Ottoman land reform creates a powerful landowning, urban leadership that supplants tribal leadership and ushers in the modern era in Palestine. This leadership will play an important role in later conflict with Zionist movement.


A new Ottoman law permits foreigners to own land.


The first Zionist colony is founded near Jaffa. Thirty Zionist colonies would be founded, mostly near the coast, by 1914. At that time the Jewish population reached about 80,000, a little more than 10 percent, in the region. Two thirds of the land Zionists will buy will be sold by Arabs living outside Palestine, particularly in Beirut.


First Aliyah (wave of Zionist immigration); Baron Edmond de Rothschild, French Jewish banker, begins to support Jewish settlement in Palestine.


Boom in exports of Jaffa oranges as agriculture is commercialized and Palestinians convert to a market economy. Zionists begin to grow oranges but will not dominate their cultivation until World War II.

— from Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature by Palestinian literary theorist Salma Khadra Jayyusi

Palestinian boy suffering from malnutrition Ahmed Qannan at a healthcare centre, amid widespread hunger, in Rafah on March 4, 2024 (Mohammed Salem)

When we set out from Jaffa for Acre, there was nothing tragic about our departure. We were just like anybody who goes to spend the festival season every year in another city. Our time in Acre passed as usual, with nothing untoward. I was young then, and so I probably enjoyed those days because they kept me from going to school. But whatever the fact of the matter, the picture gradually became clearer on the night of the great attack on Acre. That night passed, cruel and bitter, amidst the despondency of the men and the prayers of the women. You and I and the others of our age were too young to understand what the story meant from beginning to end, but that night the threads began to grow clearer. In the morning, when the Jews withdrew, threatening and fuming, a big lorry was standing at the door of our house. A simple collection of bedding was being thrown into it, from here and there, quickly and feverishly. I was standing leaning against the ancient wall of the house when I saw your mother climb into the lorry, followed by your aunt and the children. Your father started tossing you and your brothers and sisters into the lorry, and on top of the belongings, and then he seized me from my corner and lifted me over his head into the iron rack on the roof of the driver’s cab, where I found my brother Riyad sitting quietly. The lorry was already moving off before I had settled myself into a comfortable position. Beloved Acre was already disappearing behind the bends in the road going up to Ras Naqoura.

It was rather cloudy, and a chilly feeling invaded my body. Riyad was sitting quite quietly, with his legs hanging over the edge of the rack, leaning his back against the luggage, as he stared into the sky. I sat silently, with my chin between my knees and my arms wrapped round them. The groves of orange trees followed each other in succession along the side of the road. We were all eaten up with fear. The lorry panted over the damp earth, and the sound of distant shots rang out like a farewell.

When Ras Naqoura came into sight in the distance, cloudy on the blue horizon, the lorry stopped. The women climbed down over the luggage and made for a peasant sitting cross-legged with a basket of oranges just in front of him. They picked up the oranges, and the sound of their weeping reached our ears. I thought then that oranges were something dear and these big clean fruits were beloved objects in our eyes. When the women had bought some oranges, they brought them over to the lorry and your father climbed down from the driver’s side and stretched out his hand to take one. He began to gaze at it in silence, and then burst into tears like a despairing child.

In Ras Naqoura our lorry stopped beside many others. The men began handing their weapons to the policeman stationed there for the purpose, and as our turn came and I saw the rifles and machine guns lying on the table and looked towards the long line of lorries entering Lebanon, rounding the bends in the roads and putting more and more distance between themselves and the land of the oranges, I too burst into a storm of weeping. Your mother was still looking silently at the orange. And all the orange trees that your father had abandoned to the Jews shone in his eyes, all the well-tended orange trees that he had bought one by one were printed on his face and reflected in the tears that he could not control in front of the officer at the police post.

In the afternoon, when we reached Sidon, we had become refugees.

We were among those swallowed up by the road. Your father looked as though it was a long time since he had slept. He was standing in the street in front of the belongings heaped on the ground, and I quite imagined that if I ran over to say something to him he would explode in my face: “Damn your father! Damn…!” Those two oaths were clearly etched on his face. I myself, a child educated in a strict religious school, at that moment doubted whether this God really wanted to make men happy. I also doubted whether this God could hear and see everything. The coloured pictures that were handed out to us in the school chapel showing the Lord having compassion on children and smiling in their faces seemed like another of the lies made up by people who open strict schools in order to get higher fees. I was sure that the God we had known in Palestine had left it too, and was a refugee in some place that I did not know, unable to find a solution to his own problems. And we, human refugees, sitting on the pavement waiting for a new Fate to bring some solution, were responsible for providing a roof under which to spend the night. Pain had begun to undermine the child’s simple mind.

Night is a fearful thing. The darkness that gradually came down over us cast terror into my heart. The mere thought that I would spend the night on the pavement aroused all kinds of fears within me. They were cruel and harsh. No one was prepared to have pity on me. I could not find anyone to console me. Your father’s silent glance cast fresh terror into my breast. The orange that your mother held in her hand set my head on fire. Everyone was silent, staring at the black road, keen for Fate to appear round the corner and hand out solutions to our difficulties, so that we could follow him to some shelter. Suddenly Fate did come; your uncle had reached the town before us, and he was our fate.

Your uncle never had great faith in ethics, and when he found himself on the pavement like us, he lost it entirely. He made for a house occupied by a Jewish family, opened the door, threw his belongings inside and jerked his round face at them, saying very distinctly: “Go to Palestine!” It is certain that they did not go, but they were frightened by his desperation, and they went into the next room, leaving him to enjoy the roof and tiled floor.

Your uncle led us to that shelter of his and pitched us into it with his belongings and family. During the night we slept on the floor, and it was completely taken up with our small bodies. We used the men’s coats for coverings, and when we got up in the morning we found that the men had passed the night sitting up. The tragedy had begun to eat into our very souls.

— from The Land of Sad Oranges by Palestinian revolutionary Ghassan Kanafani

Dead body of 3-year-old Sabreen Abu Helwa, who died as a result of Israeli attack, is brought to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir al-Balah in Gaza, Palestine, December 3, 2023 (Ali Jadallah)


The mufti (top Muslim leader) of Jerusalem heads a commission to analyze Jewish land acquisition.

August: the first Zionist congress is held at Basel, where it founds the World Zionist Organization.


Second Aliyah: Russian and Eastern European Jews flee pogroms.


The Palestinian journal Al-Karmil is founded in Haifa to oppose Zionist colonization.

July: The Young Turk Revolution deposes Sultan Abdul Hamid. A new constitution and parliament bring crowds to the streets in the Arab provinces.


Friction grows between Istanbul and Arab Provinces as the government espouses Turkish nationalism. Arabs, including many Palestinians, form the Arab Nationalist movement to seek autonomy.


The first book in Arabic on Zionism, Zionism: Its History, Objective, and Importance, is published by Palestinian journalist Najib Nasser. The Palestinian newspaper Filastin begins publication.

Wolf Watcher, Chitra Ganesh

I saw most of them again after the fall of Palestine, but all were greatly reduced in circumstances – their faces stark with worry, ill health, despair. My extended family lost all its property and residence, and like so many Palestinians of the time, bore the travail not so much as a political, but as a natural tragedy. This etched itself on my memory with lasting results, mostly because of the faces which I had once remembered as content and at ease, but which now were lined with the cares of exile and homelessness, which is the condition of most Palestinians today. Many families and individuals had their lives broken, their spirits drained, their composure destroyed forever in the context of seemingly unending serial dislocation. This was, and still is, for me of the greatest poignancy. One of my uncles went from Palestine to Alexandria, to Cairo, to Baghdad, to Beirut, and now, in his eighties, lives a sad, silent man in Seattle. Neither he nor his immediate family ever truly recovered.

This is emblematic of the larger story of loss and dispossession which continues today. And I think it ought to be mentioned that ever since 1948, the United Nations – just as NATO is saying today and the United States along with it – ever since 1948, the United States with the United Nations has voted a yearly resolution saying that the Palestinians can go back.

— Palestinian intellectual Edward Said


August: World War I begins. The Ottoman Empire allies with Germany against Britain.


May: The British, French, and Russians agree secretly on a post-war plan to divide the Arab world under separate spheres of influence in the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

June: Sharif Hussein of Mecca leads Arab Nationalists in the Arab revolt. Allied with Britain, Arab armies sweep north from the Saudi peninsula against the Ottomans. The Sharif understands from Sir Henry McMahon, the British High Commissioner in Egypt, that Britain will permit the Arabs to form an independent, unified state after the war.


