art and words dedicated to the children of Palestine

Letters for Palestinian childhoods

Letters for Palestinian childhoods is an exhibition of letters, poems, and artwork dedicated to the children of Palestine – currently online and soon to be a travelling exhibition. It aims to counter dehumanising narratives about Palestinians, showing solidarity by attending to the names, stories, experiences, dreams, and struggles of Palestinian children and the actions of the Western-backed Israeli state which are so violently shaping their lives.

January 18, 2024

Dear Dunia

My daughter, Yasmine, is 12 years old. She is the same age as you. 

These days, every time I look at Yasmine, I remember you, and I think about the life you could’ve had, should’ve had. I think of a life all children should be granted: to go to school without fear of soldiers and bombs; to have safe shelter; to be surrounded by the love of their parents; to be given the chance to bicker with their siblings the way all children do; to play with their toys, pets, and friends; to have access to food and clean water; to have access to electricity and warmth during the cold winter months. 

These are basic human rights that you and all of Gaza’s children have been deprived of, dear Dunia

Every day, when I walk Yasmine to school, I see buses, full of giggling, chatty children pass us by. Every day, I am reminded that children in Gaza have been robbed of the basic right to education for months on end now, and that more than 10,000 children, whose lives have been cut short too soon, will never be able to go to school again. 

Dunia, they did not manage to crush your spirit and your love for life when they killed your parents, your brother and your sister.

Your will to live was stronger than their cruelty: you dreamt of traveling outside of Gaza to get a prosthetic leg. 

You dreamt of becoming a doctor like the doctors who have been risking their lives to treat children like you in Gaza. 

Dunia, Israel has deprived you of your parents, your childhood, your freedom, and al-dunia (the world).  

How unfair that you lived 12 short years in this dunia!

We created this visual in your memory. We will never forget you, and we will continue to call for a life of dignity for the children of Gaza. 

May you finally rest in peace with your family, and all the other children taken away from us too soon. 

Forgive us for failing you. 

Aline Batarseh (Executive Director, Visualizing Palestine)

Listen to Dunia: