Exile with Rafeef Ziadah


Please note, this recording contains issues that some people may find distressing or not suitable for younger listeners.

In our final episode in this series, we talk to Palestinian spoken word artist, human rights activist and our new favourite politics teacher, Rafeef Ziadah.

We dig into poetry, art, trauma, displacement, equality and justice as Rafeef shares her experiences of being a third-generation Palestinian refugee, exiled from her home and now living in London. Rafeef reminds us that issues like climate change and the pandemic do not respect borders, which makes us reflect on the entire ‘nation-state’ system.

Above all, Rafeef tells us of the strength she gets from the Palestinian people whose resolve and resilience is undiminished despite great challenges, and who continue to tell their stories and create art in the face of occupation.

Plus, Katherine and Paul reflect on their first year of podcasting and Katherine’s new favourite hobby. 

Links, resources and episode timestamps (for all you skippers out there) below.



Rafeef is a Palestinian spoken word artist and human rights activist based in London, UK. Her performances of poems like ‘We Teach Life, Sir’ and ‘Shades of Anger’ went viral within days of release. Her live readings offer a moving blend of poetry and music. Since releasing her first album, Rafeef has headlined prestigious performance venues across several countries with powerful readings on war, exile, gender and racism. Her long awaited third album Three Generations is out December 2020. It can be pre-ordered here: https://www.pozible.com/profile/rafeef-ziadah 

We Teach Life, her second album, was a powerful collection of spoken word with original music compositions, which she brings to the stage with Australian guitarist and producer Phil Monsour.  Rafeef received the Ontario Arts Council Grant from the Word of Mouth programme to create her debut spoken-word album Hadeel. She regularly conducts spoken word workshops with the aim of empowering expression through writing and performance. 
Website | Spotify | Itunes | Facebook | Twitter


Three Generations



Nakba 1948: Ethnic Cleansing of Cities, Towns and Villages

Palestinian Writers Festival

We Teach Life Sir

Palestine Music Expo

Edward Said National Conservatory of Music

Made in Palestine 

If my words

The Walled Off Hotel – Banksy

Jesus Was Not in a Stable Relationship – Pádraig Ó Tuama in conversation with Paul Northup

00:00 – Welcome to Somewhere To Believe In
00:19 – Katherine and Paul catch up
04:00 – Introducing Rafeef Ziadah and her work
10:30 – Rafeef joins the conversation
10:47 – Rafeef on lockdown ‘Three Generations’
15:50 – Rafeef on being a Palestinian refugee
17:35 – Rafeef on art and activism
19:02 – Rafeef on being stateless
21:02 – Rafeef on changing the world
22:50 – Rafeef on politics and social movements
26:45 – Rafeef on building a movement
29:00 – Rafeef on responses to her work
32:10 – Rafeef on writing and performing poetry
34:09 – Rafeef on being denied the right of return to Palestine
35:50 – Rafeef on the wall
38:06 – Rafeef on profit and power over people
39:25 – Rafeef on the US election and Trump
44:37 – Rafeef on the pandemic in Gaza
46:23 – Rafeef on Palestinian resolve and resistance
48:09 – Rafeef on the Christmas story
50:10 – Rafeef on hope
50:45 – Rafeef on burnout
52:28 – Rafeef on how to support her work
53:19 – Rafeef on Greenbelt Festival
53:52 – Katherine and Paul reflect on the conversation with Rafeef
01:08:16 – How to get in touch with us
01:08:37 – Thank you’s
01:09:40 – Hidden track

A huge thanks to the Greenbelt Volunteer Talks Team for all their hard work on editing this episode. Our podcast music is ‘I Can Change’ by Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires.