It has never been more important for the world to listen to and learn from Palestinian voices. Here, we are making digitally available contributions by Palestinian artists and activists to the chapter "Learning from Palestine" from our recent book Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah, edited by Morgan Bassichis, Jay Saper, and Rachel Valinsky.
Across their nine essays, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Sumaya Awad, Kholoud Balata, Olivia Katbi, Tariq Luthun, Izzy Mustafa, Dylan Saba, Mahdi Sabbagh, and Sandra Tamari share stories and symbols of resistance, resilience, joy, and celebration under seventy-five years of Israeli military occupation, and colonial violence, and apartheid.
Our hearts go out especially to Kholoud Balata, who lives in Gaza, which has been under Israeli bombardment since October 7, 2023.
We call for an immediate ceasefire, and for an end to the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free.
For a print copy, click here to purchase Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah. 100% of sales proceeds will be distributed directly to a network of women and their families in Gaza through the Center for Women’s Legal Research, Consulting and Protection (CWLRC).
- Kholoud Balata, "What do Palestinian kids do when they turn thirteen?
- Sumaya Awad, "What does the olive tree symbolize to Palestinians?"
- Mahdi Sabbagh, "What does the watermelon symbolize to Palestinians?"
- Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, "What does the cactus symbolize to Palestinians?"
- Izzy Mustafa, "What does the spoon symbolize to Palestinians?"
- Sandra Tamari, "What does the key symbolize to Palestinians?"
- Dylan Saba, "Where are Palestinians now?"
- Olivia Katbi, "Why are Palestinians calling on the world to boycott Israel?"
- Tariq Luthun, "How do Palestinians celebrate?"
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation, and performance practices. Their work is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body, and virtuality.
Sumaya Awad is a Palestinian writer and organizer focusing on Palestine, Islamophobia, immigration, and labor. She is Director of Strategy at the Adalah Justice Project, co-editor of Palestine: A Socialist Introduction (Haymarket Books), and co-founder of Against Canary Mission. She is a member of NYC-DSA.
Kholoud Balata is a lecturer, poet, and writer. She was born in Gaza, Palestine, where she lives.
Olivia Katbi is a BDS activist in Portland, Oregon, and formerly worked as the North America coordinator for the Palestinian BDS National Committee.
Tariq Luthun is a Detroit-born, Dearborn-raised, community organizer, data consultant, and Emmy Award-winning poet. The son of Palestinian Muslim immigrants from Gaza, his first collection of poetry, How the Water Holds Me, was awarded the Editors’ Selection by Bull City Press.
Izzy Mustafa is a Palestinian organizer and storyteller transcending the colonial borders between Turtle Island and Palestine.
Dylan Saba is an attorney and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently a staff attorney at Palestine Legal and a contributing editor at Jewish Currents.
Mahdi Sabbagh is a writer, urbanist, and architect. He is part of PalFest, the Palestine Festival of Literature. In 2019 he curated the festival on the theme of Urban Futures: Colonial Space Today. Mahdi is a PhD student at Columbia University and holds a Master’s in Architecture from Yale University.
Sandra Tamari is a Palestinian organizer who lives in St. Louis, Missouri.