Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar.

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Read for Refaat: "If I Must Die" in 11 Languages

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January 21, 2024: We read Dr. Refaat Alareer's poem "If I Must Die" in 11 languages. Written in English in 2011, Dr. Alareer pinned the poem to this Twitter profile five weeks before his untimely death. He was killed with his family by an Israeli airstrike on December 7, 2023. He was only 45 years old. We joined the Publishers for Palestine coalition for the Read for Refaat week of action and events (January 15-21) to honor the life, work, and resistance of Dr. Refaat Alareer (1979-2023).

We gathered online from many parts of the world to commemorate his rich, urgent and inspiring contributions to Palestinian resistance.

More on the readings of "If I Must Die"

Meg Arenberg (in the original English)
Ida Hadjivayanis (in Swahili, her own translation)
Orhan Elmaz (in Albanian, translation by Genta Nishku)
Farah Bakaari (in Somali, translation by Aziz Mahdi)
Suchitra Vijayan (in Tamil, translation by Ponni and Mangai)
Surafel Wondimu (in Amharic, his own translation)
Zohra Saed (in Farsi, translation by Ahmad Rashid Salim)
Greg Pierrot (in French, his own translation)
David Acosta (in Spanish, his own translation)
Bhakti Shringarpure (in Hindi, translation by Aparna Gopalan)
Farah Bakaari (in Arabic, translation by Tamim)

About Dr. Refaat Alareer
Refaat Alareer (23 September 1979 – 6 December 2023) was a Palestinian writer, poet, educator, scholar and activist. He was born in Gaza City in 1979 and earned a BA in English in 2001 from the Islamic University of Gaza, an MA from University College London in 2007 and a PhD in English Literature at the Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2017. Dr. Alareer taught literature and creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza and co-founded the organization We Are Not Numbers, which matched experienced authors with young writers in Gaza, and promoted the power of storytelling as a means of Palestinian resistance. His published works include Gaza Writes Back: Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine (2014) and Gaza Unsilenced (co-edited with Laila El-Haddad, 2015) as well as numerous essays and poems. Dr. Alareer was a beloved teacher and his work is kept alive by his many students worldwide.

"Read For Refaat" Global Day of Action on January 15 was organized by the Publishers for Palestine coalition. Read more here.