Art, Untitled

dazmyart


HIMILO DARWISH (Artist) is a 23-year-old business student. She has been drawing since she can remember. Her artwork currently revolves around her identity as a Muslim, Somali, Black woman living in the UK. This piece of art is about a song that recently inspired her (Janelle Monea’s “Django Jane”), which discusses the Black woman and what she means to society: “In an era where being a Black women is still not widely appreciated, it’s great to hear music you can relate to.” Himilo resides in London.

Instagram: @dazmyart

 

Poems, Untitled

Harboured & caged in darkling slums /

Trickled in squall and besieged by gulls /

Decaying away whilst hid from ritzy predators ready to prey and spray /

Romancing with trouble keeping one double in the huddle /

Hover in society tryna be supple /

A Submission 17

1.

A lost boy with a lost soul,

Rove around for 13 summers & it felt like I’d always been on parole,

Harboured & caged in darkling slums,

Trickled in squall and besieged by gulls,

Decaying away whilst hid from ritzy predators ready to prey and spray,

Romancing with trouble keeping one double in the huddle,

Hover in society tryna be supple.

2.

Cries from the past still lurking in my memories,

My extremities,

Surrounded by pain yet my mind is in a state of reverie.

They say we are oppressed,

Stopping us from practicing our faith—Why do we need your consent,

Segregating us from society until we are condensed,

Or more like diminished,

Chain us down and disintegrate our image.

 


FARDOSA SULEIMAN (Photographer) is nineteen years old and from San Jose, California. She began taking photographs one year ago.

Instagram: @fvrdosa
Twitter: @fvrdosa

MOHAMED AWIL (Author) writes from London. He explains, “Normally, all poems recount a story. For me, my poems tell the story of my life, and recount whatever the moment brings. Once in a while that story is miserable, and here and there it is a happy one, however it is a story in any case. A considerable amount of the time, my stories are either something that has happened to me, or to somebody I know.”

Instagram: @scatteredscrawls

The Essence of Home

I wait to be recognised by the land that chewed them up and spit them out /

into cold black seas and winter nights in Heidelberg–  

Kismaayo. The humid heat of day time slumber–

 Mannheim. The birth of a child /

I look around and see the faces of those who saw their people slain.

A Submission 32 - asha nooh

I feel as though a snake’s skin shrouds me,

I can’t wait until it sheds,

paper thin flakes of sentiment depart,

I left it behind on the table of a house long forgotten,

Aqal Somali they call it,

I yearn for a life I’ve never known and will never know,

Yearn for the touch of tongues of my own blood,

Yearn for the understanding of a generation once removed,

Removed from home as they were,

by the sound of bullets and by festering, untreatable wounds within.

Even though they are the survivors,

The war,

it rings within my own ears sometimes,

Like the sound of endless waves lapping softly at feet crusted with salt water.

When I see faces of my own,

I wait a beat, a second beat, a third beat and a fourth,

I wait for souls of shrouded skin

blowing in

like east African sand.

I wait to be recognised by the land that chewed them up and spit them out

into cold black seas and winter nights in Heidelberg–

Kismaayo. The humid heat of day time slumber–

Mannheim. The birth of a child,

I look around and see the faces of those who saw their people slain.

Saw them impaled on walls of iron, blood crusted on mosque walls,

like abstract art.

The smell of betrayal, of rotting entrails, starvation, of emigration–

The sound of a dial tone brings me back,

It all went straight to voicemail.

 


ASHA NOOH (Photographer) is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She captures spaces around her with a focus on Landscape Photography in her hometown and other cities. She uses photography as a way to escape the busy day and to express herself. She is working on expanding her craft into film and graphic design.

HODO DARWISH (Writer) is a 20-year-old Economics student. She is a poetry enthusiast who aims to address topics such as displacement, diaspora, and equality within her writingIn fact, her inspiration for poetry stems from her late grandfather Cabdullahi Muuse, a renowned poet within the Somali communityShe aims to one day reside in Somalia and make a lasting impact through working with NGO’s and locals to empower and equip the next generation of leaders with the necessary tools to rebuild their home. 

Instagram: @cmysoulx 

Rites of Escapism

Rites of escapism02
There’s something so fascinating about bathroom lights at night, while ancient frankincense is burning, like soothing air, finding its way back home
The way spacious mood lifts life in stars closer to you; after a long relaxing bath
You feel empowered again
Hidden in this sacred space
A bit of self-love won’t hurt your selfless character
Escaping
Forever escaping
Reshaping your innermost precious
The inner child you lost in May
Is forever escaping
Slowly floating
Lending warm hands to our ghosts
Like when you try to juggle my planets in a game of laadhuu
I will cut my hands!
For I am the thief of my reality
Forever escaping
At least for now
To a temporal place
Not here
Where the birth of nicknames and tag-names come alive between tower blocks
For every roadman there’s a roadmap, reviving ancestral remembrance
I see
Young men on road
These roads don’t need man
Brother with a brother
Brother against a brother
Brother who forgot his brother
The smell of today is raging feet and ambiguous flavours
Flooded voices
A spring of screeching tones
Plunder a way in, right through dawn
Put on your specs and see the young that live difficult; and live not to look back
The vulnerable likes of
Weezy’s
Chipman’s, Inspecta’z
and
Creepa’z
The former
Abdi’s, Mahamoud’s and Khadar’s and more Abdi’s
run home like light bearing in hand, igniting pain in their environments
I’m tired of names that are lost above names, lost in translation, lost in the lanes of shotta’s, knife crime, gang-breeding and lowlife dhaqan celis-potters; they’re dreamers in the end!
Don’t judge before guidance
Invite silence sometimes
Pass mountains
Nostalgic gardens
What a tragic romance
Cul-de-sac
Tender conversations that mould into toxic subjects
We end up laughing about

Regretful years
Sliding
My tears are forever escaping
Going back
I remember the 90’s
When it was cool to have Tupac and Backstreet Boys posters in your bedroom
Now these walls are empty
And thoughts are vivid
Screaming more confusion
When my hands can’t spread their wings
Stiff, stuttering, suffering in stillness
Hoping for our shadows to speak our songs
Time flies, faithfully
Eyes swollen
Damp creases
Plastic water
I fear for the day that we won’t be able to leave our fossils for our children
Will our footprints be celebrated?
Somali flowers are kept for our future
Let us be
Our journeys
Until our names are remembered
And be open for the process of continuous pain, for it is unsealed like dragging a corpse with your teeth
Escape!
“Show me the way to go home”
“Show me the way to go home”
I woke up from a bad dream, folklore galore
I’m tired and I want to lay my mind at my feet
In uneven tension
What is perfection without the confidence of our imperfections
Be your hero today
If it must
We don’t know what’s next
Be your own decision maker
When the words of today make war between your native language and your diasporic/ given language
What would you save first?
Me against yesterday
I hope tomorrow will change
I hope tomorrow will be brave
I’m forever escaping, my child
Like sujood on rose petals
Pristine visions
Prisms of jewels
Invading giant spirits
Welcoming serenity
A safe shade for history and beyond, like herders in green loafers
You are meant to run for love
But if you can’t change it from a deeper self
Don’t change it all
I am forever escaping
My words burst for a thirsty spirit
So write to escape
Live to find, a brand new you


AHMED MAGARE (AUTHOR & ARTIST) is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, and writer and is a member of Birmingham-based international writers group, Writers Without Borders. He is originally from Somalia. He migrated with his family to the Netherlands during the Somali civil war, aged three. He lived with his family in the Netherlands for most of his teenage life and eventually decided to move to England to pursue his further education in creative arts. In his writing, he explores the notion of hyper-dislocation and the experience of living in the West, through the poetic and static lenses of self-reflection and perseverance. He navigates mentally between Somalia and living in the West, questioning the state of longing, belonging, and comments on sociopolitical and cultural subjects inhabiting the space of global Somalis.

Find Ahmed’s books on Amazon: When Heroes Hide Behind Curtain Ropes, and Vessels.

Dhiggeed Karroon iyo Dheeg Xasan

Hijabi

Ma ihi sidii hore, mana u dhawi sidaad igu taqaannay. Ma garan karo wax i beddelay. Qorshe la’aantaydan aad la yaaban tahay ma aha waxa keenay fikirkaygan bilaa xadka ah. Murugo ima hayso; mana faraxsani. Si baan ahay aanan ahaan jirin. Kollay waa iyada. Waxa sidan ii rog-rogay.

Dhabbada aan mari jiray markaan u socdo xagga dugsiga maanta waan beddeley. Marin aan marinkii ahayn iyo dariiq kale ayaan tallaabada ku xadaa. Gaabis uma dhalan mana aan habsaami jirin. Aniga ayaa wehelin jiray waardiyaha dugsiga aroorta hore ba. Munaasibado dugsigu ardayda u sameeyay waxa aan ku hantay kallahaadaydaa abaal marrinno dhawr ah. Laakiin maanta sidii aad igu taqaannay iyo si u dhow toonna ha iigu soo hagaagin.

Labo jeer, waa mar-mar e ayaa aan cantuugaa quraacda. Aalaa cantuugada danbe marka aan iyada xasuusto halkaa ay marayso ma dhaafto, haddii aan gacanta ku hayo na halkaan kasoo qaaday ayay si dhib yar ugu noqotaa. Waan soo baxaa, toos uma abbaaro dugsiga laakiin gurigooda ayaan si degganaan ku jirto ku sii maraa. Micnaha sida bukaanka ayaan u talaabsadaa. Bukaan socod ma ihi laakiin iyada ayaa iga dhigtay. Nasiib wanaaggayga subaxyada qaar waa aan la kulmaa, oo wadajir ayaannu ugu soconnaa xagaaa iyo dugsiga, halka subaxna ay soo yar habsaanto. Marka ay socodka igu wehelinayso waxa aan dareemaa farxad. Run ahaantii isma lihi waxa aad dareemi inta hadhay noloshaada. Waana dhab oo illaa hadda ma hayo mana helo. Ma arko mana dareemo rayn-rayntii iyo dhoollacaddayntii aan iyada la qaadan jiray.

Waxa aan iyada u hayay jacayl, xiiso iyo kalgacal aan xad lahayn laakiin waxa igu adkayd u sheego. Oo haddan u sheego waxa i bog dillaaciyay ee aan yartan u hayo ma gefbaa?! Maalin aannu ka wada qayb gelaynay munaasibad aniga, iyada iyo wiil kale oo soo kallahi jiray ayaa nala saaray bas. Anaga oo u raacnay goobtii munaasibaddu ka dhacaysay. Intii aanu baska saarnayn xageeda waxa iga xigay wiilkii kale. Waxa aan u dhiibay aleen [telephone] aan ugu qoray codsi ah in uu isoo beddelo. Ina rag damac iyo dacar midina ka ma dhammaato waa tii la odhan jiray e is adkayn xoogaa ah ka dib waa uu iga yeelay codsigii. Lix sano ka hor ayaa ay ahayd, waan la fadhiistay. Haa, oo waliba waa ay sheekaynaysay. Farxad, muxibbo iyo kalgacayl ayaa saaqay guud ahaan Jidhkayga. Malahayga aan is idhi iyada ayaa wadatay.

Maalin dhawayd nin ayaa lahaa “Haddii aad rabto in aad illowdo qof aad jeceshahay dil rejada oo jooji naawilaadda”

Cirku waa yar madow, cadceeddiina wali may dhicin. Casaan indhuhu jeclaysanayaan iyo daruur ayaa qariyay qayb ka mid ah cirka. Eedaan ayaa kusoo dhacaya dhagahayga, inkasta oo maanku ku xiiqay xasuusteeda haddana qalbigu u sheego dareenkaaga ayaa uu cod aad u hooseeya igu leeyahay. Salaaddii maqrib waa aan tukaday, wax aan tukaday se garan maayo, laakiin in aan iyada qaraaco ayaan ku hayay lubiga.

Dhiirranaan ah inaan banaanka usoo saaro waxa iga dhex guuxaya ma lihi. Inta aannu dharaarti wada soconno sheeko igu ma yara oo ma ihi nin u dhashay aamusnaanta, laakiin u tebi oo u sheeg jacaylkaaga sarbeeb ahaan iyo badheedh midna ma awoodo. Go’aan baan gaadhay ah in nin aannu saaxiib nahay i metalo; macnihii uu aniga iskakay dhigo. Qorshe ayaannu dhignay in uu isagu aleenka kala hadlo isaga oo codkiisa hoos u dhigaya anigana isu kay ekaysiinay si aanay u dareemin kadibna uu u sheego wax kasta oo aan iyada u hayo. La isbariidi una bandhig dareenka jacayl ee aan u hayo iyo beer-nugaylkaygii. Aqbashay oo la isfahan. Habeenkaana si wanaagsan kollay iyadu u seexatay.

Rayn-raynta midhihii ka soo baxay wadahadalkaa habeenka kama seexan, ma aan ladin wax hurdo ahna ma aan hawaysan. Inkasta oo xaggeeda sida uu qalbigu ileeyahay ay faraxsanayd si fiicanna u seexatay ma garanayo in uu been sheegayo e. Hiirtii waaga ayaa aan u baxay masjid, ka soo noqday. Deg-deg u xidh-xidhay una baxay dugsigii.

Xishood ayaa ila soo darsay, madaxayguna dharaartaa hoos ayaa uu ahaa. Wax ma dhigan mana aan daymoon baraha xaggiisa. Sidii ayaan kaga imi maalintaa dugsiga. Caado waxa noo ahayd in anaga oo lammaane ah kasoo rawaxno dugsiga. Laakiin dharaartaa kaligay ayaa jalaskaba ka horeeyay.

Talo iskuma kaa sheegto. Bila aadankuna uur-ku- baalle ma aha. Iimay sheegin in laacan aan arkayo uu jar dheeri ka hooseeyo. Aayar baa si yar oon dhib lahayn, hadal yar oo aan iyada dhibayn ay iigu sheegtay in la guursan doono. Waliba waxay ii raacisay in sida ugu dhakhsaha badan loo soo dooni doono.

Arrin ka weyn noloshayda ma arkin warkaasi. May ii sheegto mar hore go’aan ayaa aan gaadhi lahaa?! Oo ma qof aad jeclaataa go’aan laga gaadhaa. Adduunyadu waayo badanaa oo werwer iyo walaac badanaa. Maalin dhawayd nin ayaa lahaa “Haddii aad rabto in aad illowdo qof aad jeceshahay dil rejada oo jooji naawilaadda.” Inkasta oo aanan caloosha ka saari karayn hadana waa aan ku qasbanahay in aan illoobo. Kalmad aan meel halkeera ah maalin ka maqlay ayaa aan iyadana ku odhanayaa. “Nasiibkaygaa i nacaseeyaye, noolaada adiga iyo ninkaaguba.”


HIMILO DARWISH (ARTIST) is a 23 year old business student. She has been drawing since she can remember. Her artwork currently revolves around her identity as a Muslim, Somali, Black woman living in the UK. She resides in London.

Instagram: @dazmyart

CADNAAN MAXAMUD AXMED (Author) resides in Hargeisa, and graduated from high school this year. He is originally from Burao.

 

Retribution

My last few months as a citizen of the country were spent in an old industrial factory only about a mile from the southernmost edge of the border. Every day I would arrive to work at six in the morning and leave at six in the evening. I had a trusted friend there who would tell me about how other people escaped and helped me formulate the last details of my own Tahriib act.

