Friday 8 December 2023

Killing musicians and poets



To the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music – Gaza branch

Dear Edward Said National Conservatory of Music

So many thousands are being murdered in Gaza and in occupied Palestine. I have read that on the 21st November 2023, a  14 year old student of yours, violinist, Lubna Alyaan, was killed along with 45 members of her family. 


She joins Refaat Alareer, a writer, poet, and professor, also killed with all his family.He taught literature and creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza and cofounded the organisation ‘We Are Not Numbers’, which connected experienced authors with young writers.

“My heart is broken, my friend and colleague Refaat Alareer was killed with his family,” Gazan poet Mosab Abu Toha wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want to believe this. We both loved to pick strawberries together.”

Alareer had said  that he refused to leave northern Gaza as it was his home. Now, along with Lubna and so many others, it is his grave.

All victims of this genocide are in my thoughts, but as a writer with experience of what it means to try and continue with culture in the middle of barbarism , your student and Refaat Alareer are central to my sorrow and anger .

David Wilson, former director, Pavarotti Music Centre, Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Refaat Alareer's last poem published only days before he was killed