The Return of Home

By Izzeddin Hawamda

I’m the son of the olive trees

Open fields singing for rainfall

I’m a reflection of harvest season

Wheat, olives, and the old wall

I’m the son of the headscarf

And a language of poetry

Like the sun in the middle of the sky

My land is heated; war and crime

But Home lays safe within me

I’m the kite maker, simple and fast

I’m the little boy running around the sheep

Making noise, watching Taeta sing and weep

I’m the mountain side, built to hold a sign of hope

Saying Salam, Shalom…Peace

I am who no one knows

My skin tone tells of war

Childhood memories dipped in teargas

All alone, still smiling

Picturing the old hut and the hilly road

Dear God, I miss home

When will the pain show restraint and hold?

My mother carries the stars and sings for the end of war

How can it be?

A million years reflected in her smile

Beneath her feet lay the world’s biggest fear

A future of forever missing children

I am the mud house

Witnessing children waiting for the return home…

The return of home

I will never forget bombed homes, stolen lives, and missing hopes

Will the day come when the sun will tell its story of me and peace?

Ma rah Ansa (Never Forget)


Izzeddin Hawamda was born and raised in a rural village just outside of the city of Nablus in the West Bank, Palestine. He has lived in Canada for over 15 years and currently works as a high school teacher. He is passionate about respecting the agency of locals in the peace-building process and about examining the role of education in the development of conflict transformation strategies. He is currently working toward a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba. Over the past year, Izzeddin has been engaged in working locally in Winnipeg to open doors to broaden awareness of the conflict in Israel and Palestine through a focus on narrative, dialogue, and Compassionate Listening. Izzeddin and a Jewish-Canadian colleague have been speaking publicly about the power of dialogue and the importance of sharing, listening, and respecting diverse perspectives and narratives.