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Palestinian American Poet Remi Kanazi Uses Art to Fight Oppression

Palestinian American poet Remi Kanazi is using his art to bring attention to Palestine.

“I’d never want to tell somebody how they should project, promote, or create their art,” he said. “But I really do think that today, more than ever, we got to be thinking of ways that we can take action.”

Kanazi says he grew up in a small, predominantly white town, and was part of its only Arab family. He said he didn’t speak Arabic and very much wanted to assimilate to American customs. After years of separating himself from contentious debate, he started to learn more as a teenager.

“To be Palestinian in the United States is to face erasure, it’s to face marginalization,” he said.

Kanazi says that poetry was a way that I could get a political message across.

“It was a way that I could connect with people,” he said. “Maybe the kids that I grew up with, or the people that were living around me in New York at the time, but I just felt like there wasn’t enough representation in the younger generation, when it came to Palestinians in the U.S., how folks were being treated in anti-Arab, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian kind of world.”

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