Fri 08 Dec 2023 9:11 am - Jerusalem Time
The Palestinian poet Rifaat Al-Arair was killed in an air strike in Gaza
The Palestinian poet Rifaat Al-Arair was killed in an Israeli raid, those close to him announced on the night of Thursday-Friday. He was one of the leaders of a generation of young Gazan writers who bet on writing in English to tell their stories.
His friend Ahmed Al-Naouk wrote on the “X” platform that Rifaat’s “assassination” was “tragic, painful and scandalous” and a “terrible loss,” after bloody raids in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday evening, as announced by the Ministry of Health in the Hamas government.
In turn, his friend, the Gaza poet Musab Abu Toha, wrote on Facebook that his heart was “broken,” adding: “My friend and colleague Rifaat Al-Arair was killed with his family minutes ago... I cannot believe it,” according to what Agence France-Presse reported.
For his part, writer and journalist Ramzi Baroud said on “X”: “Rest in peace, Rifaat Al-Arair. We will continue to be guided by your wisdom today and forever.”
The specialized American website “Literary Hub” also praised him.
Al-Arair taught English literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, and was one of the founders of the “We Are Not Numbers” project, which brought together authors from Gaza with “mentors” abroad who helped them write stories about their reality in English.
A few days after Israel began its ground operation in response to the Hamas attack, on October 7, Al-Arair said that he refused to leave the northern Gaza Strip, which was the epicenter of the fighting.
He had published on the “X” platform a widely circulated poem entitled “If I Must Die,” and concluded it by saying: “Let this inspire hope, let this be a story.”
Source: Alsharq Alawsat