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.

November 25, 2023

My mother was a child of war

My mother was a child of war

in a cellar she hid with her mother

while the bombs – silent ones which

would suddenly burst –

crushed homes on the street

and she waited for father to return

My father was a young man of war

in the belly of a ship

he kept engines running

while torpedoes sliced

through ships around him

and his comrades

sank to the bottom of the sea

My grandfather when there were

not enough young to fight

became a soldier

captured imprisoned believed dead

he escaped

a perilous journey brought him home

My mother and father

came through that desperate time

found each other and made me.

Palestinian child I pray you

Come through this desperate time

Find love and see

your children grow in peace

Sue Nichols

Sue Nichols, Professor of Education, University of South Australia (Australia)

أمي كانت طفلة حرب

كانت أمي طفلة حرب

اختبأت في قبو هي و أمها

عندما كانت القنابل- حتى الصامتة منها

تنفجر فجأة-

وتفجر المنازل على الشارع

وانتظرت عودة أبي

كان أبي رجل حرب

داخل سفينة

كان يشغل المحركات

والطوربيدات تشق طريقها

خلال السفن حوله

ورفاقه

غرقوا في قاع البحر

وعندما لكن يكن هنالك شباب للقتال

أصبح جدي جنديا

مأسور و مسجون  ظننا أنه ميت

لقد هرب

رحلة خطيرة أرجعته الى منزلنا

لقد تخطى أمي و أبي

ذلك الوقت العصيب

ووجدا بعضهما و أنجباني

أيها الطفل الفلسطيني

أدعو أن تتخطى هذا الوقت العصيب

أن تجد الحب و ترى أطفالك

يكبرون بسلام

سو نيكولز، بروفيسورة في التربية ، جامعة جنوب أستراليا (أستراليا)

English>Arabic translation by Sharifa K Al Battashi

Image: Art by Jorge Arbach (Brazil)
صورة: رسمة بواسطة خورخي أرباك (البرازيل)