November: Arthur James Balfour, British secretary of state for foreign affairs, sends a secret letter to Baron Lionel Walter de Rothschild, a British Zionist, seeking Jewish support in the war. The Balfour Declaration promises a national home for Jews in Palestine and protection of the civil and religious rights of “non-Jewish” inhabitants.


September: British General Sir Edmund Allenby occupies all of Palestine.

November: World War I ends.


January: The First Palestinian National Congress in Jerusalem rejects the Balfour Declaration and demands Arab independence under King Faisal in Damascus.

June: The Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations are signed, allowing for the establishment of mandates in the Middle East.


April: The mandate for Palestine is awarded to Britain at the San Remo conference. Riots in Palestine kill 5 Jews, wound 200 others.

May: The British block the convening of the second Palestinian Congress.

August: The first quota on Jewish immigration is set at 16,500 per year in an attempt to balance conflicting aims of the Balfour Declaration.

December: In response to the fall in July of King Faisal’s Arab nationalist regime in Damascus, the Third Palestinian Congress in Haifa breaks with Arab nationalists and focuses policy on securing the independence of Palestine only. It appoints an executive committee to head the movement for a representative Palestinian national government and a rejection of the Jewish national home.

Some nights later we were woken up by a succession of violent explosions that rocked our house. Jewish terrorists had been killing the British for several years, blowing up government offices, army barracks, officers’ clubs. Now they had started on the Arabs. United Nations had recommended splitting Palestine in two, and the terrorists were determined to achieve the bloody dichotomy. Barrels of TNT were set off in market squares, killing about fifty people at a time, and now it was the beautiful white and rose stone houses of the Arabs they were after. When we went out, trembling with fear, to see what had happened, we saw three great heaps, about three hundred yards away, smoking into the cold air of early dawn. Some British soldiers were soon there to investigate the rubble.

Our quarter, being on the fringe, was in the grip of terror. Three or four people produced revolvers with which they said they would defend their homes. A villager offered me a rifle, an old German Mauser, with exactly five rounds. My brother bought it on the spot, but neither he nor I had ever fired a shot in our lives. The villager showed us how to fire, but we could not spare a single bullet for a live try.

That night we did not sleep. The terrorists did not come. Three nights later there was a mad howling storm. It thundered and rumbled and rain fell ferociously for hours. The power suddenly failed, and the whole quarter was in foul darkness. Every now and then the lightning gave us a glimpse of the hills through the uncurtained windows. The rifle stood on its butt in the corner.

Nothing could be heard but storm and thunder. And we dozed off, dressed in our overcoats. It was December. Then there was a blinding flash, and the house shook as in an earthquake, and the glass was blown in, crashing on the floor. I was stunned. My mother screamed. Yacoub dashed to the rifle in the corner and through the now paneless window tried to fire – at nothing that he could see, but he thought he had heard a car shooting off at the same time as the explosion. But no fire came out and he pulled the trigger again. The rifle might have been a toy. It jammed.

When I looked out, I cried in horror. The Shahins’ house was a great heap of masonry, faintly perceptible through the black night. We ran downstairs and out into the howling wind. What could we do? In a few minutes other people came. We started turning the stones over to see if there was any life trapped underneath. ‘God, keep Leila alive, keep Leila alive,’ I was saying to myself, and like a madman I skipped about the rubble and the great stones and the iron girders in vain hope. Then I felt something soft hit my hand. I dug it up. It was a hand torn off the wrist. It was Leila’s hand, with the engagement ring buckled round the third finger. I sat down and cried.

During the next day the engineers of the British army unearthed eleven corpses piecemeal. Leila’s hand was returned to her battered body. One funeral was enough for the collective family burial. What was I to do to the faceless anonymous enemy? In our impotence, unarmed and defenceless, we vowed revenge. But the quarter on the hill was open and exposed to the nocturnal terror, like a helpless supine woman. In twenty-four hours it was evacuated. We found a two-room house in nearby Bethlehem. We had not spent three nights in our new refuge when our house, pillars and all, was turned into another large weird mass of ruins. Yacoub and I went to see the iron girders sticking out of the wreckage and pointing twisted fingers to a cold blue sky. The ruins of blown-up houses stood in a row, as in a nightmare.

