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Illustration by Lena Kassicieh

All the Shades of Anger

words by Hasheemah Afaneh

Dedicated to Reema Asia

She tells me “we are Arab women, and we come in all shades of anger”,
-so it’s okay-
and I’ve decided that anger means passion
means dedication
means care
means love
and there are many shades of love,
but this poem will never fit all the shades of love
I’ve encountered and learned
and unlearned
at home and in the Diaspora
-in between home and the Diaspora-

we’re at this point
in our millennial age
where we think of all that we’d tell our children,
and so we whisper them to each other,
write poetry,
perform spoken word
shouting to the oblivion
we crave but are afraid to know.

our daughters are in this future
listening to the words whispered
and they’ll hear through all the noise
that they’re “Arab women, and [they] come in all shades of anger”,
and not the kind of anger that destroys ourselves and others
but the kind that creates

Illustration by Lena Kassicieh

Hasheemah Afaneh, MPH is a Palestinian-American writer and public health professional based in New Orleans. She tries to balance her passion for storytelling with community health as she finds solace in the written word and the positive actions that can result from it. You can find her work here.

She also worked on a pilot episode for a travel podcast that will resume in the summer of 2020 and can be found here. She has written for various media outlets, including the Sinking City Literary Review, Reclamation Magazine, HuffPost, the Fair Observer, and This Week in Palestine.

See more of Lena Kassicieh’s illustrations on her website and instagram

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