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The Free Gaza Art Festival
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© Free Art License 1.3 (FAL 1.3)
The Free Gaza
Art Festival

Hosted by Anis

:: Thank you for participating in the Free Gaza Art Festival ::
(August 16, 2009) Thanks, the Art Festival was fun and there is a lot of artwork that came together. It is over now.

:: Welcome to the Free Gaza Art Festival ::

(Last Update July 17, 2009) This page is dedicated to the nonviolent Free Gaza Movement, www.freegaza.org that challenges the unjust siege of Gaza. The Free Gaza Art Festival is the successor of the Free Gaza Song Contest. Everybody who has a contribution can send it to anis at anis-online.de. Every kind of art is possible: paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, photos, collages, poetry, literature, music, dance, land art, anything that is clearly related to Free Gaza and that can be shown online. You can, of course, still submit versions of the FREE GAZA SONG.

(April 19, 2009) In April there have been an incredible 5,336 downloads of the Free Gaza Song video which means that the world still wants Free Gaza. There are some updates on this Art Festival page.

(Feb. 1, 2009) Thanks to Heiko Seelbach for the new Art Festival header on top of every Free Gaza Art Festival page and thanks to Sabine Yacoub for producing this little gallery of contributions below (up to page 5, update follows). Almost daily I receive a new contribution for the Festival and the visits and downloads are so many that I exceeded the limit of free web traffic. In January alone there were 6.169 visitors on this page and 3.562 on the Song Contest Page. Downloads of the Free Gaza Song (mp3) were 3.540 and additional 1.807 downloaded the video. The song "Gaza on My Mind" had 1.625 downloads and "Stay With You" 1.541.

:: Songs ::
Anis: FREE GAZA SONG mp3, lyrics
Anis: STAY WITH YOU mp3, lyrics
Anis: GAZA ON MY MIND mp3, lyrics
Deir Yassin: GAZA TOWN watch
Michael Heart: WE WILL NOT GO DOWN mp3
Maryn Joseph: FIVE SISTERS
David ben Jesse: LETTER FROM GAZA lyrics
Pal Stein: OUR HOME video
Alex Kirby: GAZA ABC audio player, lyrics
Dean Omori: SO MUCH FOR PRAYER video

:: Gallery ::

:: Poetry, Literature and More Art ::
Farah Notash: Dead line
Jessica C. Solis: Ceasefire
Samia Khader: Thoughts About Gaza
WDA: A Gaza story
Max Ajl: Letter to Israel about the Dignity
Jo Neace Krause: old land
Ronna Bouche: "Z" IS FOR ZIONIST
Leena G Khan: The Land With No Children
Paays Grace: US-Israeli New Year's Devolution
Maya Terro: A tribute to Gaza...
Antoaneta Hillman: Letter to a friend
Nahida Yasin: Beloved people of Gaza
Raya Ziada: Yesterday I died!
Artists Against Apartheid: Art Initiative
Julie R. Butler Free Gaza Video
Yousef Al-Helou: Palestinian artists resort to art to show Gaza suffering
(April 22, 2009)

:: First Contributions ::

(Jan. 10, 2009) Thank you for your emails. There are many artists around who care for Gaza and Palestine. Below you can see some first contributions. The original idea was to collect items that are directly related to the Free Gaza Movement in one way or another. Most of what I received since New Year's Eve is thematically broader.

On this page you find: Farah Notash: Gaza songs in three languages; Maya Terro: drawing and poem "A tribute to Gaza"; Antoaneta Hillman: painting "Surrounding Gaza" and poem "Letter to a friend"; Annette Seiz: collage "Love Boat"; Nahida Yasin's poem "Beloved people of Gaza" was sent in by Anne; Joel Kopcial: painting "A Light for Palestine". Ziada Raya's poem "Yesterday I died!" went over the Free Gaza Media List and I picked it up there. Juan Carlos sent in a cartoon.

:: Farah Notash : Gaza songs in three languages ::

All songs and many poems are on Farah Notash's website www.farah-notash.com, see the video on the right.
Yesterday I died!
Raya Ziada, Ramallah

As an old man buried in his tomb,
A fetus dead in her mother's womb
Last night I had my last drop of coffee
My last dream, my last piece of bread

Tomorrow morning I will witness my last dawn
Listen to my daughter's last heart beat
Say I love you for the first, the very last time

Last year I loved; I hated, laughed, and cried
I whispered, I screamed
I was a genius I was an insane
I was an inhabitant, I was a refugee
60 years ago I saw Haifa for the last time
Lived under occupation for the first time

I was young, I was spoiled
I loved my grand mother's stories
I cherished the summers, I hated the rain

Few hours ago I was cold
I was hungry, I was mad, I was angry
I was dead

65 years ago,
I was a fisherman
I had beautiful wife
Three young girls an amazing life

One got married in Jerusalem
The other moved with her husband to Al-Fallujah
The third couldn't resist the beauty of Tal

Last month my grand daughter
Didn't get a permission to pass
A green ID is what she has
She wanted to visit my grave
They told me we look alike
I would have witnessed that, if I weren't killed in
that air strike

At 4pm I couldn't believe what happened to me
I became famous on all international TVs
Few minutes ago I was invisible no one knew about me
No one heard my screams, felt my fears
No one held my freezing shaking small hand
No one told me it will be ok
Soon it will be ok
No one saw me, no one felt me
I was invisible, no one knew about me!

