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Last Updated: 09/16/2003Eye to Eye
This poem was submitted to the Peace and Conflict Monitor by a reader, and calls for what the author, Gihad Ali, sees as justice. Without justice, the poem argues, there can be no peace.
Eye to Eye
By: Gihad Ali
Look into my eyes
And tell me what you see
You don't see a damn thing,
'cause you can't possibly relate to me.
You're blinded by our differences.
My life makes no sense to you.
I'm the persecuted Palestinian.
You are the American red, white and blue.
Each day you wake in tranquility.
No fears to cross your eyes.
Each day I wake in gratitude.
Thanking God he let me rise.
You worry about your education
And the bills you have to pay.
I worry about my vulnerable life
And if I'll survive another day.
Your biggest fear is getting ticketed
As you cruise your Cadillac.
My fear is that the tank that just left
Will turn around and come back.
America, do you realize,
That the taxes that you pay
Feed the forces that traumatize
My every living day?
The bulldozers and the tanks,
The gases and the guns,
The bombs that fall outside my door,
All due to American funds.
Yet do you know the truth
Of where your money goes?
Do you let your media deceive your mind?
Is this a truth that no one knows?
You blame me for defending myself
Against the ways of Zionists
I'm terrorized in my own land
And I'm the terrorist?
You think that you know all about terrorism
But you don't know it the way I do.
So let me define the term for you.
And teach you what you thought you knew.
I've known terrorism for quite some time,
Fifty- four years and more.
It's the fruitless garden uprooted in my yard.
It's the bulldozer in front of my door.
Terrorism breathes the air I breathe.
It's the checkpoint on my way to school.
It's the curfew that jails me in my own home,
And the penalties of breaking that curfew rule.
Terrorism is the robbery of my land.
And the torture of my mother.
The imprisonment of my innocent father.
The bullet in my baby brother.
So America, don't tell me you know about
The things I feel and see.
I'm terrorized in my own land
And the blame is put on me.
But I will not rest, I shall never settle
For the injustice my people endure.
Palestine is OUR land and there we'll remain
Until the day OUR homeland is secure.
And if that time shall never come,
Then they will never see a day of peace.
I will not be thrown from my own home,
Nor will fight for justice cease.
And if I am killed, it will be for Falasteen.
It's written on my breath.
So in your own patriotic words,
Give me liberty or give me death.
"Show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant."
The Holy Quran, Chapter 7, Verse 199