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

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

Mourid was born here

Basman Derawi | 24-02-2021

Mourid Barghouti, Palestinian poet and writer, died on February 14. He published 12 poetry books in Arabic, as well as a 700-page Collected Works. But it was his memoir, "I Saw Ramallah," published in 2004, that first won him a readership in English. The late Edward Said described it as "one of the finest existential accounts of Palestinian displacement." The book reflected on his experience crossing the bridge from Jordan to his West Bank birthplace in 1996 after 30 years of exile. 

Even if Ramallah is
just miles away,
I have never been allowed
to see her.

You finally saw your Ramallah
after 30 years of exile.
I saw her through your eyes,
waking all my senses to her every detail.

You wrote that you were born there.
and born here—
torn between two lands:
Born in Deir Ghassana, in Ramallah, in 1944,
you were four years older than
the occupation, the colonial state of Israel.
Your grandfather knew nothing of it. Imagine!

You’re beautiful like a liberated homeland.
I’m exhausted like a colonized one
you wrote of your wife.
I am not sure if exhausted is
the opposite of beautiful,
but nothing is more beautiful
than a liberated homeland.
And nothing is more exhausted
than a colonized one. 

Posted: February 23, 2021

Mentor: Pam Bailey

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