Few minutes later I'm on TV
Everyone talks about me
Even the CNN mentioned me!!
I was dead there under the ruble
I bet you still remember
Me with my three other sisters
Maybe now you're hanging our pictures

I even saw my father on TV
It's the first time I see him crying
Daddy please don't cry… Daddy please don't cry
I promise next time I will not die!
Yesterday I died!

As an old man buried in his tomb,
As fetus dead in her mother's womb
Yesterday I died 360 times!
:: Maya Terro: A tribute to Gaza ::

© Maya Terro
:: Annette Seiz: Love Boat ::

© Annette Seiz
A tribute to Gaza...
by Maya Terro

Let them know that...
Despite that im brutally cuffed...i am still free
Despite that im constantly hushed...i can still be

Despite that im living in the abyss of despair
Deprived of food and water and air
I refuse to just stop and stare
Like i just don't care

Despite that im living a big lie
I refuse to fall or falter or cry
Instead, i will keep my head held high
For I am still alive
Though im dying from the inside

For life is for the living
And the giving and the fight
I have been told that i'm a Gazan girl
And gazan girls were born to strive
Like every other Gazan still alive...
Letter to a friend
by Antoaneta Hillman

Can you forget
when you take
your kids for a walk?

When the evening
put's moon on the sky
and the house is safety and warm?

When the silence
surround's the night
and you kiss your children
and smile...

Can you forget
I believe

Beloved people of Gaza
Nahida Yasin

Beloved people of Gaza
Treasured people of Palestine
Teachers of courage and dignity
Archetype of humanity

Allow me to kneel down
And wash your feet with my tears
Kiss your blessed hands
And sprinkle your beautiful faces with musk and roses

While we sat pondering like fools
Utterly helpless
Talking much and doing less
Going round and round in circles
Thinking how to help
What to offer you to relief some of your pain

As usual
Full of surprises, you come out to our rescue, to soothe our agony
You present us with the most precious gifts
Lessons in bravery
Steadfastness, patience, perseverance, defiance, resilience
Optimism against all odds
Creativity in the face of utter oblivion

You've demonstrated that you are the free ones … we are the captives
You chose resistance over subjugation
You decided not to be enslaved
Not even to superpowers

Would we ever learn from you?
:: Antoaneta Hillman: Surrounding Gaza-18x24-smoke, wax and oil on canvas ::

© Antoaneta Hillman, www.saatchiart.com/antoaneta
:: A Light for Palestine by Joel Kopcial ::

© Joel Kopcial
:: Juan Carlos ::

© Juan Carlos, http://juanka100.deviantart.com

(Jan. 13, 2009) The attack on Gaza is still going on, more than 900 dead. I receive a lot of emails from people all around the world expressing their solidarity and shock. Many want to help, they cannot sit still while people are being executed. This is not a war between two armies, this is a superpower cowardly attacking children and a whole population. This is not about Hamas. Before Hamas it was the PLO and after Hamas it will be the next party. There is just no ending without massive international interventions. And I don't mean violence, because it just does not work!

Pain and the strong wish to change things bring about art, so it is no wonder that submissions to this Art Festival and clicks are many. 2.770 people have seen this page since New Year's Eve and there were 888 downloads of the FREE GAZA SONG in the same time.

On this page: Two drawings by Golrokh Nafisi; Pal Stein's song "Our Home"; Greer Valley's work "Where is Humanity?"; an Arabic cartoon "Ship of Hope" by Umayya Juha; a painting by Mako Moya called "kid from war"; Julie R. Butler's video about Free Gaza; a poster based on a drawing made by a Belgian artist and member of the new Belgian committee for supporting the Free Gaza Movement (I don't have the name); the poem "US-Israeli New Year’s Devolution, Common Era 2009" by Paays Grace; a poster by young Palestinian artist Rami Abbas.

On the right: :: Pal Stein: Song "Our Home" ::

:: Golrokh Nafisi: Gaza ::

© Golrokh Nafisi, http://golrokhn.blogspot.com/
:: Golrokh Nafisi: Gaza 2 ::

© Golrokh Nafisi, http://golrokhn.blogspot.com/
:: Greer Valley ::

© Greer Valley
:: Umayya Juha ::

Image by Umayya Juha

:: Julie's Video ::

Here is a video by Julie R. Butler from Colorado from the blog "we fear what we don't understand". Julie writes: "December 10, 2008 will mark the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and what better way to celebrate than to congratulate the latest voyage of the SS Dignity in her breaking of the Siege of Gaza by Israel, bringing badly needed medical supplies, human rights activists, journalists who have been blocked from entering Gaza, and experts in education who have chosen to risk their lives in order to highlight the human rights abuses that are occurring in Gaza because of this siege. This is an outrage! The cycle of violence must be broken, and peace can only begin when all human rights are respected – when we recognize that we are all one human family. To learn more, go to freegaza.org. See also: http://julierbutler.blogspot.com/2008/09/letter-from-gaza-friends.html

:: mako moya: kid from war ::

© mako moya, http://www.makomoya.blogspot.com
:: Belgian committee for supporting the Free Gaza Movement ::

