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Sunday, May 15, 2022


by Indran Amirthanayagam

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday declined a request to let Israeli officials examine the bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent reporter for Al Jazeera who was killed in the occupied West Bank during an Israeli raid. Palestinian officials and witnesses accused Israeli soldiers of killing Ms. Abu Akleh, dismissing Israeli claims that the journalist may have been hit by Palestinian fire during a shootout in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank. —The New York Times, May 12, 2022. Photo: The day after she was killed, Palestinian artists were already at work painting a mural of Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank. Credit: Mohammed Saber/EPA, via Shutterstock via The New York Times)

Who killed Shireen Abu Akleh? Who fired the bullet
into her head? Who raided the neighborhood? Who
has the right to bear arms? Who has the right

to desecrate the dead? Who is crying for justice
where justice has not been served, not for
Rachel Corrie, who stood before a bulldozer. Not

for Shireen who wrote of people how they live
and cook, wash and teach, how they live and die
in an occupied land as second class subjects. Meanwhile

the murderer walks. Meanwhile the struggle continues
between lord and subject. And the girl who loved holding
her bottle before the mirror as a microphone saying

one day I will grow to be Shireen Abu Akleh: what
shall we tell her now? Where can she bury her tears?

Indran Amirthanayagam's newest book is Ten Thousand Steps Against the Tyrant (BroadstoneBooks). Recently published is Blue Window (Ventana Azul), translated by Jennifer Rathbun.(Dialogos Books). In 2020, Indran produced a “world" record by publishing three new poetry books written in three languages: The Migrant States (Hanging Loose Press, New York), Sur l'île nostalgique (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Lírica a tiempo (Mesa Redonda, Lima). He writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and has twenty poetry books as well as a music album Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly and helps curate Ablucionistas. He won the Paterson Prize and received fellowships from The Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, US/Mexico Fund For Culture, and the MacDowell Colony. He hosts the Poetry Channel on YouTube.