The HyperTexts

Nahida Izzat

Nahida Izzat is a Jerusalem-born Palestinian refugee who has lived in exile for over forty years, after being forced to leave her homeland at the age of seven during the six-day war of 1967. She is a mathematician by profession, but art is one of her favorite pastimes. She loves hand-made things and so makes dolls, cards, and most of her own clothes. She also writes poetry and participates in dialogues with known and unknown friends, as she believes communication is the first step toward understanding. She believes in building bridges, not walls. She started writing around three years ago when her friends insisted she should write about her memories, experiences and feelings as a Palestinian. When she did it all came out sounding—she was told—like poetry! So she self-published two books: I Believe in Miracles and Palestine, The True Story.

Look at me

Look at me
I would love to write poetry about love,
Paint rainbows and butterflies,
Smell the scent of pink rose buds,
And dance;
Dance with the melody of jubilant bluebirds

I would love to close my eyes and see children smiling
No guns pointing at their heads
Tell them stories of lily-like fairies in far-away lands
Not of bullets shrieking . . . of missiles exploding
How can I?

There is a dagger in my heart
I am hurting
I bleed,
I cringe
I cry

I am being slaughtered
Under your watchful eyes
I am cold . . . cold . . . cold
I cringe
I cry

Humanity, where are you?
Why do you turn your face away?
Why do you keep looking the other way?
I am here
In Gaza's alleyways
Humanity, where are you?
Look at me
See me

I am here
In Gaza's alleyways
I cringe
I cry

Enough turning the other way !
Turning a deaf ear
Turning a blind eye
While I,
And oh ! my poor children

Hidden dimensions

My first son Hassan
Was born on April the 9th

You might think
So what … why are you saying it
With such a gloomy tune
What is wrong with the 9th of April?

You have to be a Palestinian
To understand
For on the 9th of April 1948
The massacre of Deir Yassin
Took place
Where every man women and child
Of that peaceful farming village
Was killed in cold blood
No one survived
Except those
Who pretended to be dead

As we celebrate the birth of a newborn
With joy
We mourn and grieve
Lost loved ones

In our midst
Nothing becomes insular
Nothing is disjointed
No single colours

The fabric of our lives
Makes the most amazing tapestry

If you hold it backwards
Looking at the wrong side
You’ll see a mirror image
Of shades of a blurred picture
With loops . . . knots and fraying thread
If you turn it over
It looks much neater
But still you can’t actually see
The full picture
Only colours and shadows

But hey . . . take a little time
And walk backwards
Further back
Look at the tapestry
From a distance

You will be amazed
At its outstanding beauty
All these murky shades
That didn’t make sense to you
Even disturbed you
When you were near

From afar
These dark shadows
Are precisely what makes this piece
So unique
So spectacular

These unfathomable hues
Are what give our life portrait
Its depth
And hidden dimensions

Since that day of 1948
Many . . . many babies were born
On April the 9th

Our joys are always stained
With hints of sorrow

Our sadness is always coloured
With hues of hope

Without which
The tapestry of our lives
Will never be complete
Won’t be as rich
Or as beautiful

Don’t waste much time
Staring at the wrong side with fury
Turn it over . . .walk further back . . . and feel the glory

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