© Belgian committee for supporting the Free Gaza Movement

US-Israeli New Year's Devolution, Common Era 2009
Paays Grace

It's fogging up our US of A, the most popular of nations
This Israeli-Zionist muscle-thruster Holocausturbation:
Hitler's dead, the last I heard; he can't hurt them anymore,
So why, against Palestinians, would they try to even the score?
They like our cowboys of the West, our destiny manifest,
Its land, virgin land under skies so blue,
The Zionists want their Indians red, and, o yes, dead too,
Or, jealous, they want to Terrorize and dispossess
The natives of lands each man could pound his chest
As master of, king of his castle and grounds so impressive,
Gleaming with razorwire and sniper fire
these hilltop bunker mounds let settlers spy and measure the lie
of the lands they plan to seize. Our taxes make it a breeze.
Employing their zest with the very best of U.S. war machines.
Though soaked in blood, our press agrees, and doth attest, their hands are clean.
Unfriendly "Eretz Israel" Jews who hate to share or ever lose control of mediations
Claim God's one demand is they purge the Holy Land of Palestinians, Its native nation.
They blame their victims, Arab Muslims and Christians, defying their every revelation,
Destroy their hope of a state with bloodthirsty hi-tech hate-trained crews
of massive deadly force, this best-subsidized of our empire's vain allies only use
clever lies to dictate the course of US policy and news.
Drunk on the narcotic of F-16s, apache gunships, submarines and tanks,
mere children or teens make up most of the ranks
Of these rifle-butt-in-civilian-gut killers, who don't bother asking why
they're told to kill or die, in lands they'd rather not occupy.
While in DC and Tel Aviv all smiling free, their fathers, arms dealers, give thanks
for this apocalyptic profit-cryptic syncopation
of a mere hundred-year self-masking technotasking operation counting the days
Of this gradual-phased ethnic cleansing. But survivors of branding by Hitler and Stalin
And Palestinians behind walls labeled fencing clearly comprehend the calling
Of Holocausturbators tossing Gaza's incubators into Zion's slavering jaws
Slick as silver striking fast and hard, claim they're wielding Moses' laws, holding
The Holocaust card, through them Judaic justice has thus its heart unmanned.
Beware to them all: the consequence of outrage never comes as planned.
Bethlehem's children call from their cages. Do Americans care to understand?
From the Warsaw to the Gaza ghetto, a nationalist purity bridge has spanned:
One side defined all Jews as scum, the other turned Palestine into a slum.
Heads or tails, in either case a loss of face, the spinning coin can't fail to land.

:: Rami Abbas: For Palestine ::

© Rami Abbas

On this page: a painting by Maurice, WDA from Gaza sent in the poem "A Gaza story", Alex Kirby sings a sad "Gaza ABC", ZakiWorld showed me the drawing STOP KILLING GAZA KIDS, Max Ajl wrote A Letter to Israel about the Dignity, and more poetry with Jo Neace Krause "old land" and Hilda Meers' TO A BYSTANDER WHO ASKS, WHAT IS A HOLOCAUST? Dean Omori sent the song "SO MUCH FOR PRAYER", Ronna Bouche's poem "Z" IS FOR ZIONIST and Leena Ghani's story "The Land With No Children".

:: Alex Kirby : Song 'Gaza abc' ::

Listen to the song at www.myspace.com/alexkirbyalex. Lyrics below.

'Gaza abc'
Alex Kirby

A,b,c stop killing me,
D,e,f you all,
G,h,i don't want to die,
Its j,k, hell on earth.
This is me learning very well my Gaza abc,
This is me learning very well my Gaza abc.
M,n,o not my classroom,
P,q,r you mad.
S,t,u shoot bombs in here,
V,w,x,y me,
Z, my friends they all lie sleeping.
Zzzz we all lie sleeping.

1,2,3 is given me,
free time from falling death.
4,5,6 I pick up sticks,
My friends they're buried yet,
This is me learning very well my Gaza abc,
And I'm taking my education very seriously.
7,8,9 minutes of time,
they got back to working early,
It's 10 to 12 and its raining shells,
You know the peace was sweet but hurried.
This is me, Ma, learning very well my Gaza abc,
I'm taking my education very seriously.


© ZakiWorld
:: Maurice: Gaza ::

© Maurice

A Letter to Israel about the Dignity
Max Ajl

With fiber communications, it's easy to stay current with tragedy
So I heard fast
euphemisms like evasive maneuvers but really
insane galleons flying flags of Blue and White on the mast
And prison spotlights target-marking.

Tell Tel-Aviv, we heard fast
6th voyage out from Larnaca
with doctors, medicines as ballast
stealing through Mediterranean velvet
Murmurs, shouts: "Free Gaza ships have broken the siege, at Last!"

Ships with true names like Freedom and Dignity
But inanimate minds mind inanimate ships, "You Can't Pass!"
They rammed the fiberglass-wood hull
Israel, I heard fast
(We all know the Dignity went no faster than 12 knots)

Bombing refugees from the bombing of refugees, they blast-
the canting ramblers and the ramblers can't
see but through their prism, prison, we lambaste
because the rest of us see, because
Across the sea, we heard fast

Quick, quiet, imagine-think of the chrysalis cocooned in Gaza
40 years waiting, now aghast
How to make peace with people we made bury their children?
Oh, yes, we heard fast

When warships from Israel attacked the Dignity.

A Gaza story
Written by WDA. – Gaza
I am seated on rubble and ashes
I don't know if Aya my doll is still in my arms
I still can hear the talks, the whispers and the crying of latest days
And the laughs of other times
I still hear the familiar call for praying, the sounds of the house ...

I hope to see my family and my friends soon
so we can run and laugh as we used to do,
each day a new world...

Now it is all rubble and ashes
and me half seated, half buried in it
My name is Samar, I was six
I lived in innocence
I died in Gaza.

old land
Jo Neace Krause

To be born in Gaza
is to feel your body
even in sleep picked at
by an ancient wind

To be spotted on your bed
like grey debris, the twisted leg of history
washed up on the beach in front of a crowd
with flashlights searching your ears
for the last dangerous words
you might have overheard.

While in your cool dreams, under the high galleons of morning
a sailor like yourself filled with risky love
of the deep, runs down on down some steps
folding on and on beneath your feet
like the fat meals laid down
in the stomachs of tourists
, carried laughing and chatting in taxi cabs,
that rise as topaz dolphins do, leading the way
through waves of opal joy.

Oh, to have your own spot on this earth!
To have it pure in character as a theme park
to have all truths fall about you
like the stopped hearts of sun sucked apricots,
dropping between the sugary lips of some wild
and haughty mouth.
Oh, to be only among your own kind,
though someone calls to you from the haunting shadows
of Jerusalem's long and bloody throat:
Hey, smiley-face the whole world suffers for you.
But bait your rat traps with what you want,
We chew our own dark crust of hope.

ronna bouche',Eugene, OR)
I feel like a good German
in 1930's Germany, "we will not be silent"
was their slogan and execution
was their punishment.

Truth is, I'm a good American
in 2009 United States. It just
feels like NAZI Germany.

No, I won't be executed for
telling the truth. But with
all "Z" cards stacked against me...
mainstream "Z" media,
propaganda "Z" news papers,
"Z" banks, "Z" Federal Reserve,
"Z"-owned politicians, presidents
and US"Z" foreign policy;

do I dare say, as a good American,
Help! For G-D sake Help!

Help this five year old Palestinian girl,
in her baby shoes, under the flares of
chemical poisons that burn her baby skin
down to her baby bones. This little girl,
under bombs that blow buildings into
rubble up to her baby neck.
See her face. It's real. It happened.

Will "Z" remain silent? I cannot
until help comes. Come soon. Come now.
Where are you, "Z"?
It's too late to save this little dead girl
but "Z" and me can save her people.
Say it with me "Z",
"we will not be silent"
"we can save a PEOPLE"

:: Dean Omori : Song "SO MUCH FOR PRAYER" ::

SO MUCH FOR PRAYER from Dean Omori on Vimeo.

Hilda Meers

It has been said, by a decent person, that decent persons
must come to the aid of a persecuted minority.
And yet – as in those times when Jews, or dissidents,
all those whose faces didn't fit, were rounded up
to die in concentration camps, we experience once more
an uncanny silence – from bystanders with averted eyes -
a silence that deafens, these days,
the awareness of the conscious mind.
What is this thing, you may well ask, called Holocaust,
or Genocide, what's named as, ethnic cleansing. What constitutes
the ugliness and grief of holocausts, not one, not two, but,
far too many? Test these ingredients, weigh them: death,
by deprivation, separation, starvation, shooting children, cold and darkness,
scorn and lies, tank attacks, sonic booms, helicopters whirring overhead,
the ingredients of despair stirred by deliberate hands -
I'd say these elements compounded, amount to genocide.
On the fingers of one hand I spell it out -
G, A, Z, A. Gaza, a walled-in crowded cage, contains
desperate Palestinians, mourning their dead children,
cradling the persistent ones who somehow still survive.
How long, how long, how much longer
shall bystanders throughout the world
immerse themselves in clinging to their little lives,
turn away their faces to pretend they do not see?
Remembering the horrors of all holocausts – all genocide,
can we?

The Land With No Children
Leena G Khan, London, dedicated to the Children of Gaza

Have you had a gun pointed at you? I came across this picture. A picture I cant seem to forget. The image I cant seem to get out of my head. The more I think about the picture. The more this question strengthens its roots in my head: What would it feel like to have a gun pointed not inches away from my face?

As I look at this picture of a 3 year old standing face to face with a Israeli soldier pointing his gun at him. The more I realize, the look on the child's face is not of fright or terror. It is a look that is far from that, there is this eerie calmness in his delicate features. He stands there alone, yet he does not seem shocked or scared. It almost as though he was expecting it. And probably in his very short life this is normal. This is what he was born into. For him this is life. His life and thousands of other such children's life. Children, who go home and perhaps, tell their parents not what they learnt at school, but how they managed to escape the scary gunman again. But then again, how many more times will they escape the scary gunman standing outside their house? Waiting.

As kids we only heard stories of a boogie man coming after us. " shhh.. now or the boogie man will come and take you away" our parents whispered, as we promised them we would behave our selves and share our toys. Sadly, for these children no-matter how nicely they behave them selves. They are surrounded by hundreds of boogie men. And no one can save them. The boogie man will eventually take them away. One by one.

We rate our films so our children are not exposed to violence. How can we let their innocent minds be corrupted like this, we say in horror and dismay. What about these children? Who is looking out for them? There is no one to protect them, assure them that everything will be all right. That its just make believe and real life is nothing like that. Is it really not – for them?

Children who grow up with so much destruction and violence can not be held responsible for growing up to be angry and ready to fight. Full of vengeance. Full of hatred.

I am against terrorism. I am against violence of all sorts. But if your whole life all you have ever witnessed is bloodshed and mass destruction. Is it possible to look away? When you grow up without a father, a mother, your siblings or you send your children to school and they never come back. Is it possible not to want revenge? Is it possible to be rational? Be normal?

What is normal? These children are not living under normal circumstances. They were not born into normal circumstances either. Nor were their parents. So how can we even expect they will turn out like you and me? When these children grow up to be suicide bombers, who is to blame? Them for not knowing right from wrong? But what right what wrong. This is all they know.

The Palestinians are only fighting for their life, their survival and their future. What are the Israeli's fighting for? 'Their' so- called 'holy land'? Land? How can they even call it a 'holy land' when it's drenched in blood.

A land, not theirs to begin with.

I am crying for that little girl who never got to wear the sunglasses her father bought for her. She cannot eat because her food smells of gas, as do her clothes and her house. I am crying for all the children who have already lost their childhood and have no choice but to be angry and hateful.

I am crying for the Children of Palestine – The children without a future.


:: On this page ::

Amal Kaawash and her cartoon girl Meiroun as well as a traditional Palestinian song (audio), Jessica C. Solis with her poem "Ceasefire", Hervé Largeaud and his drawing "Benvinuti in Gaza", Hilda Meers' second poem "Cut it out, it Should be Banned", Maryn Joseph's song "Five Sisters" and Jereme Crow's painting "Children of Palestine". Samia Khader's "Thoughts About Gaza" were not originally meant as art, but they fit and are authentic so I include them here. Then Latuff's famous cartoon and Anis' first Free Gaza picture, showing the memorial for the USS Liberty with Huwaida laying roses.

The logo to the right was made by the University of California Gaza Solidarity Coalition (UCGSC) and they write: "We watched the world remain silent while Gaza was in flames. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (UC) GAZA SOLIDARITY COALITION urges college students to stand up and speak out. Gaza needs our voices now."

© Amal Kaawash, http://www.meiroun.blogspot.com
:: Amal Kaawash: Meiroun ::

Amal Kaawash lives in London and her origins are in Meiroun in Northern Palestine. Meiroun is also the name of the girl with the two long braids on the cartoon blog http://www.meiroun.blogspot.com. Below you can see her on the Palestine boat. Amal also sings. Here you can download "Halalayya", Palestinian Folklore (Piano and musical arrangement: Loai Abu Sinneh, Flute: Donia Hattab, Violin: Nancy Munir, Vocals: Amal Kaawash, Recorded at REMIX music workshop – Jesuite Theatre – Alexandria 2006, Cultural Resource – Egypt): www.anis-online.de/mehr/_p/artfestival/halalaya-remix-alexandria-AmalKaawash.wma (Save target as)

© Hervé Largeaud
:: Hervé Largeaud: Benvinuti in Gaza ::

Hervé has drawn an art contribution for a newspaper in Corsica (left). The text is in Corsican language and means: "Welcome to Gaza. Welcome to the new world order"

:: Maryn Joseph: Song "Five Sisters" ::

Here is a song commerating the deaths of five sisters in the attack on 30th December, written by the Welsh singer Maryn Joseph.

Description: 'Five Palestinian sisters were killed during an attack from Israel yesterday. Amazingly enough they were lying together asleep when the deadly rocket hit the mosque next door to their flimsy house causing the roof to collapse on them. The eldest was 17, the youngest 4. Their names were Tahir, Ikram, Sarnar, Dina and Jawaher. 'They grow up day after day and night after night, within a second I have lost them'. Those were the words of their father Anwar Balousha who turned on fellow Palestinians who tried to turn the burial into a political gain saying 'this is a funeral, not a rally'. He continued saying 'we are not those who are firing rockets at Israel, we are just people, human beings and not animals'.'

Jessica C. Solis

I've been living this plight to stop your fight
Against my people.


My child is no less than human.
My child is not worth less than yours.
Despite what you're told
My Child is my heart!

How do you stand to spill his blood on my hands
As is he were my shield?

I do not understand…

You destroy all the foundations in your path
With your corrosive "iron fist" and one objective;
But my valor shall never cease,
And my child will not be forgotten.

Hilda Meers

It's got polystyrene in it, to make it stick. If it lands on you it
ignites with the moisture of your skin, then sticks to your skin,
bubbling your skin it melts your skin, it burns through
muscle, burns through to the bone of you.

Well, insurgents don't count – they must just cut it out.
When white fire rained on Fallujah, night after night after night,
women and children caught in their sleep
were maimed and murdered by this stuff soldiers call Willy Pete,
their wounds too frightful for our media to show,
and it's too shocking to our sensitivities to tell
of the weeping at the burials of those innocents, who did not know
the artillery shells that burst in white rain
will stick to the flesh, burn through to the bone, and once it's breathed in,
white phosphorus will kill, as it burns you within one drop of this stuff
is enough – in Gaza they've used it again and again though the military claim
as a light in the night it's a legitimate weapon of war, that's what it's for.

Cut it out, lest its horror burn through to my brain,
hear the cries in the night, cut it out, ban it now, it's insane -
people burn – while we're blind to their pain and deaf to their crying,
it's you and it's me in our souls who are dying.

:: Jereme Crow: Children of Palestine ::

© Jereme Crow,

:: Samia Khader "Thoughts About Gaza" ::

Few days after the end of the war of the strongest army in the Middle East on Gaza's People, where lots and lots of innocent lives were claimed, and God knows how many lives have been changed for ever, I was watching many reports on schools and children in Gaza.

In a report, a child loses her parents, her 2 brothers and one sister. She goes back to her home after the war was over and was collecting "souvenirs" to remind her of her family. She is not older than 10 years, but she speaks like an adult, grown up. Asks; what did I do for them to deprive me from my father, or my mother and her tenderness? What did my baby brother do so they get to kill him. They say they are looking for fighters, I know for sure my parents had no weapons, and my brothers were too young to even think about it.