Jerusalem was an embattled city. The most unorganised, the most unarmed collection of volunteers, trying to stop the fanning out of a highly organised, well-armed and ruthless force: a few erratic bullets against mines of gelignite. Soon the British army left the fighters to their fate, and hell set into the vacuum on its trail. We were cut off from Jerusalem and the Arabs of the city took shelter behind the great Ottoman walls, where their rifles could keep off the armoured cars of the Jewish Skull Squadrons. Night and day were filled with gun-fire.

Arab villagers were massacred in the treacherous dark by men they had never seen, and nothing saved our town of Christ except the desperate volunteers who entrenched themselves in the hills and declivities around the town, and grimly waited and sniped and forayed and retired. We all bought our own rifles (I had to buy another one) despite the exorbitant prices (who knows what group trafficked with those rusty outmoded weapons and came out with fearful profits?), and we would take our positions in what we considered strategic points, to keep the enemy off until the Arab Legion came to the rescue. On clear nights, we went down the terraces of the valley of Bethlehem; I could not help wondering what diabolical irony made of such a lovely place, thick with olive trees, the scene of our ill-equipped defiance of hate. Where the angels had appeared to the shepherds two thousand years ago to sing of joy and peace to men, we daily faced the ever-spluttering messengers of death.

And time dragged and sorrow came upon sorrow without relief. Despite all our fears we had preserved a little hope, but each new day ate further into our hope. It was a war, we were told. It was the greatest practical joke in the world, and the most tragic one. There were armies; there were guns; there were generals; there were strategists; there were mediators. But the dislodged and the dispossessed multiplied. There was a truce, yet the refugees came in greater numbers. They carried their rags and their bundles, and buried their children unceremoniously under the olive trees. Amidst the wild flowers rest the torn pieces of flesh, human and animal inextricably twined. In the spacious courtyard of the Byzantine Church of Christ’s Nativity slept a tangled tattered mass of peasants and mules and camels, and only the braying of asses was louder than the hungry crying of children.

In the town square an enterprising café proprietor had installed a battery of radio with a loudspeaker. Wireless sets were becoming cumbersome pieces of furniture since the cutting off of power in New Jerusalem. So the people would congregate in thousands on the town square to hear the news on the small café radio, three times a day, at eight, at two, at six, and when the hour was announced by the broadcasting station with its usual six pips, a hush would fall upon the listening crowd, all eager for one item of good news. Every day at the appointed hours the thousands gathered in hope and fifteen minutes later dispersed in agony. ‘When Jerusalem is open again …’ that was the phrase on every tongue. ‘When Jerusalem is open again …’ They would climb up the mountain of Beit Jala to have a look at the city they loved spreading the northern horizon in a haze of pale violet, no more than six miles away, but as good as a hundred thousand miles away, a city of dreams looming beyond a valley of death.

— from Hunters in a Narrow Street by Palestinian intellectual Jabra Ibrahim Jabra

Suhail Nassar


Third Aliyah: mostly traders and artisans from Poland.


Several weeks of riots in Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed kill 133 Jews and wound 339; 116 Palestinians are killed, 232 wounded, mostly by British soldiers. The riots are sparked by the founding of the Jewish Agency in August and by a right-wing Jewish protest of customs regarding the use of the Wailing Wall.


Fourth Aliyah: 64 more Zionist colonies are founded as refugees arrive particularly from Nazi Germany. Jewish population rises to nearly 30 percent of the total in Palestine.


The Palestinian movement reorganizes, as five new political parties are established. After the failure of Palestinian delegations to London to change British policy, the idea of armed rebellion is born within the formation of a commando group by Shaikh ‘Izz ad-Din al-Qassam.


April: The Great Rebellion begins and will last for three years. The rebellion is sparked partly by unemployment and by the British Parliament’s refusal in March of Arab demands for elections. On April 15, Palestinian commandos kill three Jews, followed by the killing of two Arabs. On April 21, the five Palestinian parties initiate a six month general strike. On April 25, the five parties unite under the Arab Higher Committee, headed by the mufti of Jerusalem, al-Hajj Amin al-Husseini.


July: The Royal Peel Commission recommends partition of Palestine into three states: Arab, Jewish and a British-controlled central region including Jerusalem. This plan for the first time formally recognizes the incompatibility of the Balfour declaration’s twin aims. The plan draws a divided response: A majority of Zionists accepts the partition while Palestinian leaders reject it.

