For My Ukthi

There must have been lightning,
Or a flash of light at least,
Across the skies,
The day that I met you, my sister.

There were unknown threads,
Lines of silver yarn,
That already tied us together.
There was a bridge constructed,
Between my Derby,
And your Abassan al Kabir,
Joining our hearts,
In something that felt like justice,
In the middle of this occupation.

We lined warm embraces,
With the exchange of stories,
Of lives,
Of all the things that tore us apart,
And the ones that built us back up.
There were secrets from the depths of us,
There was hope – she was smiling at us both,
And in its centre you stood there,
Always,
Smiling in the face of defeat.

You taught me Arabic – the Gazan type,
So I speak to your Ummi now,
And I told you about my motherland,
You Palestinians are the only ones,
Who nod in understanding when I say ,
Kashmir.

You gifted me with Jabaliya,
And Ukthi you will always underestimate,
The way that changed my life.
You taught me strength,
Resilience illuminates your skin.
You taught me that love knows no boundaries,
It knows no borders,
No apartheid walls,
And now it knows no LoC’s,
That’s because of you.

From half way across the world,
I cried tears of joy and sadness,
The day you married,
And tomorrow my ukthi,
I will cry again,
As you carry chunks of my heart,
From Abassan to Egypt,
And Insha’Allah to the place,
You will build your home,
I cry like my own sister has left my home,
Like I am standing by your mother,
At the gates of your village,
And I am feeling this too.

But Ukthi,
My beautiful sister,
Your light will reach us,
It will reach me,
And it will always light Gaza.
Every time I utter a word in Arabic,
Every time I pick up my Keffeyah,
Or leave my house to speak of Falasteen..
I will speak of Doa’a,
The strong woman,
Who changed my life.

Beautiful,
Be brave.

May Allah make the distance easy for you habibti.
May he reward your patience with happiness.
All of our duas are with you always, ya rouhi.
If anybody I know in this world deserves happiness,
It is you.
I have no doubts.

For my sister Doa’a Ahmed the Gazan who made me Gazan.

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