Another girl was saying "Our schools are blown apart, or books are not there anymore, we have no books, no schools, and the war got all the knowledge we have out of our heads!" Again, she is a child. Children in other places around the world make a fit if the spend a day away from one of many luxuries I wonder if Gaza children even know such luxury exists. I wonder, is luxury something children in Gaza know about...

Today was the first day at school after the war, TV reports showed tents in which students were taking their classes. Tents of course, were very ordinary tents, basic ones. This was an image that touched me; despite the fact that school- the building, classrooms and playgrounds did not exist, the school- aim and purpose was there to beat all kinds of destruction to the material structure of the school. Children- students were in their new"classrooms" taking instructions from their teachers.

People in Gaza, despite the massive offensive they have been under, despite all the destruction, following many months of an unfair and inhuman siege, are telling "bad people" behind all this "No matter how much destruction we have seen, no matter how many lives you have killed, hurt and disabled, no matter how long your siege will try to strangle us, we will survive. We have a cause, and a reason for living, and a will to live. Nothing you can do will take that from us. This is why you will never get rid of us. Stop trying!"

:: Latuff ::
Image by Latuff (click to enlarge)
:: Anis ::
© Anis 2008


:: Sabine Yacoub: Olive Tree ::

© Sabine Yacoub 2009, www.sabine-yacoub.de
:: Feb. 15, 2009 ::

On this page: Sabine Yacoub's linocut: Olive Tree, Artists Against Apartheid, Adrian Jurado: Mural Painting, Michael Heart and his song "We will not Go Down" which was on the Art Festival front page before, followed by Delt4's Free Gaza poster and The Gaza Human Rights blog, then three Free Gaza pictures by Anis, Davud's Song "Letter from Gaza".

:: Artists Against Apartheid ::

Here is one more Palestine art initiative: Artists Against Apartheid seeks to create awareness of the corrosive situation in Palestine-Israel, appealing to human dignity through music, poetry, art, and informed discussion. www.artistsagainstapartheid.org [no content, 2023]

:: Michael Heart: We will not go down (Song for Gaza) ::

A blinding flash of white light / Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight / People running for cover / Not knowing whether they're dead or alive // They came with their tanks and their planes / With ravaging fiery flames / And nothing remains / Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze // We will not go down / In the night, without a fight / You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools / But our spirit will never die / We will not go down / In Gaza tonight // Women and children alike / Murdered and massacred night after night / While the so-called leaders of countries afar / Debated on who's wrong or right // But their powerless words were in vain / And the bombs fell down like acid rain / But through the tears and the blood and the pain / You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze // We will not go down / In the night, without a fight / You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools / But our spirit will never die / We will not go down / In Gaza tonight // We will not go down / In the night, without a fight / You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools / But our spirit will never die // We will not go down / In the night, without a fight // We will not go down / In Gaza tonight

© ~Delt4 2008
:: ~Delt4 ::

A new Free Gaza poster was created by ~Delt4, a graphic designer from Australia. The solidarity poster reads: "Free Gaza, the world's largest open-air prison" and shows two wrinkled hands and arms rising up in front of a wall. On the bottom is an excerpt of the Free Gaza mission statement and the website. You can download it in high resolution and print it for events, for example. ~Delt4 writes: "I was inspired by the Amnesty International 'Free Speech' posters. Guerilla adverting in general is cool. If you're feeling bored/ambitious/have a lot of duct tape lying around, here's what you can do: print off the poster, find some duct tape and a camera, find a telephone pole, duct tape the poster to the telephone pole – make sure that the duct tape goes around the wrists so that it actually makes sense. Take a photo." He gives an example of how this can look like: http://Delt4.deviantart.com/art/Free-Gaza-Guerilla-Advertising-108698084 . NB: Wikipedia says: Guerrilla marketing is an unconventional system of promotions, running on a very low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets.

© Adrian Jurado 2009
:: Adrian Jurado: Mural Painting ::

Left: A mural painting against the war in Gaza by the Mexican artist Adrian Jurado is exhibited now in Brussels. It is 10 meters long and 1,60 meters high.

:: http://gazahumanrights.blogspot.com ::

The Gaza Human Rights blog collects in one place from an extensive search of the internet many articles, news items, sites, etc. The purpose is to promote human rights & justice for the people of Gaza. It is hosted by someone who loves the arts so you will probably find interesting things there: http://gazahumanrights.blogspot.com.

:: Anis : Free Gaza 2 ::

© Anis 2008
:: Anis : Free Gaza 3 ::

© Anis 2009
:: Anis : Free Gaza 4 ::

© Anis 2009
:: Davud's Song "Letter from Gaza" ::

Davud (David ben Jesse) from Germany wrote and performed this song according to a real letter from a refugee camp in Gaza that he saw in a mailinglist. Below are the lyrics, the link to the music expired (2014).

Letter from Gaza
by David ben Jesse
The sky is still blue, I remember.
I haven't seen it since three days.
How beautiful it looks on a sunny day in winter.
I'd like to walk on the beach and enjoy some peace.
We left our house to find a more secure place.
Because the kids were scared by the bombs.
Nobody can tell them soon it will be better.
The children have lost their hope.

