An Open Letter from Palestinian Poet Dareen Tatour, Under House Arrest

On Sunday, June 26, leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a board editorial titled “Free the Palestinian Poet, Arrested for Expressing her Opinions.” The justice system didn’t listen: The next day, the court in Nazareth postponed the decision of whether to relieve Dareen Tatour’s detention until July 18:

Image from Free Haifa.

Also on Monday, a few Israeli writers held a solidarity event, and the poet wrote an open letter of thanks, published by the website Free Haifa in the original Arabica Hebrew translation, and in English. The English translation below is Yoav Haifawi’s with slight emendations.

One Who Does Not Thank Others, Does Not Thank God

With these few words, I open my letter to all of you who have stood by me and my family in these difficult times and through this harsh experience.

I thank you with all my heart. Thanking you is perhaps the least I can do while I am in this detention and exile, far from everything I’d lived through before my imprisonment. In spite of all the difficulties I have experienced and still experience, your stand alongside me — and your voice, which has reached me — are like rays of light which give me the power for steadfastness.

My message to all of you, without exception, is the message of a loving woman, striving for peace and safety, and hoping that justice and equality will be shared by all human beings everywhere. A woman whose life has been condensed to a pen, a paper and an image… I dreamed one day about the existence of people like you, people looking for dreams amid all the nightmares that live around us and between us.

Yes, I thank you, and I put all the hopes of humanity in your hands — those hopes that you see, hear, and feel.

I love you.

Dareen Tatour

June 27, 2016

You can stay abreast of Dareen’s case at and



  1. I don’t get it. How is she “striving for peace and safety?” She wrote a poem that literally says “For an Arab Palestine I will not succumb to the peaceful solution.” And she called in the same poem to evict all Jews from Palestine. Plus it was written during a period when every week young Palestinians were going and stabbing random people in the street, so she was basically vocally supporting these stabbings. What did she expect the government would do?

    I really don’t get it…

    1. Dear Zeke,
      You don’t seem to believe in the freedom of speech. With the Isaeli Government blatantly ignoring the UN demands to stop the Israeli settlers building their communities in the West Bank, it isn’t hard to understand the anger in Dareen’s poem. Added to this, the Israeli Government operates a clear apartheid policy which restricts the movement and the economic options of Palestinians living in the West Bank. Resources are being taken from the Palestinians in underhand ways (eg claiming that they are needed for Israeli security).

      By contrast Dareen uses the pen to object to these injustices. Try and understand where she is coming from. I don’t know where you live Zeke; if it is in Europe or North America, you accept freedom of speech as a right of an individual and you would fight for that individual to have that right even if you disagree with the sentiment of the person’s point of view.


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