June Jordan’s “Moving towards Home”

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June Jordan wrote the poem “Moving towards Home” upon reading a quote in the New York Times shortly after the September 16-18, 1982 Phalangist/Israeli massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila outside of Beirut, Lebanon. Though the exact number of victims is disputed depending on the source, it is believed that 1700-2000 Palestinians were killed in the massacre. The attack was officially declared an act of genocide by the United Nations General Assembly, and Osama bin Laden later cited the Sabra and Shatila massacre as one of the motivations for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, in which al-Qaeda attacked an American Air Force housing complex in Saudi Arabia.

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