We stopped hoping for an end.
From a meaningless life to a meaningless death.
Thank Allah when we wake up in the morning.
We will live another day.

We stopped hoping for an end.
From a meaningless life to a meaningless death.
Thank Allah when we wake up in the morning.
We will live another day.

We only wait for our turn to join the list,
as an additional number, just a number.
Our only wish is to die together as one family,
because it is too sad to loose one another.

We stopped hoping for an end.
From a meaningless life to a meaningless death.
Thank Allah when we wake up in the morning.
We will live another day.

We stopped hoping for an end.
From a meaningless life to a meaningless death.
Thank Allah when we wake up in the morning.
We will live another day.

The sky is still blue, I remember.
I haven't seen it since three days.
How beautiful it looks on a sunny day in winter.
I'd like to walk on the beach and enjoy some peace.


:: April 19, 2009 :: On this page: Mako Moya's Hope Fleet picture, Rod Cox' Initiative Global Children's Art Exchange, Paola's Free Gaza Video, the Cartoon Contest Gaza in Fire (Syria), Kjellaug Hatlen Lunde's paintings "Because we care" and "Duck Bear", the Initiative "Gigging for Life", Lowkey's song "Tears to Laughter", Graham's collage "Gaza in God's Light", Abdul Hafidz: "Free Gaza"

:: News from Mako Moya ::

Mako Moya contributed a piece of art on Page 2, now he made another great picture especially for Free Gaza on the occasion of the Hope Fleet project. www.makomoya.blogspot.com

© Mako Moya 2009

The International Cartoon Contest Gaza in Fire was organized by Syria Cartoon website www.syriacartoon.com [link expired, 2023] when the war on Gaza began. An exhibition will be held in Damascus for some selected works around the end of March parallel to the exhibition of the International Cartoon Contest Syria 2009.

:: Global Children's Art Exchange ::

Health practitioners, librarians, teachers, artists, theatre and social workers know about the value of art and play in helping children cope with conflict situations. Mental health specialists recognise it helps to keep children alive. And well. The global children's art exchange aims to facilitate exchange of pictures between children. Between teachers, parents and practitioners. Across the planet. Please help. Contact us to get details of how you can exchange at your school, library or health care setting. Donate to us. Thank you. Leave a comment to contact us on the blog or write to Rod Cox, Director of the Project at Alexanders, Chester: rodcoxandgaza.blogspot.com

© Tahany Hasouna 2009

:: Paola's Video from February 15: The Free Gaza Movement ::

:: Kjellaug Hatlen Lunde: Paintings "Because we care" and "Duck Bear" ::

Kjellaug writes: Here are two paintings I made during the war in Gaza this Dec/Jan. The first one, "Because we care", is a reactions to Shimon Peres' explanation of why so few Israeli children died in the war as compared to the number of Palestinian children: "Because we take care of our children". – The "Duck Bear" reminds us of how many teddys, toys, parents, sisters and brothers are left in sorrow after this awful bombing of civilians – on purpose. To create fear. A terror action. – Greetings from Tromsoe, Norway, Kjellaug Hatlen Lunde

© Kjellaug Hatlen Lunde 2009
© Kjellaug Hatlen Lunde 2009

Lowkey released Tears to Laughter on Monday 9th March which was performed by Lowkey at the demonstrations against the invasion and massacre of Gaza. "Long Live Palestine, Long Live Gaza" has become the rallying cry of the movement calling for justice for the Palestinians. Lowkey is donating all of his profits from 'Tears to laughter' to the DEC Gaza Crisis appeal.

:: Graham's collage "Gaza in God's Light" ::

© Graham 2009
:: Abdul Hafidz from Malaysia: "Free Gaza" ::

© Abdul Hafidz 2009


:: April 26, 2009 :: On this page: Lee Porter: Needlework "Free Gaza", Camps Breakers breakdance, Farah Notash's poem "Dead line", Sam Kerson's collection "Gaza: Punishing the Innocent", Deir Yassin's song "Gaza town", Turkish cartoons by various artists, Karim's "Gaza Song"

:: Karim : Gaza Song ::

:: Deir Yassin : Gaza town :: For Download: gaza_town.wma
:: Lee Porter: Needlework Free Gaza ::
Piecing the Peaces is an embroidery project by Lee Porter. For more info: www.Leeporterart.com [link expired, 2023]

© Lee Porter 2009

Dead line
Farah Notash
Vienna April 2009
Dedicated to all the progressives in occupied Palestine

Dear Nurit
Everlasting eternal name
Constantly written…all days and nights
In past one hundred years
With resilient red blood
From cut arteries and veins of millions
On the painful chest of … Palestine land
Recalls it history… all documented

Coming from…the darkest part of earth
Living in houses…
Built over…people's ruined houses
Built over… millions killed people
Built over… grave of children's wish
Is absolute acceptance…total approval
For the disgusting…shameful occupation and killings

Nothing disturbs your conscience?
Living…in an illegal land
In an illegal house
You feel at home?
No rejection …no reaction
Against all those injustice going on there

After all the killings
Bringing the projector over lateral problems
To help and give an ease…to dreadful Zionist
Misery maker for all…for expansion of self benefits
To help them… out of dishonored hateful position for killings
Help them to take
Big fault…occupation in to shade
You feel at ease
In this way
Splash water on fire

The peace you are supporter
Is accepting to be…lynched with smile
Is accepting to have sharp side of sword… bared on neck
Aren't these… further procedures
Of great conspiracy?
To forget…source of pains and the wounds
Real stabs…occupation
To smooth path…for further occupation?
No… it will not work

We need visa to enter lands
Also working and staying permit
Have you…them all?
Or you have been born in there?
On push and deceiving periods of Zionists
In different
Dead line is
27th December 2008
Living longer in occupied section… considered
As an approval stamp…a yes vote
To…illegal occupation…to killings

After…full freedom for killings…and physical omission
The funniest thing… is to be lectured for
Racism…in education
Though world saw it all
In number of votes for killers
At so called… recent election

Please respect laws and borders
Never enter without a permission …visa
To people's home…country or land
Attacks…wars and killings
Further more…occupations
Will never be admitted…accepted…believed as rights
So… please accept
All the human laws and human rights
Never go back…never enter Palestine
Without visa
Never accept to be…an occupier.

