‘I am free to write’: Lina Al Sharif, Gaza blogger & poet

4 Jul

Lina Al Sharif is a 22 year old Palestinian blogger and poet in Gaza who has attracted an international following. 

An English literature student at the Islamic University of Gaza, Lina began her Live from Gaza blog in 2007 to showcase what a young woman living in the Israeli-blockaded enclave has to endure. 

“I started writing the blog because there was a stereotype about Gaza being just a war zone where people are constantly dying. That’s just one part of the picture. But if you want to look at the real image — people are trying to lead a normal life under [Israeli] occupation.” 

Here’s a poem Lina penned in February this year, inspired by “the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya against the tyrants”:

Free to Write

Universal verse
Written with ink of blood
And chants of loving life
Ornamented with thrones of freedom
Roses spread on shrouds and cradles.
Rhymed by bullets defied with screams :
“It’s peaceful, peaceful, peaceful…”
Figures of hope, of love, of salvation
fill the beat with the rise of new generation
Chains breaking, the iron relenting
crack the tone with beautiful redemption
The tirades on screens
of tyrants who lost the feet
and chose to be
the omitted part of
a historic poetry
In universal verse,
I, you, we, is one
our differences are metaphors united by love
Millions of lines
made poems of and for
death and life…
anger, despair
Night and day…
But today,
sparked inspiration
inflamed passions
and broke fragile façade of fear
and I am no longer written
I am no longer afraid to live
I am no longer afraid to die
I am free to write….

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