Friday, November 30, 2012

My Palestine!

She lounged lazily under an olive tree one warm afternoon, digging her bare toes in the rich soil. Glorious vibrant hair danced in the light breeze, spreading her earthly scent in all directions. She threw back her head in rapturous song, a voice saturated with love as deep as the roots of the tree she sat under.

    Come. Share my happiness!

Attuned creatures gravitated to her side, drawn in by her magical pull. They kneeled in front of her, submitting to her heavenly power. Shoulder-to-shoulder, they courted.

    Give us a dance.

She yawned and pushed herself up. The colorful scarf draped on her shoulders slipped to her fingers. She wrapped it around her hips. She twirled and dipped to the beat of drums rhyming in her head. Hummingbirds, butterflies, even flamingoes became jealous.

    Give us a hug.

She stretched her arms wide, welcoming eager crowds. They flocked enthusiastically, pushing against each other, eventually toppling her down on her back and climbing over her. She giggled.

    Too much love!

Ants crept up her legs, across her fertile womb, over her innocent bosom and reached her lips.

    Give us a kiss.

Shaking her head, she tried to brush them off her face. They clung to her eyelashes. She tried to swat them away with her hands. They hid inside her nose.

    I can’t breathe!

Ravens, crows and grackles perched on the branches above her head watched.

    Help me!

They swooped down and tore at the ants. A shadow of a large creature loomed over them. He approached, placed a hoofed foot over each of her arms, pinning her. He swung something in the air and brought it down with brutal force. 

The winged creatures flew away. 

He swung again, and again, and again until nothing was left but her scarf-covered hip; one strip black, one white, one green, edges tucked under a red triangle.

My Palestine.

Lilas Taha is a novelist, winner of the 2017 International Book Awards  and is the author of Shadows of Damascus and Bitter Almonds.


  1. The Swansong ....but the Eternal Phoenix, Falasteen, will rise again from the ashes, as it always has and will.
    Macabre but true. Moving, well written and too near the quick. I like, a lot.
    Brava signora!
    ali dabbagh

  2. Loved reading it. Powerful imagery and symbolism. Keep it up.

  3. Wow! I don't know how to say it's good when it leaves me feeling sad and mad. It's powerful. Good job!


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