Slain Gaza activist's final poem gains global resonance as it is translated into numerous languages, spreading his message across borders.
Every resistance has been powered by art. Palestinian poet and professor Refaat Alareer made his last stand with a powerful poem that is now resonating around the world. The poet was killed on December 7, 2023, in an airstrike by Israel, reported CNN. Just days before his death, he shared a powerful poem about hope and life for the children of Gaza. The powerful poem was originally shared in Arabic before the internet decided to take it upon itself to take his message everywhere. People volunteered to translate his poem into their respective languages, resulting in a beautiful thread of the poem being shared in countless languages.
The New Arab reports that Alareer was described as the "voice of Gaza." He was a man who dedicated his life to teaching, writing poetry and activism. However, he was more well-known for campaigning to end Israel's brutal occupation of Palestine. One of his final poems, titled "If I Must Die," was published a month before he died. People who read the poem will realize that he almost seemed sure that he would die soon.
Came across Dr. Refaat Alareer's poem "If I must die" just a few days ago, I cried and couldn't help but translated it to Chinese without his permission. Now that he's gone. pic.twitter.com/ALO8E7WwSq— blkp🔻 (@blkpaws) December 8, 2023
In the poem, he tells readers how, in case he should die, there should be someone to tell his story to future generations. Alareer also requests that people make a white kite fly in the air to be a symbolic beacon of hope to many children who lost their loved ones in the Gaza Strip. He concludes by writing, "If I must die, let it bring hope, let it be a tale." His poem has been reposted by many people on X in different languages.
@blkpaws wrote, "Came across Dr. Refaat Alareer's poem 'If I Must Die' just a few days ago. I cried and couldn't help but translate it into Chinese without his permission. Now that he's gone." Another individual, @TameeOliveFern, replied, "Refaat wrote it in English for the world to read it. But let it live in Arabic too, Refaat's mother tongue." There were many other translations of the poem in Spanish, Vietnamese, French, Nepali and Hindi. His legacy will live on through the written word for many generations to come.
The humanitarian crisis has done immense and irreversible damage to many families in the Gaza Strip. Al Jazeera journalist, Wael Al Dahdouh, found the strength to continue his work despite facing a major personal tragedy. AJ+ posted a video of him stating how he had lost his entire family in an airstrike. Dahdouh shared why he chose to soldier on in the face of such a big loss.
He thanked everybody on social media for their words of support and how it was important to him. Dahdouh explained, "It was my duty to get back to work as quickly as possible, despite everything." Viewers get to see that there was firing going on in the background while he was talking. He continued, "I felt it was my duty, despite the pain and open wound, to get back in front of the camera and to communicate with you on social media as soon as possible. Thank you all and please keep us in your prayers." It is truly amazing to see him stand strong in the face of adversity.
More than 20,000 Palestinian people have been killed in the attack by Israel that followed the October 7 attack by Hamas.