If I must die
by Refaat Alareer (1979 - 2023)
If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven in the eye
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze–
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh
not even to himself–
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up above
and thinks for a moment an angel is there
bringing back love
If I must die
let it bring hope
let it be a tale
Award-winning actor Brian Cox recites Refaat Alareer's 'If I Must Die'
(1979 - 2023)
Dr. Refaat Alareer was a Palestinian writer, poet, translator, university professor and activist from the occupied Gaza Strip. On December 6, 2023, he was murdered by an Israeli airstrike along with his brother, sister and their children in Israel's ongoing genocidal siege of Gaza of 2023.
Just five weeks prior to his killing, he shared his poem titled "If I must die", and pinned it to his Twitter profile. Amidst the outpouring of grief, as news of his death spread online, many people from around the world paid tribute to Refaat by offering their own translations of his prophetic poem in to their local languages.
This website is a collection of some of these dozens of heartfelt translations in memory and honor of Refaat Alareer, @itranslate123, and in support of the the Palestinian struggle for liberation.
let it be a tale.