write from wrong



Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind—even if your voice shakes... Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.”
— Human Rights Activist Maggie Kuhn

            The literature community at large must rally in solidarity because, on October 17, 2017, one of our own may be indicted for committing the “crime” of speaking her mind—Palestinian woman Dareen Tatour had the audacity to write poetry.

            In October 2015, Tatour was arrested and imprisoned after sharing a particular poem online. She was one of hundreds of Palestinians charged by the Israeli government during that year with incitement to violence and with supporting a terror organization for their social media activity. She was later put on house arrest, and has no access to Internet.

            Tatour has since become a global symbol for freedom of speech and the right to artistic expression. There are many who fear the power of language and its ability to inspire action, so there is a great need for writers worldwide to support Tatour and show would-be oppressors that artists will not be silenced or intimidated.

            As written in a petition for Tatour’s release by Jewish Voice for Peace: “We believe in the rights of artists and writers to openly express their artistic vision and share work freely. The Israeli government’s actions reveal a desire to silence Tatour, part of a larger pattern of Israeli repression against all Palestinians. Expressing resistance to oppression and Occupation through poetry is by nature non-violent and should not be criminalized by any government.”

            Below, you can read Tatour's poem, “Qawem ya sha’abi, qawemhum,” which has been translated into English by poet Tariq al Haydar (source: arablit.org). Thank you for taking a stand. 



Resist, My People, Resist Them

Dareen Tatour


Resist, my people, resist them.

In Jerusalem, I dressed my wounds and breathed my sorrows

And carried the soul in my palm

For an Arab Palestine.

I will not succumb to the “peaceful solution,”

Never lower my flags

Until I evict them from my land.

I cast them aside for a coming time.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the settler’s robbery

And follow the caravan of martyrs.

Shred the disgraceful constitution

Which imposed degradation and humiliation

And deterred us from restoring justice.

They burned blameless children;

As for Hadil, they sniped her in public,

Killed her in broad daylight.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist the colonialist’s onslaught.

Pay no mind to his agents among us

Who chain us with the peaceful illusion.

Do not fear doubtful tongues;

The truth in your heart is stronger,

As long as you resist in a land

That has lived through raids and victory.

So Ali called from his grave:

Resist, my rebellious people.

Write me as prose on the agarwood;

My remains have you as a response.

Resist, my people, resist them.

Resist, my people, resist them.