Gazans have the rights to…

Reviewing what the Palestinian factions of Gaza said in their statements about not being responsible for throwing rockets at Tel Aviv last night, and looking at the fear families and kids of the Gaza Strip got during the Israeli massive bombardment in reaction to those rockets, it’s obvious that the factions ‘meant’ that those rockets launched were ‘absurd and futile’.

It wasn’t a good time to do this! It wasn’t what the youths of Gaza wish. It came in a very sensitive time! And look at the consequences; fear, sleepless nights, crying kids and women and destruction.

It breaks my heart when my married sister with her kids told me that they couldn’t sleep during last night, which filled their hearts with fear and worries. They were expecting a new war to be waged. Their minds never rest thinking of the ghost of a war might come anytime soon. Their hearts never stop beating fast. Not only my sister and her kids, but every woman and every kid in the strip. Even I couldn’t sleep until now and I won’t.

And it also hurts me knowing my youngest brother, whose general exams is due to start, couldn’t sleep last night while his mind needed the best of rest to start a new day after spending studying using the flash light of his mobile because power was off for more than 10 hours.

Not only my brother, but every student of Gaza has the same problem. They try their best to study hard in order to become something good for our country in the future despite all of the political and the human crises we have been having. This however repels them, making them hate something called education because they know they will get nothing once they have their university degree. They as a result try to find a better and an easier solution to live, through leaving the country or to either end their lives through suicide, which happened a lot recently.

The people of Gaza aren’t ready for a war. To be more clear, they don’t want wars anymore. They are humans. Their hearts aren’t made of stones. They have feelings. They have souls that deserve to breathe. They are fed up with crises since 12 years, either by the Israeli occupation or by the Palestinian factions, who became a big problem right now.

The people of Gaza are created to live not to die. They have the right to have electricity for 24 hours a day. They have the right to have jobs and to lower the rate of their unemployment from 80% to 2%. They have the right to be able to travel easily and freely. They have the right to love and to be loved. They have the right to protest without being attacked. They have the right to have full education. They have the right to sleep good nights and to dream with a better future. They have the rights to live just like any human being everywhere.

The Israeli occupation and the Palestinian factions are completely, absolutely and utterly responsible for marking the people of Gaza suffer like this!

It’s a complete and an absolute enough!

Mohammed Arafat

March 15th, 2019

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Good Ones Do not Die

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First Published at Hello Poetry

They bid their parents the last farewell last week,

“They died from God,” they were told.

Not believing this,

they said, “good ones don’t die.”

That’s what they learnt in their 4 years of life.

 

A blond girl and a black-haired boy running,

not knowing where to go.

Their shirts aren’t being ironed for days,

and the pants worn out.

The long unwashed hairs are still flying though,

from the breeze of the windy winter.

 

They are running,

sometimes smiling,

sometimes crying,

sometimes flying,

like the scared birds above them.

Their screams heard.

They reach the tombs of their parents,

buried in the cemetery near the borders,

which is for the poor only.

 

Wither colorful roses planted,

by unknown,

on the graves.

No names written on the tombstones,

no death dates,

no verses from the Holy Quran,

no visitors,

and no prayers.

 

They raise their arms,

and try to pray.

They cannot pray,

because they aren’t taught to.

They just open their cold shattering hands,

look at the cloudy skies,

shed some innocent tears,

and move their shivering lips.

 

They spend hours there,

because they miss their parents,

which makes a gum-chewing sniper,

with a metal helmet,

point his gun at them,

because they are “national threat.”

 

They run,

run,

and run.

They try to curse the sniper,

but they don’t know bad words.

They curse him in their imaginations,

while running.

 

The girl’s life was the first be taken,

and then her brother.

They vanished,

not the two kids,

but two breezes,

blowing to heaven,

like two angels,

With long wings.

They now know their parents vanished,

by the same sniper,

not by God.

because good ones do not die.

 

Mohammed Arafat

14-03-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They Ask Me About Palestine

First published at We Are Not Numbers

They ask me about Palestine,
what we have there,
what we live for,
and why it’s so special?

I shake my head,
looking for the words to explain:
We have both the bad and the good.

We have an occupation to oppose,
and to end.
We have checkpoints restricting our movement,
armed soldiers ready to shoot.
Armless citizens
trying to avoid being shot
while protesting the decade-long siege.

We have fighting factions—
brothers, uncles and fathers—
who warn us to keep our mouths shut.
Jails and jailers waiting for us,
if we speak up.
We have users, abusers and losers.
Corruption and patronage.

Hate has invaded us,
but we still have love.

We have an endless, azure sea
that gives us at least an illusion of freedom.
Fields of the world’s brightest red strawberries
and ancient buildings whispering
about a history once noble and proud.
Close-knit families, with faces of children still hopeful and proud.

