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In courage with the Palestinians — A Poem by Zabirah Fazili

May 12, 2021

Young Kashmiri poet Zabirah Fazili returns with a timely ode to the perseverance of the Palestinian people at a difficult time made worse by an army of incursions. In expressing solidarity, her verses travel from the streets of Kashmir to the tear-gassed steps of a besieged mosque that has become a site of death, horror and injury in the holiest of months. The tenacity of these verses is a testament to the determination that characterizes two peoples, two lands and two struggles, with the poet seeing both as one.

As I open my eyes
to the world,
I see them carrying stones
just stones
in their prayer rugs
inside the Qibla-e-Awwal.

In the meantime,
a boy in the lanes
of Batmaloo makes
a farewell call home,
and tells his family
what paradise smells like.

These handsome men
and brave women
smile through
their handcuffed hands
and look the devil
in the eye.

Back home in Kanikadal,
the boys make sounds
through their targets
aimed at the Ruckshaks
telling them that we're
very much alive.

They fight in blood
but don't lose an inch
of al-Aqsa to the bastards.
I pray we shield Jamia Masjid
and break its shackles
and become one
—in courage with the Palestinians.

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About the Contributor

Zabirah Fazili graduated from Government Women’s College (Srinagar) in 2016 and received her Master’s degree in English from University of Kashmir in 2019. Her inclination towards the study of English language and literature has shaped the author interests and instilled in her an aptitude for research and exploration of existing and contemporary literatures. Throughout her post graduate program, Zabirah actively participated in debates, seminars, and symposiums insightful of postcolonial processes and subaltern movements, classical and modern theories in literature and relevant disciplines of knowledge. A wide range of extra-curricular activities and ventures during and after the postgraduate training saw the author give voice to different hidden subject positions (identities) and articulate deliberately ignored experiences of a woman with firsthand colonial experience. Zabirah Fazili has previously published poems like "To a Half Disappearance" in Kashmir Lit and "Until My Freedom has Come" in Oracle Opinions.

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