I Condemn Myself

POETRY FORMAT, 27 Nov 2023

Abdelfattah Abusrour, Ph.D. | FORSEA – TRANSCEND Media Service

A poem by a visionary arts educator from the West Bank, occupied Palestine.

9 Nov 2023

I would like to thank all those who
contacted me by any means to assure
their solidarity and ask about us,
I am grateful beyond limits for those who
are with us in such challenging times
Media Journalists, TV interviewers come to us, pointing fingers
and asking this endless question: Do you condemn Palestinian terrorism?
Do you condemn Hamas?
So, let’s deal with that.

I do condemn myself. I condemn my whole existence
I condemn my own birth in a refugee camp in my own country
I condemn my own birth for being a Palestinian,
while according to many, Palestine does not exist
I condemn my parents, who were uprooted from their destroyed villages
and brought me to life in a refugee camp

I condemn my own life: I had hopes and dreams to be a great biologist
and researcher who would save lives,
an amazing painter and a marvelous photographer,
a fantastic actor and talented writer who would inspire the whole world
I didn’t really search to be famous in anything I have done

I condemn myself for believing that human rights include us
How dare I think that we are even part of these values?
I condemn myself believing in international law and UN resolutions
that people under occupation have the legitimate right to resist by ALL MEANS.

How dare I consider that we are under occupation
I ask for your forgiveness
I believed that standing with the oppressed was the natural thing to do
What can I say… I am so ignorant

So, World!
I am really sorry
I didn’t realize I was misled and misinformed
Should I apologize?
Should I condemn?
I deeply apologize, World!
I apologize to you all
I condemn myself for being who I am
I apologize for not having blond hair and blue eyes
Even though some of my cousins have blond hair and green or blue eyes
I was taught that I should support the oppressed and prevent the oppressor from continuing the oppression
I was told that I should support the evil Black South Africans
against the kind white apartheid system
This was only designed to humanize them
I apologize

I was told to support the Spanish and Italians
Against the dictatorships and fascists
Germans and Europeans against the Nazis
Arabs, Africans, Irish, Scottish against British and European colonization’s
Vietnam, Latin America and Afghanistan against American invasions
I was taught to support Native Americans and Australian, Muslims in Myanmar, China and India… and so many others
Palestinians against British and Zionist occupation
I was taught to support the resistance of the oppressed against the oppressor

I apologize for not being able to forget that I am still a refugee in my own country
I condemn my stubborn reclamation of my right to return to my parents destroyed villages
How dare I do that? How dare all these stubborn Palestinian refugees claim that right of return?
I condemn my parents who raised me with, “If you are consumed with hatred,
you lose your humanity” How dare they not to teach me how to hate?
I apologize for not accepting the exile of my brother,
the imprisonment of my brothers, cousins, nephews, neighbors and so many others…
I couldn’t understand your human rights and international law.
I thought I was protected as a human being or even if considered as a human animal?
I apologize for my ignorance…

I apologize that I still couldn’t figure out how to co-exist with occupation,
oppression, dehumanization and be happy about it?
Do you have special training? I am happy to join….
Or should I just say, no thank you… I pass

We will not forget…. We will remember
We will not forget the silence, the hypocrisy, the blackmailing
We will not forget those who raised their voice and stood with what is just and right
We will not forget anything

You can continue to push for despair and we will continue to flourish with hope
You can continue to promote death and we will continue to promote life
You will continue to do your worst.  We will continue to do our best


Abdelfattah Abusrour, Ph.D. is a visionary arts educator, winner of: Stars Foundation Impact Award 2016, Ashoka Fellow–Social Entrepreneur 2006, and Synergos Social Innovator 2011. His West Bank-based organisation:   https://www.alrowwad.org/en/alrowwad/who-we-are-2

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