Sixty-six Seconds (Poem)


A sixty-six seconds moment of silence tomorrow
But I always go through sixty-six seconds and more…quiet
Brushing my teeth, thinking of something I forgot to do,
Of that prayer I missed,
Of the exams I take as I ride a yellow taxi,
Imagining that place I’d like to visit,
Missing a friend,
Wondering how of all things I am Palestinian,
Praying for the people in Syria and the girls of Nigeria,
Hating this cruel world right before I close my eyes and sleep…all in sixty-six seconds and more…quiet.

But there’s a different sixty-six seconds moment of silence tomorrow
And I think of the mother who lost a brother near Acre,
The sister who lost a lover to a bullet,
The friend who lost a father with screams,
The father who lost parents with tears,
The uncle who lost a son riding on a bus to somewhere.
I think of Ghassan Kanafani’s Safia,
The prisoner in a cage filling his body with salt and water,
The checkpoints crossed tomorrow and the day after,
The martyr’s body carried around campus.
I think of the clinking of that clichéd key that’s as real as the one in my pocket.

A sixty-six seconds moment of silence tomorrow
I begin to hear Mahmoud Darwish’s Sajel…
Sajel…that next year on this day, there will be a sixty-seven seconds moment of silence like the Nakbah that tried to silence…


Hasheemah Afaneh is a student at Birzeit University. She studies nutrition and dietetics in hope for a healthier Palestine. She always has a paper and pen on hand. She published a few pieces on SMPalestine and Beyond Compromise. You can find her blogging at


  1. I like this. Nice piece.

  2. wow …
    amazing one

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