art and words dedicated to the children of Palestine

Letters for Palestinian childhoods

Letters for Palestinian childhoods is an online and travelling in-person exhibition of letters, poems, and artwork dedicated to the children of Palestine. 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.

March 11, 2024

Into Oblivion

Yaaa Weldi, I sit here with all the batanyat, mittens, and bonnets I made

Filled with countless dreams unfulfilled for which I had so heartily prayed;

Numb by your white, stained, airless Kafan with no name or tomb, 

Remembering they said, no place is safer than a mother’s womb;

Yet nothing I did could keep you close to me or away from harm,

I hear the storm filling the void in my chest though I may seem calm;

Mourning  for the many unsung lullabies, untold stories, and games I couldn’t play,

Being forced away from you and all that is you: this land and the touch of this soft clay;

Away from all the tales of freedom and istiqlal I had been told to believe, 

Away from the memories, the nostalgia and the place to grieve;

Away from mama’s makloubeh, grandma’s stories, the neighbour’s cat, grandpa’s olive trees,

Away from the orchard having watermelon after school with Baba in the warm gentle breeze

Away from the lively alleys with dates’ vendors, elderly congregating over chai and children playing,

Away from the sound of church bells and azaan, now drowned in the blasts and the silent yet deafening praying;

The soundscape now engulfed with warning sirens forcing us to go north,

And so the journey of despair and displacement continues henceforth;

For it matters little to me whether we go north, south, east or west,

It makes no difference as long as I can be near the place you rest;

For I see neither the river nor the sea,

It is now a question of where I could be …   

–Nyssa Myeda Mirza, LSE (UK)

* This poem was originally printed in the Songs of Revolution anthology. Reprinted by permission of the author.

Image: Rahem
Created by Nyssa Myeda Mirza, LSE (UK)