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Read Poems by Aya Salah

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Dabka Is Resistance

Dabka Is Resistance

It’s not just a dance
(Though dancing it is)
It’s not just a great workout
(Though good cardio it is)
It’s not just a form of entertainment
(Though entertaining to watch it is)
It is, above all, resistance.

When I, a Palestinian, do the dabka 
in a relaxed setting,
What I am essentially saying with my body is: 
I’m not forgetting -
The past
Not forgiving the present situation
Not giving in to an illegal occupation -
I resist.

They may have the land - for now
But occupy our reasoning - just how
Can they expect us to foolishly give in
Our falafels as theirs and keffiyehs as fashion
What’s next - will Arabic 
be their “own” language as well
While expecting us to meekly submit 
behind the apartheid walls we dwell?
I resist.

Divide a community with a wall 
And spill all the blood they want,
There is One taking their every deed in account
Whether they remember it or not
Be you from the East or West, it doesn’t matter where
As long as in the name of justice we resist
To be divided in spirit.

From Gaza to Ramallah to Jerusalem, 
Join hands in a circle and do the dabka
From Hebron to Nablus to Jenin,
Join hands in a circle and do the dabka
From every corner of Palestine,
And all the way to Canada,
I’ll join hands in a circle and do the dabka,
I’ll join hearts in a circle and do the dabka.

Dabka is resistance
To becoming bitter from anger and abuse
Dabka is resistance
To being blinded by the truth
Dabka is resistance
To becoming passive and neglectful
Dabka is resistance
To ever stop being proactive and hopeful
In His mercy and His will
To fix things still
Dabka is resistance.

Dabka is 
Strong spirits, strong minds,
Strength of kindness one of a kind
Strong characters, strong perseverance
Strength of ongoing patient endurance

And it shows with every bold step that we take
With every synchronized step that we make
And every graceful wave that is waved -

Dabka is resistance.

-Aya Salah
Mar.22, 2014

Copyright © Aya Salah | Year Posted 2014


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  1. Date: 2/13/2016 10:57:00 PM

    aya, Enjoyed the way you expressed every line. Please keep writing and sharing your poetry. LOVE LINDA