Aya de Leon

author – activist – faculty – mom

5 Haiku for Shailja Patel

shailja ted

Shailja Patel during her TED talk

17 days after Kenyan writer and activist Shailja Patel returned home to Kenya, she was sexually assaulted. The alleged perpetrator is a well known writer in Kenya. For the next 17 days, I’ll be composing new work every day in support of Shailja. Here are 5 haiku that reflect my shock, disbelief and bitterness about this attack. Sexual violence should never happen to anyone. Ever. But it hits home particularly sharply when those who have been so vocal in speaking out against sexual violence become targets…

Kenyan male writer
Searches for his lost nation
In woman’s skin? No.

Was it defiance?
Did he pick fierce feminist
Out of cockiness?

Or a cry for help?
I know this hunger is wrong.
I trust she’ll stop me.

She was so public–
Tireless against sexism.
Why did he pick her?

Or just for her looks?
Beautiful Indian chick.
Never read her work.

Journalists for Justice has released a statement in support of Shailja Patel

Join the campaign

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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