Somewhere To Believe In


Exile with Rafeef Ziadah

Season 2, Ep. 8

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: 

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.



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