A Submission 35 - Asha Nooh

Where I come from, no one ever gets their way. My life has been extremely lucky, but not one without sacrifice. Nothing but hatred comes from that wretched land; it barely qualifies as a nation. A false democracy permeates the unknowing atmosphere. Each and every year, the people democratically vote for their dictator; the only name on their ballots. He then continues to strip away civil rights, sanctify enslavement and puts his needs ahead of “his” people’s. It is amazing how this level of suppression is able to exist in the world. Even with such an air-tight seal on the country, government bodies around the planet have caught wind of the barbaric laws that exist there, and the crimes against humanity that they bring. The country’s motto was basically: No one in, no one out! I am one of the few who got out.

The words: “ALL CITIZENS MUST BAND TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THE REPUBLIC” are plastered in every direction one can look. My government would attempt to use propaganda to maintain their hold on the population, and only use brute force on those who decided to take action. We were being persuaded that we were on the “good” side, that everyone else is going to come invade soon and we must be ready. Nationalism is a funny, but powerful thing. People tend to agree that the side they’re on is the best no matter what. To this day, I am thankful that I was able to see through the veil of lies.

I was orphaned at a very young age. When I was 15, I began work. My many odd jobs allowed me to see the cracks that the system was built upon. There were people everywhere who hated their lives. They were forced to live through hard labor with no benefits because it was for “the good of the people,” all while seeing one man reap the benefits. At 18, my boss casually mentioned someone escaping the country. Over the next two years, that comment snowballed into a plan. As an unskilled worker, I had time to think while I worked in the mines, or in the fields or in the factories while I mindlessly completed my day’s task. It was not until last year that I set it in motion.  

My last few months as a citizen of the country were spent in an old industrial factory only about a mile from the southernmost edge of the border. Every day I would arrive to work at six in the morning and leave at six in the evening. I had a trusted friend there who would tell me about how other people escaped and helped me formulate the last details of my own Tahriib act.

With excitement I took one last look at my home and stepped into the water.

In order to leave, one has to physically cross the border. Obviously right? Well not quite. No planes go in or out, or cars, trucks or trains. The only way out was by foot and it was a long walk. The border was in the middle of an open plain with a body of water running along the side and not getting spotted by the literal thousands of guards patrolling the area while crossing the plain is the most difficult thing possible but I knew just how to get around it.

At this point, you might be wondering why more people weren’t leaving. Why my friend in the factory wasn’t joining me on my adventure. This is one of the most barbaric parts of living there. Your family and friends will all be punished for your crimes, including fleeing the country. Luckily for me, I had no one close to me. I moved around all my life and never made attachments. This is why I consider myself lucky.

Waking up extremely early, I started to do what I have always dreamed. There was a tiny creek that ran out into the river that stretched the open plain in my backyard. My brilliant plan was to swim to my freedom. Instead of meticulously creating a hatching a scheme to stealthily sneak around through the line of sight of the guards, I have been practicing holding my breath.

With excitement I took one last look at my home and stepped into the water. Once I was in, there was no way back, only forward. I swam beneath the surface for as long as I could in order to minimize my visibility. Every second my head was exposed to the air would increase my chance of getting caught. My determination drove me through. Swimming through that lake took almost two hours, and was the single hardest thing I have ever done, but I have not regretted it for a second.

Eventually, I made it to the other side. I ditched everything but my suitcase and ran like hell. Not once did I stop; I felt as if I were being chased even though every time I looked behind me no one was there to return my gaze. Once I made it to civilization, people realized where I had come from and wanted to hear all about me. This is the moment that I realized that exposing the conditions that I grew up in, and helping my people break the shackles of oppression is my next challenge. This is why I am sharing my story. I seek retribution upon those that have done me and my country wrong.


ASHA NOOH (Photographer) is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She captures spaces around her with a focus on Landscape Photography in her hometown and other cities. She uses photography as a way to escape the busy day and to express herself. She is working on expanding her craft into film and graphic design.

TIMIRO CAABI (Author) is a proud Somalilander artist, born and raised in Hargeisa. He wants to pursue a degree in architecture with minors mathematics and urban education policy. He wants to eliminate the gender inequality that plagues our education system, and believes such inequality to be setback for prosperity of the country. He wishes to use his gifts and talents to help his society.