A rectangular mustard yellow graphic with a keffiyeh pattern in black, and a mustard yellow rectangle overlaid with the title of piece written in white:

On Ending Our Unofficial Hiatus, & Affirming Our Humanity

Dear community,

181 days since the genocide on Gaza began. 181 days, but really 76 years since the violence and horror and heartbreak and fierce, fierce resistance began. 

181 days of solidarity movements across the world, grounded in and guided by the survival and utter refusal of the Palestinian people. 181 days of witnessing from New York and Kuala Lumpur, of organizing marches and rallies and teach-ins and direct actions, of deep depression as we witness genocide happening in real time, of heartbreak as we find out who our real friends are, of renewed commitment to liberation, grounded in and guided by the Palestinian struggle for freedom by any means necessary. It has been 181 days since our lives changed forever. 


In October, we had some already-edited flash pieces in the pipeline, but by December, that well had run dry, and so too had our will to edit, to do anything but witness and struggle. 

We experienced two worlds–one that had stopped everything in order to affirm and act in solidarity with the Palestinian resistance, and the other white-supremacist capitalist one, the one that dominates, that tells us that this is just how the world works, how war works, that we’re supposed to continue living our lives as “normal” and to do anything else, to fail to continue to labor, makes us weak. 

Shamefully, we emailed writers to apologize for the delays in editing and responding. Shamefully, we paused Flash Fridays, a wordless understanding between us that we needed time. 

Today, we resume Flash Fridays after a nearly four month hiatus. We reject our previous shame, and affirm our humanity as witnesses. 


Since October 7, we have had countless meetings to reflect on our role as a literary community in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. These conversations have led to a rewriting of our mission, which now includes an affirmation of the Palestinian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a call to publish censored and retracted work about Palestine and by Palestinians, and other, smaller acts of refusal in a white-supremacist capitalist literary landscape. We know that this is only the beginning of our work to build the literary future we aim to practice each day.

Early in the genocide, Palestinian poet Rasha Abdulhadi urged us, “Wherever you are, whatever sand you can throw on the gears of genocide, do it now. If it’s a handful, throw it. If it’s a fingernail full, scrape it out and throw.” 

We’ve been thinking of it ever since. Every day we ask ourselves, how can we throw sand on the gears of genocide? We will keep asking ourselves this, and we urge you to, too. Struggle each day against the gears of genocide, refuse normalization wherever you are, and work to build the world the Palestinian people are leading us to struggle for. 

Yours in solidarity,

Deborah Augustin & Minahil Akbar

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