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A quote about Gaza has become a meme on social media:

And if they ask you about Gaza, tell them that it has a martyr, a martyr helps him, a martyr takes pictures of him, a martyr bids him farewell, and a martyr prays over him.

"Mahmoud Darwish"

I saw the same quote/poem elsewhere, but there it was translated as "Palestine" instead of "Gaza".

e.g. this photo description:

And if they ask you about Palestine, tell them:
In it there is a martyr,
nursed by a martyr,
photographed by a martyr,
sent off by a martyr,
and prayed for by a martyr"

(Mahmoud Darwish)

Is this quote/poem by Mahmoud Darwish?

"Google book" and Google offers was hopeless.

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    You'd probably have search in Arabic for anything conclusive. Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 9:33
  • @Fizz My language is not Arabic, but I also searched in Arabic and none of the results mentioned a reference.
    – C.F.G
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 9:38

1 Answer 1

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Documentarily speaking? No, this quote was never mentioned in his complete works (not at least in my Arab Institute for Research & Publishing edition) or any other document (I've surfed Google Books with the original Arabic version).

However, it might be true that it belongs to him but it just was not documented as it's a very common quote and it's widely used in Arabic media and conferences (see for example here from aljazeera, arabicpost.net [ex HuffPost Arabi] both reference it to Mahmoud Darwish).

Here's the Arabic version of the quote, it uses "Gaza" instead of Palestine, the version with "Palestine" does not exist at all in Arabic:

إن سألوك عن غزة، قل لهم: بها شهيد، يُسعفه شهيد، ويُصوره شهيد، ويودّعه شهيد ويصلي عليه شهيد

Note that Darwish had many poems about Gaza and the Palestinian Resistance, if you are questioning the likelihood of him saying such a thing, then it's likely.

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  • Thanks for answer. Are you saying that because you've read/searched all of his books or just because you couldn't find it using search engines? Do you have all his books in your institution?
    – C.F.G
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 5:02
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    Yes, "complete works" publication consists of all of his works, and this quote does not exist there, from my search.
    – صالح
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 5:30
  • So +1. You say "the version with "Palestine" does not exist at all in Arabic". See this page. But it can be a translation from English to Arabic.
    – C.F.G
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 5:42
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    This page says that the artist "Mahmoud El-Bezzawy posted" on his personal profile [the quote]. My guess is the artist got the wrong quote and Alaraby just reposted it like that.
    – صالح
    Commented Dec 2, 2023 at 7:49
  • What is the date of the oldest web page you could find that contains this quote? The Al Jazeera link is from 2018.
    – C.F.G
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 6:11

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