Photo Credit: Mohammed El-Kurd


I breathe in

this city

and I pretend

that it doesn’t hurt me.

Jerusalem is home,

even though this city brings me down every single day.

Jerusalem is home,

even though it saddens me every single day.

Jerusalem is home,

even though that this town makes me wish die quite frequently.


tears me down,

scars and bruises,

tears and sad smiles,


raises me up only so it could knock me down again.


is each lie treated like truth,

and each truth treated like a lie.


is a divine crime


a crime committed with the hands of the holy.


is a beheading of the hydra,

a lynching of those who speak just.




is nothing but their tongues on its soils.

If only Jerusalem spoke,

I would be thankful.

If only Jerusalem said something,

I would live to hear it again and again.

if only Jerusalem talked,

the invisible bruises would finally fade.

If only Jerusalem spoke,

if only the soil spoke,

if only the wrinkles on my grandmother’s forehead spoke,

if only the walls of this city spoke,

if only the lies they made spoke,

they’d say the truth.




is a woman giving birth to a new life that we might never ever see.


is the rebirth to this very life we live.


is what we make it…

so let it be reborn into the truth and beyond.




once again is home.

A home where the windows are shattered open,

but still there wouldn’t be any air for us to breathe.


once again is home.

A home where you always carry the key with you

but there isn’t a door anyway.


once again is home.

A home where the walls have ears

and the ears have tongues

and the tongues tell lies

and the lies live on.




Once again is home.

A home where the life had died giving birth to a new one,


is a fortune teller

telling us we are going to have a happy life,

little does she know that destiny chose to make us live like refugee pillows,

and the anticipation knows no sleep.


is hopes aborted,

fears fulfilled.

Jerusalem is sirens as a lullaby.

Jerusalem is tear gas as heavy perfume.

Jerusalem is truths unspoken,

or always spoken but never heard.


is a woman holding her stone and throwing it

in the sky that they filled with F16s.




is little girl

screaming “fuck this war, I’m going to school”.




is a man,

hardworking and the sweat waters the hope

and the hope feeds the heart faith

and the faith makes us numb,

but never too numb.




is a boy

seeing it the way it is,

the way it was and the way it should be.



Jerusalem is I

and I am Jerusalem,

almost collapsing,

almost too strong.




once again is home.

A home where the walls have ears

and the ears have tongues

and the tongues tell lies

and the lies live,

but life….. ends.


by Mohammed El-Kurd

October 15, 2014 (Age 16)



Should I Apologize?

For me

it has always been sirens,

and I've learned to scream

because my lover

was thunder.


Ever since I learned what it was to sacrifice

I am a fragile cult of roses

but blessed by the shoulders of a vine to lean on,

yet the wind

always finds a way to breathe through me

to shake me,

to break me

then make me

of whispers again . . .

until I learn to scream . . . again

but on the nights,

where my silent cries

are heard

where life

gets so absurd

and I become envious of a preyed bird

for only it flies, and I don't

I am often asked to apologize.


Should I apologize

for looking the sun straight in the eye

and still not crying?


Should I apologize

because I give you darkness

so you could see me gleam and shine?


Must I apologize

because I am made of stars,

but yet it's always daylight?


Should I apologize

because my heart refuses to stop beating,

and I cannot execute a thought of my reckless mind?


Shall I apologize

for your blind -or blinded-

mind and eye?


I don't know.


But still,

as I display my thorn-wrapped soul and wounds

to the healing sky,

I can see your tired eye

staring from a hole

in your gloomy cloud of a homeland

staring at the tall, tall legs

of my wandering mind,

with jealousy, contempt and a sigh

that assures me:

you haven't won . . .



by Mohammed El-Kurd

A Stone's Neglected Reasons

Children on ruins in al-‘Ajaj in the Jordan Valley, 11 August 2015. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B’Tselem. 

When your body is cuffed with chains,

when your timeless soul is caged,

so the dust of despair breathes through you

and the void sieges you,

and you're fighting the world alone;

throw that stone

(and a million more)


It's nirvana you throw in the air,

clouds of hope fly beyond borders

and it rains drops of tomorrow everywhere

to nirvana, dear, you're getting closer.


When they say they only want peace

but you still remember that blood-red night of may

when they'd executed peace long before its decay,

when their peace is just so wrong

and its raining bullets and drones

throw that stone

(and a million more)


When your friends' bodies ache

but your friends are in oblivion;

every laugh you whisper is a spear inside

you bleed for their wounded absent minds.


When you know it's an uneven war,

but you still sharpen the blade to gore

the mechanic heart of a world, long gone.

to them you are powerless, yet you still frighten

their guilty eyes,

yet you still frighten the unpaid price.

When your religion is the truth,

even if it takes your youth

like the martyrs that would never forgive

like the chances you would never relive


When they bulldoze your empire of dreams

throw stones to rebuild your homeland

'though the world won't understand

throw stones to throw away,

the assumption that our will is dead

tell them it would never die,

stones will forever stay alive.


by Mohammed El-Kurd