Bethlehem Cultural Festival

Voices in the Vacuum Webinar

Please watch the webinar “Voices in the Vacuum” organised by Friends of Alrowwad UK and Bethlehem Cultural Festival, Monday 6th November 2023.

Please find below a poem written by Dr Abdelfattah Abusrour, director of Alrowwad Centre for Arts and Culture, Aida Camp, Bethlehem for last night’s webinar.

Testimonies from Gaza

Based on real testimonies

“Let’s write our names on every inch in our bodies
So that when you see our bombed fragmented bodies
You may collect the pieces together and put us in a grave
In Gaza, we are not very demanding
We don’t ask any more for individual graves
We have been already living in a controlled air graveyard
Before even I was born
We will be happy, if a member in our family recognize some of us
And kiss at least one-piece goodbye
And read alfatiha on our soul, for our journey
Before we ascend to the other border of life

We used to have houses, 
our houses left us, without waving goodbye
We used to have lights, 
but despite darkness around, we cling with hope
Don’t define us as numbers, 
Or as victims of the conflict
But define us by the beauty of the resilience in our hearts
We dream of a future where we walk freely
Go to school without fear
We want to build a better world

We want to dream and live 
to make our dreams reality
We want to act and make plays
We miss our remote theatre classes
We want to act again, 
even from the other edge of life

 Don’t tell me about international law and human rights
Don’t tell me about self-defense 
By cutting off water, electricity, internet, food and power
Don’t tell me we are alive while we are slowly murdered
You are watching? How is the view
While your sky is blue, 
do you see how black is ours
While you admire the stars, 
Are you blinded by the white phosphorus bombs?
And its suffocating filthy smell
Do you think we scream, because we don’t find a lost toy
Or because we lost our families, loved ones, homes and memories
Do you think we pack because we are going for a picnic?
Or because we are running from our homes under the bombs
Do you think we hang around because we are lazy?
Or because our homes, schools, mosques, churches,
And even hospitals have been blown away?
Do you enjoy this endless film?
I am only sixteen, 
I am not superman, or Spiderman or Ironman 
I am not an avenger
It seems there is no Arab avengers in Hollywood
I can’t fix all of this
Are you still watching?”

 Dr Abdelfattah Abusrour, 6th November 2023