← Issue 2

Understanding Israel-Palestine

Monica Shaar

Who am I
but the daughter of an Arab man
raised on American soil
with the understanding
of mirrors and fogged glass.
What do I know

of their life and their suffering
when they seek asylum
for what has been given to me.

I’ve read their history,
their experiences
and the misunderstandings
between “them” –
plural as in “us”
and the “other”
and the other “other”–
and still I sit here, trying to understand
what it’s like to fight for life.

But if I scratch at this paper
for long enough,
as they scratch at the plaster
for food,
and if I act as an artist
for long enough,
as the the fire burns their homes
and schools,
and if I try to build
a bridge of freedom,
when they are only given
the blocks of a blood-stained wall,
would anyone sit up and listen?
 

Monica Shaar is a second-year English literature graduate student at La Sierra University. She earned an undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from UC Irvine in 2016.