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

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

Haneen Hussam Zaqqout | 21-03-2020

This poem, dedicated to the Arab Mother's Day, was inspired by Brian Bilston's "Love in the Age of Google."  Some of it is my thoughts and some it what appears when one Googles "woman is..." I hope it inspires and provokes.

Art by me!

Is woman a word,
an abstract noun, an adjective,
an adverb, an independent noun,
a pronoun attached to man,
a period, an exclamation point?
Is woman a question mark in every dialogue?

Is woman for sale,
available 24/7 to man on demand,
a man’s temporary pledge,
but with a guarantee
that she'll last forever,
with a Woman2Shop voucher online?

Is woman a Netflix series,
a complicated plot,
with surprises and setbacks?
A fairytale, an action hero, a fantasy,
a climax in a Mad Max movie?

Is woman a slogan,
an explanation, a legal text,
a who-done-it novel, a poem,
a masterpiece?
Is woman a final draft?

Can woman be Googled,
explored, explained,
found among “images” and “videos”?
Or is woman Google itself?

Woman is a hidden figure
among half of the world's figures.
Woman is a concrete image,
yet also a mystery.
Woman is the karta* of the family,
the kinetic friction in wo-man.

Woman is born, not made.
Woman is a danger cat.
Woman is a hot, volanic Venus.

Woman can build bridges,
Woman can build rockets,
Woman can take you to the moon.
Woman is the moon.
Woman is Mars unoccupied.


*In Hindu society, the karta is the manager of the family. Traditionally, only men could hold this vaunted position; the Delhi High Court, however, changed that rule in 2016.

Posted: March 20, 2020

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck

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