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

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

I was born Palestinian

Basman Derawi | 15-04-2019

Music is what sustains me through the challenges and monotony of life in Gaza. It literally "chills" me in times of stress and speaks to me when I question my ability to go on. This poem is dedicated to all of those musicians and song writers I have found on the internet. 

The author Basman Derawi and his mother in Gaza
Me and my mother

In the delivery room,
I came to life in
a normal way.
A doctor checked me:
I was breathing,
my skin unblemished,
my limbs intact.
Like Lady Gaga singing,
I was on the right track.1

Now, at the crossing gate,
I wait,
carrying my blue passport
and my bag.
My 100 percent Palestinian blood
rushes through my veins
like Britney’s toxic poison paradise.2

As I walk the streets,
I hear explosions all around.
I run, screaming.
Then another assault
and I am indoors,
flat on the floor.
Exhausted, barely breathing.
Trying to hold on to what I believe in.
In my head, I hear Kanye taunting,
“I’m the only thing I’m afraid of.”3

I am all of these feelings, at once:
Crying and singing and laughing,
fearful and resisting.
I am amazing, Kanye.
But I’m not toxic, Britney Spears.
As Lady Gaga says,
“I was born this way!”

For those who have not found these talented singers yet:
I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way -- Lady Gaga.
2 You're toxic; I'm slippin' under with a taste of a poison paradise.--Britney Spears
I'm exhausted, barely breathing, holding on to what I believe in. 
I'm the only thing I'm afraid of. -- Kanye West


Posted: April 14, 2019

Mentor: Zeina Azzam

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