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Keeping Tabs: Refusing Death

Religious supremacy, colonial erasure’s legacies, and seventy years of Palestinian resistance to occupation.

Marginalia | keeping tabs
May 18, 2018

Often the saying is to leave the past behind you. But what are Palestinians to do when they are repeating being shoved out of their homeland? May 15th marked the 79th anniversary of Nakba, the destruction of Palestine and the uprooting of thousands of people from their homes. Although Palestinians still face similar struggles today, they are resilient. They are fighting for their home, and they are survivng to tell their story.


Against Erasure by Noor Hindi

In a powerful prose piece, Noor Hindi uses erasure a literary device and a metaphor to recount what happened to his grandmother and her family when they were forced out of their homes in Palestine.

My great-grandmother walked.

She walked among hundreds of thousands of people. She walked until her feet bled. She walked until her thirst made her tongue swell and yellow. She walked and carried two babies. She walked and worried about her husband. She walked and listened to an infant screaming in her arms.

People were dying around her. Palestinian bodies were dying around her. Palestinian bodies were getting shot at. Shot through. Palestinian blood lined the street.

This is how a country is born.


The gas masks of the Great March of Return by Adam Horowitz

These knee jerk series of photographs portrays Palestinian resistance to gas attacks by Israeli forces during the Great March of Return, where families are trying to go back to Gaza. Using their creativity, Palestinians are using anything and everything to stop the tear gas from affecting them.

April 6, 2018, Palestinian covers face with soda bottles and cans to protect against tear gas. Photo by Ashraf Amra.


The End of Exile by Solmaz Sharif

Solmaz Sharif’s new poem captures how life is rebuilt after death. Read more of Solmaz’s work on The Margins.

As the dead, so I come

to the city I am of.

Am without.


To watch play out around me

as theater — 


audience as the dead are audience


Palestinians have no choice but to continue the struggle by Noura Erakat

Palestinian American Rights lawyer, Noura Erakat, bites the bullet and calls out religious supremacy in the war between Israel and Palestine in the past leading up to the present.

Had Jews merely wanted to live in Palestine, this would not have been a problem. In fact, Jews, Muslims and Christians had coexisted for centuries throughout the Middle East. But Zionists sought sovereignty over a land where other people lived. Their ambitions required not only the dispossession and removal of Palestinians in 1948 but also their forced exile, juridical erasure and denial that they ever existed.


Nakba: 70 Years of Palestinian Resistance to Occupation edited by George Abraham and Tariq Luthun

In Map for Teeth, George Abraham and Tariq Luthun mark seventy years of Palestinian resistance since al-Nakba with writing by Khalid Abudawas, Noor Al-Naji, and Remi Kanazi.

Known in english as “the Catastrophe,” 1948 was the year in which hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes by the hands of what is currently a colonial, ethnocratic apartheid state. Countless were slaughtered, raped, and wounded in the process, and the ensuing Palestinian diaspora & refugee crises were born. On this day each year, we, the children of the Palestinian diaspora, unite in our visceral and ancestral grief; our visceral and ancestral resilience.