I found this poem on Instagram a week or two ago. I keep coming back to it when I get overwhelmed with the massacres, the political apathy, the preparations of a buffer zone in Egypt, the fact that there are zero fully functioning hospitals in Gaza, the idea of the destruction Gazans will return to when the bombing stops. When my mind starts spinning, I remember the millions and millions of people who are protesting, the Palestinian and South African lawyers writing briefs, the Irish pulling illegal Israeli settlement products off the supermarket shelves, the at least 48 US cities that have called for a ceasefire, the letter-writing, kite-flying, maqlubeh-making everyday people like you and me who are working toward a free Palestine that is thriving, a Palestine that we can visit, swim in her seas, picnic on her mountainsides, and reunite with friends and family who now have equal rights to life and dignity. That day is nearer every day.   

I hope the airplane to Palestine is filled with people just like you
I hope someone with skin like yours is sitting next to me
I’ll always remember the hand that held the ‘Free Palestine’ banner with me
And I hope to see it holding a boarding pass

I hope we share stories and the years it took to get here
And that time you stood up to a friend

I hope that when the air hostess comes around
She wears a cloth with fine woven thread
And he wears a kuffiyeh dotted with olive trees and farm fields

I hope the safety briefing shows a child secure in a plane, not scared by one
I hope that the captain tells us the temperature
Warm with a breeze, honey bees, and soft clouds
I hope she tells us that in just a few hours we will see a land we cried for
I hope the other pilot chips in
I hope you can hear his smile through the mic
As he asks his God for a safe journey through skies 

I hope the airplane to Palestine is full of noise
I hope there’s chatter
Five babies crying
Five people helping
Five tired mothers
Stories, grief 
Twelve adults crying
Sixty-two people about to see their grandparents’ home.
Six people talking about the sweet apples of Jerusalem
Two about the bracelet they haven’t taken off from that protest they went to
Nine about how they packed light because their happiness is so heavy.
And fifteen about trying hummus on alleyways coated with accents and laughter that seeps through an old man’s last teeth.

I hope the airplane to Palestine is filled with people that look just like you.

- Poem by Haneen (@haneens.lab)

Picture of Hannah Redekop

Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

Send Hannah a note: peacemakers@cpt.org

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