We have a beautiful capital with a golden dome
that lights with the sun when it appears from the east,
where worshippers gather from everywhere.
Friday’s call for prayers merge into Sunday’s church bells.
In the same capital, we have Muslims, Christians and Jews
who drink the same carob, eat the same hummus,
speak the same Arabic.
White, black and brown tourists come and go,
Smiling and buying from the elders of Jerusalem.
In it, we have mosques, churches and temples,
where those with righteous hearts
kneel to God at dawn and pray
that hate one day will end.

Mohammed Arafat

08-03-2019

Arab Union Event in Antofagasta

Published at: Federation of Palestine 

The Arabic Union in Antofagasta city held on Saturday an Arabic Event on the beach of Las Almejas in the southern part of the city. Attended by dozens of people, the event included an Arabic orchestra by Ensamble Seyir, a presentation and a poem about Gaza by Mohammed Arafat, and then a Palestinian-Lebanese movie called the Insult.

Lasted for three hours, the event started at 20:00 with original Arabic music by the Orchestra, along with a belly dancer called Lila. It’s followed by a presentation about the history of Palestine and the three Gaza wars by Mohammed Arafat, who came from Gaza six months ago. He then narrated a poem talking about what it feels to be a refugee away from your homeland.

The fruitful event closed by a movie called The Insult, which was about the Palestinian refugees living in refugees camps in Lebanon.

Arabic sweet and unsweetened coffee were distributed to the audience along with popcorn.

Walking by the Pacific

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First Published at Hello Poetry

While the sun is setting,

I walk by the dazzling ocean,

thinking,

imagining,

talking to myself,

to the storms inside me,

to the volcanos and the quakes,

talking to my anger,

to my sorrow,

and to every feeling left in me.

 

It is the end of a new day,

a long one but very short,

full of drama and lies,

with no smiles from those around me.

 

I walk by the ocean,

while shedding tears,

trying to hide them from the passers-by.

I do not want kids to see them,

so they don’t think men cry.

I keep my dark glasses on.

 

I walk by the ocean,

not believing in promises,

suspecting the beautified words,

from the fake people.

I walk not believing in fake smiles,

fake laughs or even jokes.

 

The twighlight gleams and is gone now.

unsmiling people around me are gone too.

After diving down several times in front of me,

seagulls swirling above go to feed their babies,

happily!

They stop singing their daily songs.

Fishermen with dusty boats go homes sweating with joy.

Rich people turn on the lights of the silent yachts to start their night.

The high waves calm down.

The moon is waning crescent,

with a dimmed light.

They left me alone.

I am alone,

all alone,

but my only friend is my heart,

that they hurt.

 

Mohammed Arafat

26-02-2019

 

 

 

 

 

Ununited!

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“Long live Palestine!”

we chanted every morning at primary school.

We were innocent,

Focused against the occupation,

hate,

violence

and oppression.

We truly loved our country.

We never forgot the keys
to our original homes from which we were forced.

We all were Palestinians.

Until things changed.

 

They taught us to love Palestine above all else,

to die for it,

to sacrifice what we had for it,

to oppose the occupation.

And we did

but they didn’t!

 

Instead they fought each other,

dividing our loyalties,

splitting our identity into factions:

green, red, black and white.

Each party stole a color from our flag,

Turning our unity into a war of hues.

 

Our resources they plundered.

Our hearts they broke.

Yet on our behalf they say they speak.

They transformed our patriotism
into self-destruction.

 

We still dream of our occupied cities,

But now there is more for which we long:

Peace, a decent life, dignity.

Before, our oppressors were the thieves;
Now our own people have joined them.
For unity we pray—one flag once again.
Long live Palestine!

Mohammed Arafat

23-02-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Wept

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Published on We Are Not Numbers

Israel evicts Palestinians from their home in Jerusalem based on a court order, and here is a poem about what they feel right now.

 

I looked around me,

by my sleepless eyes.

I saw beauty, history and love.

I saw peace.

I did see peace,

but only inside the worshipping places,

and between the worshipper and God,

and only inside the hearts of righteous.

I then looked around,

and smelled hate and detestation,

all around my home,

in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

A checkpoint,

an unidentified ID,

threats,

demolition orders,

a wall, a high one,

which should have to go,

watchtowers,

hating settlers,

and soldiers with helmets and M16s,

made it so hard for me to live,

along with my family,

in my city.

Yet, I lived because I love,

the old city of Jerusalem.

Palestinians in my area are gone.

It was only me, and lots of settlers,

around me.

I accepted that,

because I wanted peace,

I wanted love,

I wanted Jerusalem,

But they didn’t accept it.

Secured with shields, heavy weapons,

and chants of settlers,

they evicted my kids and wife,

from my home,

on which they planted their flag,

while media covered the incident all round us.

They then arrested me not knowing why.

I though knew this house was mine.

It was my father’s.

my grandfather’s,

and my great grandfather’s.

It was built before their court was built!

They lived instead of me.

They ate from our food,

sat in our sofas,

watched our T.V,

and slept in our beds.

I wept…

for the first time in my life,

I wept…

like little kids,

I wept…

Like a mother weeping over her lost son.

None made me weep,

but them,

and their hate.

Mohammed Arafat

17-02-2019