Because We Forgot

Artwork featured by David Foldvari

Do you remember

A little boy washed up on the shores of a sea 

Who promised him a better home

Than his own? 

Alan Kurdi was his name. 

Speak it. 


Do you remember a little boy,

Sitting still atop an orange chair, 

Bleeding from his forehead, 

Tears leaving solitary tracks on a dust-covered face, 

His name is Omran Daqneesh.

Speak it. 


They are Syria. Tell their story. 

Do you remember 

A medic as she nursed her patients back to health, 

With the help of the Lord?

Do you remember 

How she tried to take the wounded to safety, 

And ended up wrapped in her country’s flag for a burial shroud, 

Her medic’s jacket bloodstained

And riddled with bullet holes

Razan Najjar is her name.

Speak it. 


She is Palestine. Tell her story. 


Do you remember 

A little girl who wore new earrings 

And a toothless smile, 

Before the dawn of Eid,

Because she knew not if she’d be alive to celebrate it? 

What she ate was the leaves off trees, 

In the end, it was hunger that killed her,

Not an airstrike. 

She is Yemen. Tell her story. 

Do you know

Of a girl who should have been, 

A sister of seventeen, 

Who nurses a child she bore

From those who tore her from her home,

her life, her right, her honour, did you know? 


Her name is the Rohingya. Say it. 

Do you know,

The story of a girl in a hijab 

Who sits in the darkness of a room, strapped to a chair, cut up like a guinea pig, organs harvested, 

And dimly she wonders

About the Great Wall of China, 

Built upon the bodies of thousands of men, 

Forgotten. 

She is Uyghur. She is Muslim. She is both. She has every right to be. Know that. 


Do you hear all their stories, 

That is all that is left of them 

Because their names have been forgotten, replaced, or never given,

Do you read,  

All the diaries that are written in paper and ink, in blood and tears,

Do you remember

All the people killed in these Holocausts upto 2020? 

Alan Kurdi, Omran Daqneesh, Razan Najjar, a thousand stories, 

A million deaths,

A billion losses, 


How many to mourn them? 


So, don’t tell me,

You are honouring the memory

Of a twelve-year-old girl whose tragedy

Was immortalized in the pages of her diary, 

Don’t tell me

Of the horror she underwent 

At the hands of the Nazi,

Don’t tell me,

You are honouring her memory, 

When you are ignoring what she stood for, 

Don’t tell me Her story is from the 1940s,

Because if you listen hard enough,

It is alive even more so 

In 2020. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. merzkehd says:

    This is outstanding and so very powerful. What an impactful piece this is.

    Like

  2. Sarah Neiman says:

    Wow, this hit like a punch to the gut, beautifully and hauntingly written.

    Like

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