A new book prepared and translated by the Lebanese poet and translator Taghrid Bou Merhi

Επιμέλεια: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού


This book is a dedication to the souls of the martyrs in Gaza – Palestine to those who seek justice and heed the call of freedom and dignity…

INTRODUCTION: In the realm of human expression, poetry has always held a unique place as a means of bearing witness to history, giving voice to the voiceless, and conveying the deepest of emotions. For centuries, poets have woven the threads of human experience into verses that resonate with the collective soul. They have been the chroniclers of our triumphs and tragedies, the mirrors reflecting our joys and sorrows. In “Verses of Resilience: Poems for “THE STORM OF AL-AQSA,” we embark on a journey through the power of poetry, using it as a medium to address one of the most profound and enduring conflicts of our time—the struggle for Palestine.

The land of Palestine has been a crucible of pain and resilience, a place where the indomitable spirit of a people yearning for self-determination has been met with the forces of occupation, oppression, and displacement. At the heart of this struggle stands Al-Aqsa, the revered mosque in Jerusalem, a sacred symbol of faith, identity, and resistance. It has been a beacon for those who refuse to surrender to injustice, embodying the aspirations of generations who have sought to reclaim their homeland.

The title, “THE STORM OF AL-AQSA” conjures imagery that goes beyond the literal deluge. It represents the overwhelming tide of emotions, solidarity, and support that have surged across the world in response to the ongoing plight of Palestine. It is an expression of unwavering unity with the resilient people of Gaza, who, despite the odds, have persisted in the face of immense adversity. The poems in this collection not only bear witness to the pain and suffering endured by Palestinians but also celebrate their strength, resilience, and the steadfastness with which they protect their heritage and their land.

This book is an act of solidarity, a testament to the enduring importance of poetry as a medium for highlighting crucial national issues and conflicts. Poetry has always been a powerful form of expression in times of turmoil, offering solace and inspiration in the darkest of hours. Through the art of verse, poets have the unique ability to give voice to the struggles of the oppressed, creating works that are not merely words on a page but rather a catalyst for change, a source of strength, and a bridge connecting the global community in a shared vision of justice and peace.

The power of poetry in times of conflict is well-documented. During periods of strife, poets have harnessed their craft to mobilize hearts and minds, to inspire action, and to call for empathy and understanding. We are reminded that the poetic word is a formidable force—a vessel of memory, a weapon of resistance, and a source of unity. Each poem becomes a beacon of hope, a cry for justice, and a testament to the enduring spirit of the Palestinian people.

In the following pages, you will encounter poems that speak of loss, courage, resilience and violence, killings, and atrocities against the Palestinian people, especially the people of Gaza.. These verses reflect the diversity of the human experience, capturing the myriad emotions that arise in the context of the Palestinian struggle. The poets, through their carefully chosen words, bring to life the Palestinian experience in all its complexity, nuance, pains and cries, inviting readers to empathize and stand in solidarity with the people who have endured generations of displacement, violence, death and suffering.

In this collection, we witness the power of poetry to transcend boundaries and build bridges. The poets come from diverse backgrounds, but they share a common goal: to advocate for the rights of Palestinians, to shed light on the injustices they face, and to stand in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, Al-Kuds, the West Bank, and the Palestinian diaspora. Their words remind us that the struggle for Palestine is a global issue, and that the call for justice and freedom knows no borders.

Throughout history, poets have played an integral role in advocating for social and political change. Their verses have rallied societies, sparked revolutions, and borne witness to the injustices of the world. In the context of Palestine, poetry has been a powerful tool in the fight for justice. It has served as a voice for the voiceless, a testament to the resilience of a people, and a call to action for the global community.And through their verses, these poets remind us that the struggle for Palestine is not solely a political conflict; it is a deeply human one.

It is our hope that this collection of poems will serve as a powerful testament to the importance of poetry in addressing critical national issues and conflicts. Poetry has the ability to reach the hearts and minds of readers, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers to create connections based on shared humanity. The poets featured in this book invite you to join them in solidarity with Palestine, to lend your voice to the call for justice, and to stand in unity with the resilient people of Gaza, Al-Kuds, and beyond.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to all those who expressed their emotions with the ink of solidarity and empathy, and to those who bled their poetry with sorrow and pain, turning their words into support for our beloved people and brothers in Palestine, especially in the steadfast Gaza, which has sacrificed martyrs for the cause of freedom and dignity. I would also like to express my gratitude to the distinguished Mr. Mohammad Wajih, the head of Dar Diwan for publishing and distribution, for sponsoring the printing of this historical encyclopedia.

TAGHRID BOU MERHI, a poet, writer, journalist, and translator from Lebanon, had the honor of preparing this collection “THE STORM OF AL-AQSA” and receiving 100 vertical poems by major poets of the Arab world, translating them into the English language.