Autumn: Renewal of the Arab rebellion, as commando groups capture control of many areas of the countryside. British repression includes detention camps and blowing up homes of suspects.

Between 1936 and 1939, the Palestinian revolutionary movement suffered a severe setback at the hands of three separate enemies that were to constitute together the principal threat to the nationalist movement in Palestine in all subsequent stages of its struggle:

. the local reactionary leadership;

. the regimes in the Arab states surrounding Palestine;

. the imperialist-Zionist enemy.

The present study will concentrate on the respective structures of these separate forces and the dialectical relations that existed among them.

The intensity of the Palestinian nationalist experience, which emerged since 1918, and was accompanied in one way or another with armed struggle, could not reflect itself on the upper structure of the Palestinian national movement, which remained virtually under the control of semi-feudal and semi-religious leadership. This was due primarily to two related factors:

1. The existence and effectiveness of the Zionist movement, which gave the national challenge relative predominance over the social contradictions. The impact of this challenge was being systematically felt by the masses of Palestinian Arabs, who were the primary victims of the Zionist invasion supported by British imperialism.

2. The existence of a significant conflict of interests between the local feudal-religious leadership and British imperialism: It was consistently in the interest of the ruling class to promote and support a certain degree of revolutionary struggle, instead of being more or less completely allied with the imperialist power as would otherwise be the case. The British imperialists had found in the Zionists “a more suitable ally.”

The above factors gave the struggle of Palestinian people particular features that did not apply to the Arab nationalist struggle outside Palestine. The traditional leadership, as a result, participated in, or at least tolerated, a most advanced form of political action (armed struggle); it raised progressive slogans, and had ultimately, despite its reactionary nature, provided positive leadership during a critical phase of the Palestinian nationalist struggle.

It is relevant to explain, however, how the feudal-religious leadership succeeded in staying at the head of the nationalist movement for so long (until 1948). The transformation of the economic and social structure of Palestine, which occurred rather rapidly, had affected primarily the Jewish sector, and had taken place at the expense of the Palestinian middle and petty bourgeoisie, as well as the Arab working class. The change from a semi-feudal society to a capitalist society was accompanied by an increased concentration of economic power in the hands of the Zionist machine and consequently, within the Jewish society in Palestine. It is significant that Palestinian Arab advocates of conciliation, who became outspoken during the thirties, were not landlords or rich peasants, but rather elements of the urban upper bourgeoisie whose interests gradually coincided with the expanding interests of the Jewish bourgeoisie. The latter, by controlling the process of industrialisation, was creating its own agents.

In the meantime, the Arab countries surrounding Palestine were playing two conflicting roles. On the one hand, the Pan-Arab mass movement was serving as a catalyst for the revolutionary spirit of the Palestinian masses, since a dialectical relation between the Palestinian and overall Arab struggles existed; on the other hand, the established regimes in these Arab countries were doing everything in their power to help curb and undermine the Palestinian mass movement. The sharpening conflict in Palestine threatened to contribute to the development of the struggle in these countries in the direction of greater violence, creating a revolutionary potential that their respective ruling classes could not afford to overlook. The Arab ruling classes were forced to support British imperialism against their counterpart in Palestine, which was in effect leading the Palestinian nationalist movement.

Meanwhile, the Zionist-Imperialist alliance continued to grow; the period between 1936 and 1939 witnessed not only the crystallisation of the militaristic and aggressive character of the colonial society that Zionism had firmly implanted in Palestine, but also the relative containment and defeat of the Palestinian working class; this was subsequently to have a radical effect on the course of the struggle. During that period, Zionism, in collaboration with the mandatory power, successfully undermined the development of a progressive Jewish labour movement and of Jewish-Arab Proletarian brotherhood. The Palestine Communist Party was effectively isolated among both Arab and Jewish workers, and the reactionary Histadrut completely dominated the Jewish labour movement. The influence of Arab progressive forces within Arab labour federations in Haifa and Jaffa diminished, leaving the ground open for their control by reactionary leaderships that monopolised political action.

— from The 1936-39 Revolt in Palestine by Ghassan Kanafani


George Antonius publishes The Arab Awakening in English.


British crackdown on the rebellion succeeds. More than 1,000 Palestinians are killed during the three years and most of their leaders are exiled.