:: Farah Notash: Dead line ::

:: Camps Breakers ::

Camps Breakers is a breakdance crew born out of the refugee camps of the Gaza Strip, Palestine. We perform throughout Gaza on a regular basis at everything from private parties to national, cultural and celebratory events. You can visit us on www.campsbreakerz.com [link expired, 2023]

© Camps Breakers 2009
:: Sam Kerson: Gaza: Punishing the Innocent ::

www.samkerson.com/graphicart/GAZA%202009/GAZA.html [link expired, 2023]: These images are from the Hanukkah assault on Gaza, December 2008 to January 2009. The images focus on violations of the rules of war, as they are described in the Geneva accords. Along with much of the rest of the world, we watched the tragedy unfold on Internet.

© Sam Kerson 2009

:: Turkish Cartoon by Sevket Yalaz ::

© Sevket Yalaz 2009

:: July 17, 2009 ::

On this page: Ursula Behr's drawing "Spirit of Humanity", the Why Not News slideshow: What the Gazan Children saw, the concert video "Assalamu Alaikum" by Thierry Miguet & Damian Léman, Zochrot's initiative Postcards for Gaza with Gazan Photographer Shareef Sarhan and Israeli Artists

© Ursula Behr
:: Ursula Behr: Spirit of Humanity ::

Ursula Behr from Berlin created several pictures on Palestine and Gaza, see www.atelier-behr.de and urs1798.wordpress.com. A high res version of the image below is at https://urs1798.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/spirit-of-humanity.jpg (11 MB)

:: Zochrot: Postcards for Gaza, Gazan Photographer Shareef Sarhan and Israeli Artists [link expired, 2023]::

© Ariel Mioduser // The great wave
:: "Assalamu Alaikum", a concert video on the Israel/Palestine conflict, a film by Thierry Miguet & Damian Léman ::

bass: Hellmut Hattler (Kraan, Tab Two), drums: Oli Rubow (De Phazz, Die Fantastischen 4), guitars: Torsten de Winkel (Pat Metheny Group, New York Jazz Guerilla), vocals: Fola Dada (Joy Denalane, Edo Zanki), live sound: Daniel Stämmler, visuals & light: Pete Delgado, a film by Thierry Miguet & Damian Léman 2009, original photos courtesy of Oren Rosenfeld, Jennifer Hayes, and Jan Wilker, iTunes: hattler assalamu live, mySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hellmuthattler

:: WNN – Why Not News, Slideshow  – What the Gazan Children saw ... ::
(April 18th, 2009) See the slideshow of pictures at www.whynotnews.org/2009/04/18/what-the-gazan-children-saw
Palestinian artists resort to art to show Gaza suffering
Yousef Al-Helou, Gaza City, April 22, 2009

Scenes of devastation and makeshift tents are a common sight in some areas across the besieged Gaza strip. In the rubble of destroyed buildings, a group of Palestinian artists held an exhibition to highlight the sufferings of people in the besieged Gaza. They want to resort to art to show the resilience of Gazans against all the odds and to appreciate their steadfastness.

Palestinian artists in the besieged Gaza say they use their art and talents to shed light on the suffering of the people as reconstruction has not begun yet because Israel refuses to allow in building materials.

"I decided to set up this exhibition on the ruins of my destroyed house to tell our Zionist enemies that you can kill us and destroy our property but that will never kill our souls. My art pieces displayed here are made from olive trees which the Israeli army uprooted during their recent offensive on the Gaza strip", Shireen Shameyyah, a Gazan artist said to me.

Ministry of culture in Hamas-ruled Gaza said that they support such exhibitions which aim at shedding light on the Palestinian struggle and their aspiration to freedom. They believe art is an effective tool to show what the war brought on these long suffering people and how different aspects of life have been disrupted by the long blockade.

"Our message to the world that Palestinians in Gaza will remain steadfast despite their suffering under Israel's pro-long occupation and siege, we will not give up our rights and aspiration for freedom in our land", Usama Al-Eisawi, Hamas-Minister of culture said while visiting the exhibition set up in the Northern Gaza strip camp of Jabalia.

Israel waged an all out war on Gaza on Dec 27th during which some 1400 Palestinians were killed, nearly 5500 were injured and close to 21,000 residential houses and public buildings were either partially or totally destroyed.

Art in Gaza interests young people and has different forms, some exhibitions are being held by cartoonists and photographers. Others such as rap singers and actors use the stage to sing and perform a play in front of the audience. this is one of the peaceful means Palestinians adopt in their struggle against the Israeli occupation and siege.


Yousef Al-Helou is a freelance journalist based on Gaza City, you can reach him on ydamadan (at) hotmail.com

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