WATCH: Palestinian poets Remi Kanazi and Rafeef Ziadah — “We teach life, sir”

As part of his current tour, fresh off the publication of his new book Poetic Injustice, poet Remi Kanazi performed in London this past weekend with special guests — Palestinian-Canadian poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah, artist/producer of the spoken-word album Hadeel, Syrian-American hip hop star Omar Offendum, and poet/artist Zita Holbourne.

Rafeef Ziadah says her moving poem, “We teach life, sir,” was written during Israel’s attacks on Gaza during the winter of 2008-09, when she was a spokesperson for an activist coalition doing media work. A journalist asked her, “don’t you think it would all be fine if you just stopped teaching your children to hate?”

This poem is Rafeef’s response.

Remi Kanazi’s searing poem, “Coexistence” is featured below.

“I don’t want to coexist,” he says, “I want to exist as a human being. And justice will take care of the rest.”



Nora Barrows-Friedman

Nora Barrows-Friedman's picture

Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff writer and associate editor at The Electronic Intifada, and is the author of In Our Power: US Students Organize for Justice in Palestine (Just World Books, 2014).