May: A British White Paper formally drops the partition plan and offers a ten year plan to reunite Arabs and Jews under a single, independent state. It includes a policy of limiting Jewish land acquisition and immigration in an attempt to foster Arab good will. Both Zionist and Palestinian groups reject the plan.


Zionist forces begin guerilla warfare against the British, undertaking terrorist raids and assassinations which are followed by British reprisals. In 1946, the militant right wing Zionist group Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, blows up British headquarters in the King David Hotel.


February: Britain announces that it will withdraw from Palestine and cedes responsibility for the country’s future to the United Nations.

November 29: Partition Day. The United Nations General Assembly votes for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states. With less than one-third of the population in mandated Palestine, the Zionists receive 55 percent of its total land area. Zionists welcome the plan, while Palestinians are dismayed.

Suhail Nassar


January: Fighting between Palestinians and Zionists escalates into war, with 1,974 killed on both sides by January 10. The Palestinians are ill-organized and poorly armed. Between 5,000 and 7,000 Arab volunteers enter Palestine to join the fighting. The Zionist Haganah’s operation had been organized since at least 1946 when it numbered 62,000 troops armed with weapons smuggled from Europe, and stolen from the British.

April: On April 9, 254 villagers are massacred by Irgun and the Stern Gang at Dair Yassin. By the end of April, more than 10,000 Palestinians have fled as Zionist military groups conquer Tiberias, Haifa, Jaffa, eastern Galilee, and areas near Jerusalem.

May: Fighting continues with more Palestinian losses. On May 14, the British high commissioner leaves and an independent Jewish state is proclaimed at Tel Aviv. The British mandate ends May 15, as troops from Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Iraq cross the border, and as United States President Harry Truman recognizes the state of Israel. By then, about 200 Palestinian villages have been attacked and conquered by Zionists, and 200,000 Palestinians have fled their homes.

Fighting continues throughout the year and Israeli victories in the summer extend the size of Israel well beyond the 1947 United Nations partition plan. Many villages are razed and replaced by Israeli settlements, as absentee Arab lands are transferred to the Israeli government. By December, there are nearly 1,000,000 Palestinian refugees. Palestinians and other Arabs refer to the events of 1948 as “The Catastrophe.”

Orphaned children in Deir Yassin


February-July: Israel signs armistice agreements with individual Arab countries.

December: 430,000 Palestinians are living in Red Cross and United Nations refugee camps, while an additional 250,000 are receiving free food rations.

Suhail Nassar

In the diary, [Don’t Look Left: Diary of a Genocide] Abu Saif helps dig Palestinian corpses out of the rubble of their homes, their bodies turned to minced meat, in between visits to check in on friends and colleagues. By November 30, his friend the novelist Hani al-Salmi has burned two hundred books from his library for warmth. He recounts that the home of his friend, the poet Othman Hussien, was destroyed by the Israelis, just as they had destroyed his previous home in 2014. Mourning Nafar, Abu Seif asks friends to resend him videos he’d sent to them of Nafar reciting poetry the last time they met.

As any account of genocide must be, Abu Saif’s diary is consumed with death. In the final published entry, from December 30, nearly halfway between now and October 7, Abu Seif seeks to register his losses: “There will be no Salim al-Nafar to talk poetry to. There will be no old city. No Saftawi. No Jabalia as I know it. Gaza, the one I knew will not be there anymore. If there is to be anything, it will need to be rebuilt from scratch. It will need to be reborn from the flames—like the city’s emblem, the phoenix—it will need to rise up against all odds, against all possibilities.”

Perhaps the next university in Gaza will be built from that cream-colored Jerusalem limestone that covers the Hebrew University campus. For the future of Gaza, of Palestine as a whole, will remain impossible without the dismantling of those genocidal foundations—physical and ideological—upon which Israel now sits. In the face of genocide, we must imagine, in the stead of those Palestinians who have struggled for years, the opposite of genocide.

— Palestinian historian Esmat Elhalaby, March 2024

Malik Sajad, Downtown Srinagar, Kashmir

I shelter you

and the children who

are sleeping

as chicks in the lap

of their nest

they don’t walk

in their dreams

because death

towards the house


I shelter you

from wound and woe,

and with seven verses

I shield

the taste of orange

from phosphorus,

the color of clouds

from smoke.

— Palestinian poet Heba Abu Nada (1991–2023)

Cover photograph Motaz Azaiza