Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Gaza :Where Time Stood Still

By. Samah Sabawi
July 7, 2015

Note: This has been published here by permission of the author

Don’t tell us a year has passed…
We don’t measure our lives by your calendar
Time stood still for us so long ago
Punctuated by loss and grief
And in between moments of quiet and reprieve

We don’t count on Christmas nor Eid for cheer
We don’t fool ourselves with “happy new year”
No occasion is ever taken for granted
When it comes to tomorrow there are no certainties

Our yesterday is our today
Time is frozen here
And one calendar year
Cannot contain our lives
Our collective misery
Our yearning for humanity
So don’t tell us a year has passed

Our clock stopped ticking when justice collapsed
Eclipsed by decades of oppression
Hush… don’t speak of time
We have endured the absence of time
We don’t measure our lives by days like you

We measure our lives by the number of embraces
Our worth by a lover’s heartbeat
Our existence by our resistance
So don’t tell us a year has passed

(I wrote this on the anniversary of Cast Lead, Israel's war on the people of Gaza in 2009...sadly...it seems even more appropriate today)

About the author: Samah is a Palestinian-Australian-Canadian writer, commentator, author, playwright and Social Justice advocate. She has co-authored with her father, Abdel-Karim Sabawi, a play “Cries from the Land” and produced it as a play (2003).In 2008 she produced Three Wishes(, based on her adaptation of Deborah Ellis's book "Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israelis Speak Out".  Both were successfully staged in Canada. Her two-city premier of her most recent play Tales of a City by the Sea, completed a sold-out season in Melbourne in 2014 and also was staged in Palestine.  Sabawi's essays and op-eds have appeared in various media outlets and her poetry has been featured in various magazines and books, most recently in an anthology published by West End Press titled With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century.

Samah Sabawi is former Executive Director and Media Spokesperson for the National Council on Canada Arab Relations and former Public Advocate for the Melbourne based advocacy group Australians for Palestine,

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