Land For Lama Qasem I. Three years ago before we moved here I would never have talked to you like this. But my daughter’s first friend in Australia was Israeli and her mother was mine. So here we are sitting in the sun and I am talking to you like this. II. You know my mother used to take us from Jordan to the border. You would sit in buses for hours and then they’d take your bags throw them in a big pile. They’d make you take off your shoes throw them in a big pile take off your clothes throw them in a big pile. Then the body search you would lose your shoes in that big pile so you would wear slippers you could lose. III. I was a kid just a little girl you know the humiliation it was the humiliation all these soldiers are pointing at you with guns and you don’t know why. IV. You know my father’s brother’s son he took compensation for his land for our land. My father’s brother’s son took compensation for our land and my father’s brother shot him in the head.
Andrew Harris is a writer and photographer with roots in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He lives with his wife and their two boys in Melbourne. He won the 2020 and 2017 Dorothy Porter Prize for Poets in the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award and the 2018 My Brother Jack Open Poetry Award at the Glen Eira Literary Awards. Andrew’s poetry has been published in the Journal of the Anglo-Somali Society and is to be published in The Grief Diaries. His travel writing has been published in Roads & Kingdoms.
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