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

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

Suicide: death by desperation

Basman Derawi | 03-05-2019

 

This month, 24-year-old Bilal Massoud from Gaza's Jabalia Camp, one of our most poverty-stricken communities, died in the intensive care unit after he set fire to himself. Bilal, who was chronically unemployed, was severely injured in the Great Return March protests. I dedicate this poem to all people who feel such a level of desperation and neglect by the world that they end their lives.

 

Young man in wheel chair surrounded by friends at the Gaza border
Bilal, in a wheelchair, at the Great Return March

Sitting in my room,
I cover my ears
with my hands.
Voices in my head
tell me to end this

Screaming at the walls,
I cry out all my hunger
to live, to survive.

Fear invades my head,
telling me to end this.
He looks at me,
laughing,
and hangs a rope
angling from the ceiling.
Telling me to end this

Do I really see him,
hear him?
Or just imagine him,
telling me to end this?

Read more about depression and suicide in Gaza:
The ripple effects of war
When giving up is the easiest choice
What killed Mohannad?
Suicides on the rise: when death seems the only escape

Posted: May 3, 2019

Mentor: Kevin Hadduck


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