Dear Layla

Back home it’s common to hear people ask
“Why Are They So Enraged?”
It might have something to do

With being unemployed for 17 months and five days, or
With burying two children, compliments of Israel’s shelling, or
With seeing a son slapped around until he did the most shameful things in order to make them stop, or

With feeling hunger pangs for five days out of seven, or
With seeing a fishing partner shot by the Israeli navy, he must have been a terrorist, he was going to hurl fish at Jews on a Tel Aviv bus, or
With cringing before a mother’s expressionless face, drained of life since her son died in detention, or

With missing 50% of one’s classes, because of checkpoints, roadblocks, curfews, closure, IDF whimsy, or
With having to show the soldiers one’s naked torso, at least—on average—14 times a week, or
With knowing that the Tel Aviv beaches are packed, life goes on, even as you rot, or

With believing that no one—the Arab states, “good people abroad,” the worldwide umma—gives a shit, or
With sitting at the Engineers Club with six of your friends—all of you educated, trained, talented, and imprisoned (like everybody else in Gaza), or
With taking a sponge bath from a bucket every four days, while the colonialists’ swimming pools are providing loads of splashy laughs

With ache and awe for these people,



–from the novel, Dear Layla Welcome to Palestine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *