I Am No Palestinian – A poem by Farah Chamma

Brilliant poem by the talented young poet Farah Chamma.


I Am No Palestinian

Farah Chamma

I am no courageous,
Fearless, valorous, gallant,
Proud, adventurous,
Selfless patriot
I am a soul in exile
Expressing my thoughts in
All languages but mine
” Hi…I am Palestinian”
” Salut…Je suis palestinienne”
I cut my mother tongue
In half
نصبت المبتدأ و لعنت أبو الخبر
كسرت الضمة التي ضمت ما بيننا
Palestinian poet
Rafeef Ziadeh was right when
She said
”Allow me to speak my Arab tongue
Before they occupy my language as well”
Well… to that I must add
Allow me to be the Arab
That I am
Allow me my right
To learn, to travel, to pray
Allow me to walk through any
Foreign street without having
To feel this shame
Without having to think twice
About my clothes, my face, my name
Or the visa I had to work
Day and night for the claim
Because at the end of the day
I am not the one to blame
For Bin Laden, 9/11, and all your
Other schemes and games
I am but a soul in exile
I am in no hall of fame
I have to opt to be
Someone I am not
Just to fit in your fame
Despite the agony I went through
Despite the struggles I overcame
Despite the diplomas, the degrees,
The awards I acclaim
I am still no Palestinian

No matter how many
” I love Palestine” stickers
I stick on my car
No matter how many times
I cry over Gaza
And argue over the Israeli settlements
No matter how many times
I curse the Zionists, blame the media,
And swear at the Arab leaders
I am still no Palestinian
Even if I memorize the
Names of all the Palestinian cities
Even if I recite Mahmood Darwiche’s
Poetry and draw Handala on my walls

Even as I stand here tonight
In front of you all
I am no Palestinian
أنا مش فلسطينية
And I might never ever be
And that’s exactly what
Makes the Palestinian
In me…

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