Poems for Gaza

I am not Palestinian. My only link to Palestine is reading about the atrocities and suffering of its people, and especially its children. Nevertheless, I feel for the people of Palestine and often find myself worrying about the little girls living in Gaza, spending their childhood under the threat of bombs. I also worry that they might not have friends or family to guide, teach and help them grow.

My preoccupation with these young girls is largely due to my own childhood spent in isolation and solitude; my parents were divorcing and I had nobody to count on. I had questions to ask, but there was nobody to answer them. I was angry, but there was nobody to notice. Then I discovered poetry and art. I wish the heroines in my poems, surrounded and trapped by war, would learn to embrace art as their close friend.

Sha Najak, Fantasy, 2009 | Acrylic

She looked out the window
Abandoned by the receding tide of war
Only her memory is dead
She looked away sobbing for herself
Closing her eyes, listening to the low hum-hum of silence


For she had sung
War changed my life
For she had danced
To the killing silence
For she had lived
Dreaming a peaceful death


"Abandoned" does not overtly speak about hope but, rather, the gruesome reality of a human being who has experienced the trauma of war. The poem implies that when the dust of war settles, we are, ironically, left with nothing but hope.

"Dreaming" is a poetic continuation of "Abandoned" and it explores the concept of hope more clearly. In it we see the young woman who, after having gone through the traumatic experience of war, delves into a fantasy world. Her imagination is stretched as she explores peace.

My acrylic painting Fantasy expresses the two poems visually. The little heroine is lying under a tree, actively imagining her future. She is both vulnerable and aged beyond her years because she has experienced war. She gazes at the night sky and wonders about its beauty despite the darkness that surrounds her. She identifies with the moon and the stars, which she hopes to become.


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United Kingdom

Just want to say I totally identify with the image and poems having been brought up in very restricted circumstances. I spent many night moon and start gazing Sha!

Yvonne Mc Calla

Ola Eliwat
Ola Eliwat

I salute you! Keep the good work up

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