Books for changing the world
Menu
Menu
Rifqa

Rifqa is Palestinian poet Mohammed El-Kurd’s ode to his late grandmother, and to the Palestinian struggle for liberation. ‘Jerusalem is ours.’

Each day after school, Mohammed El-Kurd’s grandmother welcomed him at the door of his home with a bouquet of jasmine. Her name was Rifqa—she was older than Israel itself and an icon of Palestinian resilience. With razor-sharp wit and glistening moral clarity, El-Kurd lays bare the brutality of Israeli settler colonialism. His poems trace Rifqa’s exile from Haifa to his family’s current dispossession in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, exposing the cyclical and relentless horror of the Nakba. El-Kurd’s debut collection definitively shows that the Palestinian struggle is a revolution, until victory.

Reviews
  • “May these poems challenge and awaken you. May they shake you into action. May they help you find the words for what you already know to be true... These words remind me that home is a series of shared memories, not brick and mortar. Home is where we go to remember and revisit who we’ve always been. Mohammed El-Kurd’s poetry is a home returned to us.”
    Aja Monet, from the foreword

    “Rooted in Palestine and ranging across the world, these are poems that hurl themselves at the boundaries of what poems can do; lyrics that put a premium on anger, that reflect the serrated edges of living in the world today, that gift new and powerful phrases to the lexicon of liberation.”
    —Ahdaf Soueif, author of Cairo: My City, Our Revolution

Other books of interest

  • On Palestine

    Chomsky and Pappé discuss the past and future of Palestine.
  • Before the Next Bomb Drops

    Before the Next Bomb Drops explores the Israeli occupation of Palestine and US militarism through a poetic lens.
  • Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

    Activist, teacher, author and icon of the Black Power movement Angela Davis talks Ferguson, Palestine, and prison abolition.
  • The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3

    A BreakBeat Poets anthology of writings by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, or trans.
  • Build Yourself a Boat

    Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.
  • Doppelgangbanger

    In his highly anticipated second poetry collection, Doppelgangbanger, Cortney Lamar Charleston examines the performance of Black masculinity in the U.S., and its relationship to family, love and community.

  • On Edward Said

    An intimate intellectual, political and personal portrait of Edward Said, one of the 20th centuries' leading public intellectuals.

  • Palestine: A Socialist Introduction

    Edited by Sumaya Awad and Brian Bean

    This edited volume makes an impassioned and informed case for the central place of Palestine in socialist organizing and of socialism in the struggle to free Palestine.

  • If God Is a Virus

    Merging documentary poetry from the epicenter of an epidemic with the story of viruses in the evolution of humanity, If God Is A Virus gives voice to the infected and the virus.

  • I Remember Death By Its Proximity to What I Love

    The long form poem is tethered in folklore and personal narrative, detailing the impact of the destructive mass incarceration system.