If I Must Die...

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'

Kama lazima nife

Translated to Swahili by @DoktorYakub

Kama lazima nife

Lazima uishi

Kwa kusimulia hadithi yangu

Kwa kuuza vitu vyangu

Kwa kununua kipande cha nguo

Na vidwe vichache

(Fanya kiwe cheupe, chenye mkia mrefu)

Ili mtoto, mahali gani katika Gaza,

Pale akitazama mbinguni

Akingojea babake aliyeondoka katika moto--

Na hakumuaga mtu

Hata si nyama yake

Hata si mwenyewe--

Aone mwewe, mwewe wangu ulioujenga, utaporuka juu juu

Na ili afikirie kwa kitambo kidogo kwamba malaika apo

Kwa kuleta upendo

Kama lazima nife

Iwe ni hadithi


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A poem by Refaat Alareer.