Daughter of the Catastrophe (Spoken Word)



July 10, 1948 (العاشر من تموز ١٩٤٨)
Al Tireh (الطيرة) falls
And I become a daughter of the catastrophe
Born from those forcibly uprooted
From her terraced fields
Travailing destroyed village after destroyed village
To settle in Amman New Camp (مخيم الوحدات)

Temporary is now sixty-six years new
Yet they are no longer here
We are not of this place
Strangers on a journey of exile without end

I am a daughter of the land
Belonging to her
Through memories,
Passed down
From those who have lost all
And I carry that burden of loss
The beacon of return
A key to a house
Physically destroyed
Yet its presence is ever clear

Memory and threads of identity
Weaving Lydda Cactus (صبير اللد)
Patterns of patience and resilience
Turned pages of history books
Crippling estrangement
From a land known to us as home
Now out of place

A living memory
Not erasable, despite their attempts
Sorrow for that which we have lost
Grief for that which we continue to lose
Melancholy an inherited trait
and I am a daughter of the catastrophe.

Image Source: Walid Khalidi – ‘All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948’


  1. […] such a loss and love for the place as to label myself a ‘daughter of the catastrophe’ in a recent poem. Whilst the former may seem a gross exaggeration, I have learnt that those who have not experienced […]

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