Conflict And Conflict In Blood, By Naomi Shihab Nye

Superior Essays
The poem Blood by Naomi Shihab Nye emanates feelings of confusion and anger that people from many cultures in America have felt. This confusion settling in at the moment a young child realizes they are different and realizing that this difference makes them inferior. Why is that despite we are all humans beings, given life the same way, biologically structured the same way, and given the same fate in the end, that we are so different from one another? Naomi Shihab Nye is a Palestinian-American born in St. Louis, Missouri to a Palestinian father and American mother. In her poem Blood, she speaks of the qualities of a "true Arab" while being torn between two forces, her comfy American half and her Palestinian half , whose home country is in turmoil. …show more content…
Zionist ideas stem from the biblical notion of a Jewish state given to the Jewish people by God. However, European anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution in the recent centuries is what fueled Zionism to become what it is today. Zionists looked to conquer Palestine and make it their own through whatever means necessary, including violence. Fear of being conquered and oppressed again still lingered heavily on the Jewish population following the horrific events of the Holocaust heavily which motivated them to mobilize and fight to create a Jewish State. On the other hand, we have the Arab Nationalism that manifested itself through Palestinian’s rejection of the U.N’s decision to divide Palestine. Coming to its modern incarnation around the late eighteenth century as a result of European Colonialism opposition, Arab nationalism further grew to oppose the state of Israel along with western powers they believed were allied with Israeli forces as a means to conquer the Arab region, which is known for its abundant oil reserves. Nonetheless, upon the U.N’s resolution being passed that Palestine be split, Arab suspicious towards the west were confirmed allowing the Arab nations to come together under a common cause. These two forces together formed a maelstrom of violence and bloodshed that shook the Middle East and continues to do so sixty-seven years …show more content…
We all come from “ stone and seed”(20), referring to the Earth, and so by waving the flag of stone and seed, Nye is essentially breaking the national barriers and believes in a united humanity where war and difference doesn’t ravage the planet. By claiming to wave the “flag of stone and seed”(20), Nye successfully allows herself to remain neutral in terms of choosing who to side with, America or Palestine. In my research, I also discovered Palestinians were suspicious of America’s agenda regarding their homeland and felt as though they were being targeted for their oil. This piece of information helps me to understand a particular the line Nye writes that that goes, “Homeless fig, this tragedy with a terrible root/ Is too big for us. What flag can we wave?”(18-19) as it describes Nye’s empathy for her people as they have been kicked out of their country and have no home to represent. A flag represents unity and how human beings identify groups of other individuals, and by Nye questioning “What flag can we wave?”(19), she is exclaiming how her people have been broken apart and separated from the land that united them as a result of the the Arab-Israeli conflicts. Her use of “Homeless fig” in line 18 I believe is a synonym for the Palestinian refugees as they are technically without a home, living in

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