Palestinian Poet calls for All People to Take-Up the Pen (for Gaza)

Palestinian Poet calls for All People  to Take-Up the Pen (for Gaza)


Mosab Abu Toha, palestinian poet founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza, has just issued a call for people to rise up and prove that the pen is and will be – mightier than the sword


“People say silence is a sign of consent.

What if I’m not allowed to speak,

my tongue severed,

my mouth sewn shut?”

Mosab Abu Toha. – ‘NOTEBOOKS’

(from Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear”)


Palestinian poet (from an almost-completely-destroyed Gaza) and author of recently published (and award winning) poetry book – ‘Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear ‘(City Lights) –  founder of the Edward Said Library in Gaza – has just issued a call for people to rise up and prove, in these darkest of days for Palestine and a World waiting to live without the fear of genocide, ethnic cleansing and war – that the pen is and will be – mightier than the sword…


“An open invitation to all people in the world to become writers.”


Mosab Abu Toha


“An open invitation to all people in the world to become writers.

There is a duty that everyone should take on, that they need to write about what they see and feel. It can be about everything. About your dinner with family, you trips to the seashore, watching the sunset, etc.

But let Gaza be part of it. Write down about what you watch on TV, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (X), etc. what I say here as fellow human.

Put your feelings on the page (or your electronic device) save it for your children and your grandchildren so they will learn what you experienced as a human. How you suffered like us..”


But let Gaza be part of it…”


I ask how could any of us (with a heart and a passion for justice) write about anything else watching this savage massacre by this extremist-Israeli-regime and its well-armed-military..?.. as each hour passes..?.. as we listen to the heart-breaking reports from the survivors of one ruthless attack after the other..?.. furiously trying to find ways to grieve and express the helplessness we feel as witnesses..?.. while those with Power sleep in warm beds, eat good food, watch their children sleep safely at night… and talk the often vicious, hypocritical, lying and murderous nonsense they expel… to explain a crime as horrific now as the one perpetrated by the Nazis in the last century and the Ottoman Empire at the start of it….how could any of us..?


Welcome to the Third Millennium and a “new” year!

As one of the increasingly diminishing number of survivors in a body count now estimated at over 21,000 civilians (almost 9,000 of them children) Mosab Abu Toha managed to escape the Israeli Killing Zone(s) – November 19, 2023 – but not without being stopped, arrested, separated from his family, including young children (for days), stripped naked, humiliated and beaten by obviously sadistic IDF soldiers with little fear of any accountability.


Toha had been “arrested”. Free speech organization PEN America and PEN International called for information about Abu Toha’s situation.

On 21 November, Democracy Now! reported that Abu Toha had been released after being taken to an Israeli prison in the Negev and beaten, according to a statement … He was taken to a hospital due to his injuries.


Being a writer with some international recognition (as well as the father of a child with a US passport) might have saved his life – unlike others in the same predicament –  and he has made it across the border to Egypt to relative safety, now to become a witness himself to the forced starvation, disease, death by air, tank and artillery, and sniper, (all courtesy of US and UK arms supplies) now well into its third month; perpetrated in total arrogance in the face of world opinion or international law by a regime that will come to be seen as one as “evil” as the other genocidal regimes who once believed that the extermination of a people is a way to a future for their own tribe; to say nothing of its supporters – the now discredited majority-cabal of “The West”.


We can only hope that the end of the reign of all these privileged politicians is now on the horizon, as they can no longer, whether in Israel, in Europe or in North America lead us into a future that offers humanity a hope of survival and better. What comes after them, though, now becomes our problem…



Listen to the poet, read his book and surely follow his advice so that our collective voices, of and for humanity (not for racism, revenge, ethnic cleansing, genocide, starvation and murder) will become loud enough to begin to heal a world waiting to be born…a world we will collectively struggle for…a world with no place for the lies, oppression, exploitation, privilege and war of the last hundreds of years …


Short Biography (from Wikipedia)

Mosab Abu Toha, Palestinian poet, scholar, and librarian from the Gaza Strip. Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear (2022) won the Palestine Book Award and an American Book Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Walcott Poetry Prize.

The poet was born in 1992 in the Al-Shati refugee camp, shortly before the signing of the Oslo Accords. In 2017, he founded the Edward Said Library, an English-language public library in Beit Lahia, of which (a) second branch was opened in Gaza City in 2019. He has taught English at United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools in Gaza from 2016 until 2019; 2019-20 he was a visitor at Harvard University as a Scholar-at-Risk Fellow at the Department of Comparative Literature, a librarian at the Houghton Library, and a fellow in the Harvard Divinity School.

Abu Toha works also as columnist for numerous publications including the New York Times. and The New Yorker. His poems have been published in many poetry journals, and in 2022, his first book of poetry, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear was published by City Lights.

Following the October 2023 Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza

“… Abu Toha, his wife and his children evacuated their home in Beit Lahiya and moved to the Jabaliya refugee camp after Israel warned it would bomb Beit Lahiya. In a New Yorker article published November 6, Toha wrote that he had ridden his bicycle to Beit Lahiya in an attempt to retrieve some books from the collection in his home. However, their home and the surrounding area were destroyed.(Wikipedia)


“This angel of death just turned my body into pieces

and took my soul. It

left me lying there on the bloody ground,

my fingers resting on a neighbor’s broken window.

It didn’t look back to see if I was smiling or crying,

or if my mouth was even intact.

It just wanted my soul.

My family was out looking for my body.”

Mosab Abu Toha. – ‘NOTEBOOKS’


Write, post, circulate, sing, shout, share your words, your work:

‪#poetry for ‪#Gaza ‪#FreePalestine


Email it:

Twitter/X it:  ‪#poetry for ‪#Gaza ‪#FreePalestine


Youtube it (For a Culture of Liberation @foracultureofliberation8127)



séamas carraher




From Mosab Abu Toha X/Twitter feed





You Carry Your Home With You’: A Palestinian Poet’s Journey Out of Gaza






Related Articles

Israelis and Palestinians open talks


Direct talks to set out framework for negotiations resume for first time in three years, as US hosts both parties.

Flotilla, Flytilla and the prospect of ‘Civil Society Action’


Gilad Atzmon It might be argued that the passing week was not very easy on the Palestinian solidarity movement:  firstly,

La résolution 2334 (2016) du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies condamnant la politique de colonisation israélienne


Le 23 décembre 2016, pour la première fois depuis l´année 1980, le Conseil de Sécurité des Nations Unies a pu adopter une résolution condamnant les implantations israéliennes en territoire palestinien

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment