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The End of the World was a mosque.

Brothers in freshly pressed white jilbabs, perfumed 


necks, congregated in ceremony and symmetry, 

tethered to each other on Friday afternoons. One


prostrating on the carpet, its emerald unequivocal as

the ocean he had crossed from Syria, next to him father


to first baby, hands up as sleep heavies his lids,

uncle in the wheelchair whose wife would try 


to protect him. Look at that crowd every week, they were 

ready to receive the truth in whichever shape it arrived. 


The End of the World was thundering. Was bullet 

ridden. Was still. Gunned down as they uttered 


in devotion, Peace Be Upon Him. The End of the World 

was refuge in the words, Allah Akbar, in the doors 


always open despite the terrors, this 

welcoming and wearying of us: 

children dressing up for Eid, 

the ginger cat lingering, 

the women complaining 

about the space. Alhamdullilah


for the sisters who couldn’t make it that day. 

As the white man stood at the gate 

like a soldier, led by every other white 

man who had brought him here to prey, 

to massacre all the Muslims away. 

After Saeed Jones

Dedicated to the victims of the Christchurch Terror Attack in Al Noor Mosque, Allah yerhamhom.

Their stories appear in this Al Jazeera



Sara Saleh

Sara M. Saleh is a human rights lawyer, organiser, writer, and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, living on Bidjigal land. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published nationally and internationally in English and Arabic. She is co-editor of the groundbreaking 2019 anthology Arab, Australian, Other.


Sara made history as the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review’s 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2020. Her debut novel Songs for the Dead and the Living (Affirm Press) is out this year and a full-length poetry collection, The Flirtation of Girls (UQP) is forthcoming.