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Poets corner: Gaza Betrayed

9th Apr 2021
Poets corner: Gaza Betrayed

Dedicated to the Palestinians in Gaza. The poem also marks the 7th anniversary of the war in Gaza in July-August 2014 / Ramadan 1435.

 

Rising into the blackened haze,

Smoke and stench of children ablaze,

All hope, laughter, dreams

Obliterated by blitz and siege

 

Who will make Gaza’s children wake?

Who will heal their mothers’ searing pain?

Who will end the agony, still the fear?

Who will dam the rivers of blood and tears?

 

Will it be the Muslims busy with rituals and rites,

Fasting by day, feasting by night?

Or Ramadan’s seekers of spirituality,

Undistracted by blood and ugly realities?

 

Will it be us, who slip into insularity

Focusing only on ourselves, our children, our families

Whilst Gaza burns and weeps alone

Strangulated, incinerated, ignored

 

Who will cry out from the pulpit, even whisper

A call for action, protest, prayer?

Will Gaza’s bloodbath, Yemen’s slaughter, Syria’s destruction

Provoke only silence in the Friday sermon?

 

With modernity, ignorance has long ceased,

Death and destruction fill our screens

Yet if ignorance is weakness, uglier still

Is apathy, inertia, a lack of collective will

 

As an ummah, we weep for Palestine’s pain

We’re moved by her resilience

Through 70 years of insidious, brutal Occupation

 

Yet,

If we do not mobilise leadership, vision,

Collective strategy and action,

How will Palestinian freedom and dignity

Ever become a reality?

 

By Fatema Valji

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