News & Views

Love, not hate.

A year later, we remember the 11 people who lost their lives at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. In memory of that day, one of our former clients, a refugee from Syria, wrote the below poem. Like Ossama, we dream of a day “Where the darkness retreats/And the light engulfs the earth and sky.” Thank you to all of you who supported us and continue to support us, as we work towards bringing light to our clients’ lives.

A poem written after the Pittsburgh Tragedy
by Ossama Herkel
Translated by Dana Beseiso

Tears from the heart
Love has fled from people’s hearts
And has left instead a gloomy void
Vacant, cold and dark

We live in a strange time marred by misery
Pure hearts are taken from us daily
Torn away by those hearts that are black
Our spring does not bloom, and is devoid of hope

On a calm autumn morning
The sound of treachery roared
And there blood was spilled
Silence reigned, and hearts wept
Souls fled

And that night the moon had companions in the sky
With every soul lost
There is a star that weeps in agony
And with every drop of blood spilled
A rose, vanquished, withers
And weary eyes that slept in grief,
Waiting for the spring of our hearts

The appointed time
Of grief is emblazoned in the sky
And fear is now the subtext of existence
Terrorism is a disease with no treatment

The prophets bore books of peace
And wrote words of love and compassion
The Quran, Bible and Torah
Are words from God to us
To sail in seas of faith
And illuminate our paths that lay in darkness,
To seed the Earth with gardens of love and compassion

I dream of a coming time
Where we live in warmth,
Where we live in one world
Where birds sing to us
And flowers bathe us in their scent

I dream of a day
Where humans are as stars in the night sky
Embracing one another
And shedding tears of joy and love
Where we write poems of hope and peace

I dream of a day where our hearts are as pure
As the dew waiting for the morning sun
Where the darkness retreats
And the light engulfs the earth and sky

Read more poems by Ossama at