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April 2024 - Year 26 - Issue 2

ISSN 1755-9715

If I Must Die by Refaat Alareer in Many Voices and Languages - An Invitation


Haneen Jadallah is an English language teacher, a teacher trainer, and a remote theatre specialist. She has an MA degree in Drama and English Language Teaching at the University of Warwick, UK. She is also a Sahin Family Award winner for exceptional progress at Warwick university. She has a special interest and expertise in drama and language learning and intercultural remote theatre. She has developed her own framework for students to create their own plays and to perform them remotely to the outer world. She is passionate about connecting young people in Palestine with their peers around the world through intercultural link-ups and online theatre.

David Heathfield is a world storyteller, teacher trainer and writer from Exeter, UK. He has authored Storytelling With Our Students and Spontaneous Speaking (both DELTA) and numerous articles and book chapters. He provides Creative and Engaging Storytelling for Teachers (CrEST) courses for worldwide participants on Zoom. He and his wife Tammy Heathfield are also Heathfield Creative English Coaching. and 

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To honour Refaat Alareer, the beloved Palestinian poet, teacher and storyteller who was killed together with family members on 6th December 2023 in an Israeli airstrike, we are inviting you all around the world to record and share the extraordinary poem he posted on 1 November 2023 ‘If I Must Die’ in many voices and languages. 

Haneen Jadallah says “Doctor Refaat was one of the professors who taught me in my undergraduate degree, and he was the one who inspired me to start thinking about the power of storytelling and the power of literature to share with the world. He was demanding on us, to kind of push us to share what? To share our stories and what we think with the world. To get us to believe in ourselves that we could start writing and we could start holding the pen and sharing our stories.”

You can learn more about Refaat Alareer online, for example here.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Refaat Alareer’s wife, children and remaining family who survive him and our best wishes to Palestinian people everywhere.

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If I Must Die - Dr Refaat Alareer

If I must die, 

you must live 

to tell my story 

to sell my things 

to buy a piece of cloth 

and some strings, 

(make it white with a long tail) 

so that a child, somewhere in Gaza 

while looking heaven in the eye 

awaiting his dad who left in a blaze – 

and bid no one farewell 

not even to his flesh 

not even to himself – 

sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up 


and thinks for a moment an angel is there 

bringing back love 

If I must die 

let it bring hope 

let it be a tale. 


Lesson ideas

You might translate the poem yourself or you can find translations of the poem into many languages online. Of course, you might choose to share the poem in English, the language in which he wrote this beautiful and prescient poem.

You can invite children and grown-ups you know to join in so that we have plenty of voices and languages. When you upload it to YouTube, use 'not Made for Kids', 'Public' or 'Unlisted' settings and make it a 'Watch' video (not 'shorts'). 


The playlist

When you share your video with me, I can add it to the playlist

We do appreciate all of you who have already contributed to this playlist which is a growing testament to the power of the spoken word in calling for change.

Sef Townsend - Yiddish

Despina Varda Avraamides - Greek

Despina Varda Avraamides - English

Letty Segura - Spanish

Georgia from Cyprus' 12-year-old daughter - English

Ruth Kirkpatrick - Scots

Mechthild Lier  - German

Mwana Ummy Ally and Tina Mtui  - English and Kiswahili

Rebeca Robles - English

Rebeca Robles - Spanish

Evi Karydi and daughter Neleia- English and Greek together

Fiona Collins - Welsh

Jackie Ross - Doric

Şüheda Şahin - Turkish

Tammy Heathfield - French

Zahra Afsah - Farsi

Zahra Afsah and Mehdi Farhadian - Farsi

Sara (9) - Italian

Torgrim Mellum Stene - Norwegian

Lightness Isojick - Iraqw

Lightness Isojick and her eleven-year-old daughter Rosemary - English and Iraqw

Farah Saeed - Urdu

Fahima Begum - Bengali

Zahid - Baluchi

Sejuti - Portuguese

Lisa Schneidau - English

Nicholas Pawlowski - English

Simona Stambazzi - Italian

Sowmya Srinivasan - Tamil

Shilpa Story Rack - Hindi

Poonam Joshy - Hindi

Rukhsana Haque - Assamese

Tracy Chipman - English

Anagha Prasad - Kannada

Sree Karuna - Telugu

Min Wild - Afrikaans

Mariela Mondaca - Spanish

Deepa Ahuja Ramani - Sindhi

Lavanya Prasad - dialect of Tamil (sung)

Neena Girish - Malayalam

Dayang Kasimeh - Bahasa Melayu

Dayang Kasimeh - English

Kenza Omayr - Arabic

Larisa Chernova – Ukrainian

May I invite more of you to share the poem in whichever languages you choose on YouTube and on other social media pages and groups? His Voice Shall Always Remain. 



David and Haneen are both members of the new Facebook group ELT Professionals for Palestine. 

If you support Palestinians and would like to find out about joining: LinkedIn is

Instagram: @elt_for_palestine


Link to Haneen's fundraiser: Re-uniting with my Family and Rebuilding Lives

Tagged  Creativity Group