If I Must Die

Poem by

Dr. Refaat Alareer was a renowned Palestinian writer, poet, and professor. On December 7 Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed Refaat Alareer and six members of his family. In his writing, Alareer captured the stories of a resilient community and advocated for the rights of Palestinians. This was the last poem he wrote:

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven in the eye
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze —
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh
not even to himself —
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above,
and thinks for a moment an angel is there
bringing back love.
If I must die
let it bring hope,
let it be a story.


Below is the poem set to music from Farah Siraj

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