the next?

Hell, I hate Israel...
Nobody taught me to hate but their crimes
My blood is so cheap to them they spill it
without a thought.
I am just a number on their list.
Nothing can be done.
I grieve, I ache.

I can't be sane.
How can I be
while my heart is torn apart,
fearing for my four married sisters
in different areas of Gaza,
my father, who lives almost two neighborhoods away
and his two babies.
Fear occupies me
the way Israel occupies my land.
Yet I am here
even if the world dosen't see me.
I should count, I should matter.
But do I?

With every explosion,
my heart beats fast.
I feel the adrenaline
rushing into my veins.
For a moment I just stand,
without blinking.   
Am I still on earth or have I died?
If all Gazans die at once,
and Hamas suddenly disappeared,
would Israel’s “problem” go away?

What about what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah?
What about the Nakba of 1948,
when there was no Hamas?
What about their belief
that they are God's chosen people?
That they are better than you and me?
What about their illegal actions since then,
their big fuck you
in the face of the international community?
What about my justice,
my right to self-defense? 

World, do you hear me?
Do you have answers to my questions?

 

 

 

 

Posted: May 14, 2021

Mentor: Pam Bailey


Get updates to your inbox. Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter.
New server