Israel Killed Refaat Alareer in Gaza – These Are Some of His Last Words

Professor Refaat Alareer was killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Refaat Alareer, one of the founders of the ‘We Are Not Numbers’ project and professor at the Islamic University of Gaza, was killed by an Israeli airstrike.

Professor Alareer was not an ordinary intellectual. He was an educator, who has inspired countless young people in Gaza to take charge of their own narrative and to tell the story of Gaza and Palestine based on their own experiences. 

“(Refaat) authored many books and wrote tens of stories about Gaza. Refaat’s assassination is tragic, painful and outrageous. It is a huge loss,” his friend and We Are Not Numbers co-founder, Ahmed Alnaouq, wrote on X on Thursday.

On November 30, Alareer spoke to The New Arab about his decision not to evacuate northern Gaza.

“Israel is destroying Gaza in a way that will impact life for decades to come,” he told the UK-based news website at the time.

“Refaat was one of my inspirations in Gaza. Beyond brilliant and charming, he was simply kind and genuine as a person,” Ramzy Baroud, a Gaza-born intellectual and author said. 

“I felt that everything he wrote or uttered represented a priority for us around the world. We were guided by him, and people like him. His death has completely disoriented me,” Baroud added. 

Last Words 

Alareer, a beloved English professor, communicated some of his last thoughts through his X profile. 

“If I must die, you must live to tell my story,” he said in a poem, written in 2011 and published on X on November 1. “If I must die, let it bring hope, let it be a tale”.

On December 4, as Israeli airstrikes on his neighborhood intensified, Alareer wrote a tribute to the Palestinian Resistance, who is confronting the invading Israeli forces:

“I wish I were a freedom fighter,” he said, “so I die fighting back those invading Israeli genocidal maniacs invading my neighborhood and city.”

The strongest message, however, is in his last words, also written on X on December 4. Sharing a video featuring United States Vice President Kamala Harris, Alareer wrote, with unmistakable clarity: 

“The Democratic Party and (US President Joe) Biden are responsible for the Gaza genocide perpetrated by Israel.”

“Refaat’s death is not the end of the story, but the start of a new chapter of intellectual resistance,” Baroud said. 

“I am so sorry, Refaat. I was hoping that we would continue to work together for years to come, but I promise you, your tale will always be told.” 

Refaat Alareer was the editor of ‘Gaza Writes Back:  Short Stories from Young Writers in Gaza, Palestine’, and co-author of ‘Gaza Unsilenced’. 

In ‘Gaza Writes Back’, he wrote,

“It is when darkness prevails that I sit by the window to look past all those electricity-free houses, smell the sweet scent of a calm Gazan night, feel the fresh air going straight to my heart, and think of you, of me, of Palestine, of the crack, of the blank wall, of you, of Mama, of you, of my history class, of you, of God, of Palestine—of our incomplete story.”

 (The Palestine Chronicle)

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  1. I’m so SO sorry for your loss.
    My heart is broken from what I’m seeing everyday from afar.
    None of this makes sense to me. None!
    What it does, it makes a lot of worldwide people angry.
    What is being done is not “punishment” because if it was, whoever does wrong is given time to reflect on what they did, not repeat their mistake and do better in the future.
    No, this isn’t punishment, it’s systematic cold-bloodied murder.

    Free Palestine!

  2. The tears caressing my cheeks cannot begin to compare to the pain of my beautiful Palestinian sisters and brothers.I am using my voice, my poetry on social media, in person conversations, I am sending emails and organizing in solidarity, but none of it is enough. To say I’m sorry is not enough. I am so sorry, a million times over that we have failed you, Professor, Mr. Refaat Alareer. I am so sorry to you and your family, to all of Palestine that I have failed you.

  3. An Ode to Refaat of Gaza!

    This is not the world
    I want to live in
    Not even my children.
    The world has become
    An abode of ferocious
    Animals and Cowards.
    The humans, men women,
    And children are hunted
    Until they are silenced in
    Their deaths and forgotten.
    The animals are roaming
    Roaming everywhere
    Claiming to be humans
    And protecting the rights
    But Gaza knows they are
    Animals in human skin.
    The good earth shall die
    Die with the last human.
    Then animals shall fight
    Among themselves and
    Shall die violent deaths
    To make room for a new
    Earth and humans for
    Refaats and their children
    Who shall write poems
    Enjoy freedom and peace!

  4. Triste. Triste. Admirable de courage et de grandeur vous resterez dans nos coeurs. Nous assistons au génocide d’un peuple calme et serein qui subit une violence inouie depuis l’accaparement de ses terres. La justice vaincra et nous resterons avec dignité du côté des faibles et heureux de perdre face aux monstres nés du racisme, face aux possédants sans âme humaine.

  5. Dear Refaat, thanks to you, I will ‘throw’ my marker on any wall that looks a likely place to say something from my heart. Let us all throw our markers and reclaim our world with words.

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