“The Nasib, standing at the ruins” by Rasha Abdulhadi

Rasha Abdulhadi 

This week, we turn to Rasha Abdulhadi’s “The Nasib, standing at the ruins” (first published in ROOM 39.1: MIGRATION)  as we witness, grieve, and work against the ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.

As we continue to amplify Palestinian voices, we urge our readers to learn more about actions to take in solidarity with Palestine.


“The Nasib, standing at the ruins”

Rasha Abdulhadi


standing here at the ruins of my beloved

i weep over her deserted and broken home.

the desert itself blows over us all now

and we are abandoned to it, cut off from history, tribe,

and the long silsila of poetic lineage.

no one wears the long dress, no one keeps the old stories anymore:

we are too easily ashamed of our sins in song and love.

we are too afraid of our deeds in war—

we fear punishment for our crimes

or else persecution for our beliefs, and sometimes we

can barely tell the difference anymore.

we do not want to be found, and we have hidden so

so well that we will soon be lost.

the limbs of the tribe lie buried

under stones carved in the ten thousand languages

we have used to wash our tongues, to

clean the patina of homeland and history from the folds of our minds.

we will not answer questions about the runes tattooed on our hands,

we will not talk about our younger brothers, the dangerous ones,

the fragile ones. we hold on too long to our parents and ancestors,

and we will not let them change

form, catch fire, and become smoke that travels back over the sands.

we cover our arms, hungry for another generation,

              children and grandchildren,

the nieces and nephews born to our siblings and cousins,

our ears hungry to hear: ummi, khalti, ‘ampti, ‘amu, khalo,



ya Baba, yaha Baba

ya bab, the doorway through which I pass

when I do not know whether I’m coming in or going out—

into the family, out to the desert,

and what is the difference, in the end, really,

standing here at the ruins of my beloved tribe, my hands

full of dust, ashes, and sand, my nose full of smoke.



Learn more about how to educate, take action, and aid Palestine.

Rasha Abdulhadi is calling on you—yes you, even as you read this—to renew your commitment to refusing and resisting genocide everywhere you find it. May your commitment to Palestinian liberation deepen your commitment to your own. May your exhaustion deepen your resolve and make you immovable. May we all be drawn irresistibly closer to refusals that are as spectacular as the violence waged against our peoples.

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