An epistle to the children of #Gaza

Here is an English translation of the Persian text of the letter Iranian filmmakers have written to the children of #Gaza--English translation is by Professor Mahmoud Sadri—

In the name of the God of “Olives”

An epistle to the children of Gaza:

Greeting, people of Gaza,
Mothers in late pregnancy,

Are the olive trees you planted leafy yet?
Can one enjoy them on the “Iftar” spread?
We have heard it has been rainy over there, these last few days.
We do not understand why this rain does not become a deluge,
To wash you into the Nile – that lady of blue tresses?
We do no know why this rain obliterates your houses?
Rain does not shred children into pieces, does it?
Rain does not open gashes in people’s chests, does it?
Rain does not smash skulls, does it?

Rainstorms create flash floods,
Why is the flash flood of Gaza bloody?
Rain brings thunder and lightening,
Clouds rub against clouds, the sound grow fearsome,
But it does not annihilate, does it?
Rain rejuvenates the roots of olive trees; it turns earth green,
Why is the rain over Gaza burning olive trees?
Rain comes with the weatherman’s warning.
Why is your rain so abrupt and brusque?
Why is this rain savagely razing the earth?

Rain lets children shelter their dolls under their umbrellas.
What rain is this that makes the dolls into umbrellas for children, entangled with them, in their graves?
I saw a cat, roving in the rubble of Gaza, lost, lamenting,
Avoiding the shreds of flesh, detritus of the lives of the Children of Gaza.
She recognizes the children who shared their meager meals with her, in rainy days past.

The lady of Gaza/Palestine:

If the rain over Gaza gives you leave to carry your baby on your back out of the wreckage, do not forget to take along pen and paper.
Write my lady; say:

“Rain gave me leave to leave.
We were not home, when the walls collapsed.”

Write my lady, so your man does not go mad with grief, at the sight of the rubble of his house, to imagine his beloved, the flesh of his flesh, are buried alive under the ruins.

You may ask, by the way: “where would I leave the note, so my man can find it? There are no walls standing”.
Write my lady; you can trust your letter to the wind. You can entrust it, like in old legends, to the beak of a bird.

Lady Gaza/Palestine:

We have heard that your neighbor yonder – the same one who came over in 1948; the same one with whom you shared your bread and water,
The same neighbor of 1948 who bemoaned the horrors of Hitler’s crematoria,
The same neighbor who had told you your home is the cradle of the prophets,
The same neighbor who had told you: Palestine is the land revelation,
The same neighbor who had told you: are Muslims not famed for their hospitality? Don’t they host any lost wayfarer for three days, without question?

Lady of Gaza/Palestine:

You had replied: Yes, we are kind, hospitable, cannot be otherwise.
Lady, we have heard that your neighbor yonder now watches your slaughter from hilltops in jubilation, as if from the galleries on an amphitheater.

Lady Gaza/ Palestine:

You were hospitable to the unannounced guests of 1948. They have now left you in the rubble of a prison in exile. they witness your torment and desolation. They have been watching you; up to now, up to this moment.

Lady Gaza/ Palestine:

Your poets have composed lines that have sunk, like so many bullets, into your faithless neighbor’s heart. Your children have abandoned school and have taken up arms. They realize that in a land they do not have the schooling they have will come to naught.

Lady Gaza/ Palestine:

Your once abandoned neighbors have now found many keepers:
The same people who pushed them out their own lands now have turned into their defenders, raining bullets on you; you who gave your neighbors shelter. Your neighbor’s erstwhile enemies now build iron domes above their heads and abet them in their slaughter of your children.

Lady Gaza/ Palestine:

We are left on this shore, pen and camera in hand.
We are left astonished: what is to be done?
How do we come to pay homage to your prone body?
Your shameless neighbor has blocked all of the paths to us -- your guests.

Lady Gaza / Palestine:

We were thinking: now that bullets rain on you,
Now that the deluge of blood has carried away your children,
May be we can infuse life into your children’s innocent bodies, from our own veins.

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