If I Must Die...

If I must die

by (1979 - 2023)
Refaat Alareer
Image source: @caponatacommie

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'

Refaat Alareer

(1979 - 2023)
Refaat Alareer

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.

Select poem translation

A poem by Refaat Alareer.