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A Poem by Mike Odetalla

In November of 2002, Mike Odetalla was shocked and angered by the image of a Palestinian middle aged man who had been made to strip naked in the cold and rain and walk back and forth like a dog for the amusement of the Israeli soldiers who sat in the tanks and armored personnel carriers. This image touched him profoundly.This poem was what came to his mind.

NOW with the fresh round of photos of Iraqi prisoners, stripped NAKED, being humiliated, and demeaned, while the amused sadistic US soldiers look on, thhese images reminded him once again of the similarities of the suffering of the Palestinians and the Iraqis at the hands of an inhumane occupation.


As I stand before you.

Stripped of my rags


Shame and dishonor

Rush to cover me.

What do you see?

Stripped of my dignity

Of my humanity

What do you see?

As I gaze down, head lowered

My eyes cannot see

The mud at my feet




Are you pleased?

Will stripping me of my dignity

Enhance your security?

What do you think it does for me?

Mike Odetalla 11-2002

Mike Odetalla..."A seed in the fruit of Palestine"

Mike Odetalla is a Palestinian/American businessman/writer. A father of 3, he was born in 1960 in the Palestinian village of Beit Hanina, a suburb of Jerusalem. He lived through the 1967 War and moved to the US in 1969. Although he has lived in the US since then, he has made and continues to make numerous trips to his homeland where he still has many family members as well as his family's lands and orchards.

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