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

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

Mohammed Arafat | 06-11-2019

Around the world, young people are protesting the corrupt powers that control them--in Lebanon, Chile, Hong Kong, Iraq and my native Palestine. Pain and frustration drive them, but in this passion lies our hope.

I am in a deep, wide ocean,
with high, choppy waves
overwhelming my small boat.
I capsize, and freezing water
sloshes around my neck,
sucking me in.

It’s thundering and lightening above.
I see nothing but water
and steel-gray sky.

It seems impossible
to go forward or backward
all I can do is tread water.
I am losing hope.

A piece flotsam, splintery wood
floats close to my exhausted body.
I grasp at it with my numb fingers.

Like a warrior with a sword,
I feel a jolt of strength,
but then a new wave crashes over me,
pulling me in deeper.

I am underwater,
not like a mermaid,
but a mammal used to land,
drowning in loneliness and sorrow.

I gasp for breath,
throwing up the water I swallow.
I float, my fingertips
barely reaching the boat

I howl…
No one answers.
I know now.
No one can help but myself.

I haul myself back in the boat,
beating back the exhaustion,
and paddle toward shore.

I will be safe,
as long as I am strong enough
to fight.

Posted: November 5, 2019

Mentor: Pam Bailey


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