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

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

Legacy of grief

Shahd Safi | 02-12-2020

illustration of woman

Tedious history of twenty years,
Started with yells of birth and still,

Not willing to end.

Looking for being, existence, identity.

I listen to the Palestinian National anthem.
I hear Arabic music through headphones,
As I wander the streets in the morning.
My clothes are decorated with the embroidery of my people.

Street artists bring to life Handala with rocks in his hand,
Fida'is with kuffiyeh, and
Old Palestinian women in Thobes,
Hugging olive trees.

I share felafel, hummus, shawarma with my beloved ones.

We drink hot tea.
The evening’s last call to prayer fills the air.
But gracious attempts to make a home fail.

My soul is not at home.
There is a sense of pain, not warmth.
Violence that could break out anywhere, anytime,

Makes me always afraid of losing somebody I love or care for.

Sometimes I fear that I'll be the lost one,

I tell myself everything will be okay.

A flame of love burns in my heart,
Love for the promise of Palestine,
For the pleasure we will feel when freedom comes,

With neither occupation nor oppression.

The flame burns holes in my veins,
Where grief tries to seep in, killing my hope.
I try to hang on, so grief does not win.
But it is a strong opponent.


Land and identity are inseparable, one thing.

When one is gone,

A legacy of loss and emptiness remains.


Posted: December 20, 2020

Mentor: Melissa Robinson

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