Before The Next Bomb Drops: Rising Up From Brooklyn To Palestine

Remi Kanazi

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Remi Kanazi's poetry presents an unflinching look at the lives of Palestinians under occupation and as refugees scattered across the globe. He captures the Palestinian people's stubborn refusal to be erased, gives voice to the ongoing struggle for liberation, and explores the meaning of international solidarity. In this latest collection, Kanazi expands his focus outside the sphere of Palestine and presents pieces examining racism in America, police brutality, US militarism at home and wars abroad, conflict voyeurism, Islamophobia, and a range of other issues.

"This is by far Remi Kanazi's best and most mature work. It is also his funniest, saddest and most uplifting. His poems evoke places from Brooklyn to Gaza, and he travels in time from 1948 to a present sometimes experienced through images on a smartphone flitting past desensitized eyes. Writing the lyrics of a movement, Kanazi aims upwards at the powerful and inwards, challenging our own complacency. His rhymes and rhythms, filled with sharp wit, irony and deep empathy, are a great joy to read even as they tackle some of the most urgent political struggles of our day." –Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine.

"Remi’s verse is a series of indignant letters to the passersby of our historical moment who thought they were minding their own business but who, in fact, are perpetuating the problem with their privileged complicity. Each verse made me sink deeper into my chair and helped unleash a cascade of relieving tears: in anger, in mourning, and in hope."–Noura Erakat, George Mason University and Human Rights Attorney.

"One picture is worth one thousand words they used to say with regard to Palestine and its suffering throughout the ages. This wonderful, elegant and moving book will convince you that one poem is worth one thousand words and many pictures. It is a poetic, and very accessible, personal journey into the past and present of Palestine that will resonate with anyone concerned with the land and its people."–Ilan Pappé, bestselling author of The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.

"Remi Kanazi asks whether his words 'hurt more than bombs dropped on Gaza?' They may not, but his words, which combine art with a burning desire to narrate, to shout, to shake, to shame and to humanize, create a lasting, almost self-regenerating mind image of the bombs dropped, the houses demolished and the communities uprooted. Kanazi's haunting poems are not written to be consumed; they reserve a place in one's conscience, in one's memory, and–hopefully–in one's praxis."–Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement.

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