Yara Daoud, one of the opening acts for Palipalooza, wrote the poem below as a tribute to the Nakba. Today marks the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, also commonly known as the Palestinian Catastrophe.

Daoud is a 22 year old Palestinian spoken word artist from Chicago. She has preformed throughout the Chicagoland area. She has focused her work on connecting all people of color and their joint struggles.


ما هو الوطن ؟
هو الشوق إلى الموت من أجل أن تعيد الحق والأرض. ليس الوطن أرضا. ولكنه الأرض والحق معا. الحق معك، والارض معهم
his hands were clenched so tight
when he raised his head from the dirt his words fell off his tongue like raindrops
ما هو الوطن ؟
the words stung more than the scars on his hands
his ears were still ringing from the explosion
see my father just wanted to go to school that day
but the Israeli soldiers had a different plan for him
they blew up his neighbor’s home along with their lives
and forced him to carry the burning remains of rubber and metal in his bare hands
with a gun to his head his skin began to melt as they began to laugh
 الحق معك يا بابا ، والارض معهم
the roots to his country dug deeper than the roots of his stolen olive trees
الحق معك يا بابا ، والارض معهم
may 27th 1948
zarnooka, Palestine was ethnically cleansed 25,189 days ago
my grandmother was forced out of her home with her 10 children
her soul molded within the bricks
her heart within the memories held between cemented walls
her heritage lied within the homes around her
and her life
her life is now an abyss of rubble and broken stone
الحق معك يا ستو، والارض معهم
my soul is bleeding ink
seeping into your skin
try to knead me out of your pores
i will still be faded
submerged in your being by rock and olive
a stain or an enduring resistance.
i am 1948
i am a mirror
this pain is a mirror
i am a mirror of ancestors of hope and tatreez and zayt and grandmothers shashe
i am a mirror of rock and stone and dove and handalah
i am a mirror of grandfathers keffiyeh and hatta
i am a mirror of every massacre of every year Palestine has cut their hands on stone
this pain is a mirror
a pain
a mirror of remembrance
a mirror of my home, my heart, my blood, my veins, my soul
i am sick
i am so sick of mirrors
all I see is gray and red that my skin continues to absorb
and as I stare into this mirror
Palestine grabs me by the throat and asks me
ما هوالحق ؟
ما هوالحق؟
ما هوالحق؟
as I shout I try to find contentment
but how do you find peace when your soil has been fertilized by the bodies of babies
are you listening?
my soil has been fertilized by the bodies of mothers
can you feel this?
my soil has been fertilized by the bodies of innocence
the bodies of fighters
my soil is screaming
هم الأرض بس ما هو ألحق؟
ya Watani
i carry your graveyards in my skin
i pray for the 206 bones that break within me over and over and over again
showcasing trauma buried within my atoms that my ancestors have left long before my mother brought me into this world
my body tries to find you and my people the sincerest of apologies
but only regret leaves a hallow trail upon my lips
i am sorry
i am sorry for my heart is in an uproar.
although, I was never able to touch your skin or hear your voice hell you weren’t even given the chance to raise my father
he lost you at 5 years old
الحق معك يا سدو، والارض معهم
bring me over this bridge and bake me into this bread
because I can taste the seeds of love fresh in this simsim
on this khubiz that carries more than just comfort food
lay me across this taboon
the coals a fiery blaze like this Palestinian heart shackled against your appropriation, your murder, your genocide, your beatings, your cold dead hearts
i said lay me down, bake me, I will never surrender
ألحق معنا
ألحق معنا
ألحق معنا
لا اله الا الله
ألحق معنا
أنا اسفه يا فلسطين
we have the media trying to tell your story and I see your tears with every word they utter
and for the hypocrites tongue your free Palestine’s are numb to my ears
i cannot hear the empty cries of the western world anymore
their screams for Palestine are stitched together with no knowledge of your rich history
im hear to grab the mic and scream
my bones shake and fall and shake and fall and resemble back together and say
فلسطيني انا اسمي فلسطيني
نقشت اسمي علي كل المياديني
بخط بارز يسمو علي كل العناويني
حروف اسمي
تلاحقني تعايشني تغذيني
your salt water tears have created a sea with the most ironic name
the Dead Sea
where bodies digress within strenuous waters
so you cried tears of salt for us
for cleansing
for purifying
for relief
you cup your hands filling it with the seas water and slowly release it over our skin with a promise of healing
your veins are cut to exposure yet you take them back and sew them onto your clothing and call it tatreez
they broke down your cities so you grabbed the rubble and rocks and used them as a symbol of strength and resistance
for every grain of sand
for every grain of salt
for every ounce of Palestine left
for the ones who feel this pain
for the ones who lost
put your fists in the air
ألحق معنا
for the hungry
for the jailed
for the mourners
for the tears
for the dirt stained cheeks
for pupils carrying pools of tears
it is for the millions of Palestinians with hearts flying with the doves in the sky
the ones with families looking down on us from heaven
the ones that have to utter their sisters name as they wept over her dead corpse
this is for the baby boy with tears running down his cheeks as he holds his families photo to his chest
pushing and squeezing it so hard as if he tried with such force he could jam it back into his flesh and be with them once more
this is for the Palestinians that lost
the ones that continue to fight
to resist
to endure
this is for my family that painted me Palestine the moment I was born
for every ribcage with Palestine dripping from their lungs
for Allah (SWT) to accept the lives of my people
الارض بالجنه انشالله
so I ask you
ما هو الوطن ؟
INSTAGRAM: @yaradaoudpoetry
TWITTER: @yaradaoudpoetry

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