Caledoniyya

Poetry Corner: Nahida Izzat

Looking for a suitable poetic quote from the Palestinian blog0sphere to open the current section of my chapter, I stumbled across Thank You, by Nahida Izzat.

A Jerusalem-born Palestinian refugee who has lived in exile for over forty two years, after being forced to leave her homeland at the age of seven in 1967 during the six-day war, she participates in written dialogues and “believes in building bridges, not walls.”

And her poetry is beautiful, to wit:

So, let me get this straight:

You tear my veil to free me

You jail me to rid me of my terror

You kill my beloved to liberate me

You shoot my baby to erase my misery

You starve me to show me how to vote

You threaten me to bring me to my senses

You wage war on me to help me find peace

You slay my people to teach me compassion

You humiliate me to aid me live with dignity

You insult me to illustrate freedom of speech

You crush my bones to save me from my evil

You demolish my home to elevate my morality

You torture my children to teach me how to love

You uproot my tree to raise my ethical standard

You steal my resources to bring me social justice

You assassinate my leaders to bring me democracy

You destroy my history to educate me about progress

You dehumanise me to coach me into humanity

You bomb my town to train me into security

You wipe me out to push me to civilisation

You scorn my faith to bring me salvation

Thank you sir

How can I – ever – pay you back?

So profound. So true.

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This entry was posted on May 20, 2010 by in Culture, Middle East, Palestine, Politics and tagged , , , , .
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