Reaching the West (Tahriib)

Oh media, we have no knowledge except that which you’ve bestowed upon us! Their truth remains stained by your falsified fiction; in the Society of the Concealed Sun, the shadows provide the only truth you know.

A Submission 25 -

  1. The nomads crossing seas represent not merely the uneasy equilibrium of their ancestral lands; they embody the continuing pain of change in its purest process, passing borders and human boundaries, carrying rose-watered tears of intertwining, individual hopes and familial aspirations, opening the doors of interconnectivity between billions of singularities.
  2. However, the changing political climate of the accumulative western masses, much like the weather of Denmark, remains clouded, rainy, and stormed by a prejudice, disguising the abrupt melancholy of the sun’s children, abandoned by their mother, and left in the darkness, exhaling in sadness, as she exhaled a soured smell.
  3. Upon arrival, the fleeing children inhale the oppressive smog in unison, realising; that they will never be as deeply, as solemnly, and as brazenly free as they were in the “motherland.” Nationalist fears and phobia, imprisons them systematically, evidently, judging and jailing the frozen bodies of southern folk, with misery gleaming in their eyes as they reach the West.
  4. The refugees, the ultimate recipients of deaf Western ears, live in fear since there is no solace to be awaited at these gates of “Paradise.” They’ve been battered and bruised and accused of being the plague, as they beg for safe passage, and as the ebbing tides of humanitarians’ hearts shift, harden, and transmute into rocks, some even harder.
  5. If they felt the wandering souls’ pain, if they realized that the minority does not erode the majority, could something change in The Normative Mind? Nevertheless, they remain quiet; a society shall not discredit its own. They shall distance themselves, while the media dictates our differences; so, they say all glory belongs to you, media!
  6. Oh media, we have no knowledge except that which you’ve bestowed upon us! Their truth remains stained by your falsified fiction; in the Society of the Concealed Sun, the shadows provide the only truth you know. And fear is accompanied by ignorance and collective hatred bleeding into one another: potent like the poisoned milk of broken mothers, it nurtures a new cycle of change.

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

Instagram: @fvrdosa
Twitter: @fvrdosa

YAQUB MU’MIN TOXOW (Author) is a Danish-Somali poet and community activist engaged in issues of contemporary immigration, intersectional oppression, and social mobility.

Instagram: @muuminos

Warda Means Rose

In the evening she would return home to prepare dinner for Quran saar, swift fix to the supposed jinn residing in my body. There were endless hours of sitting, encircled by sheikhs, learned men with lengthy beards, some dyed orange red and others plainly gray.

A Submission 29

The man wearing the white jacket was much older this time. He dragged a wooden chair out in front of me and sat still. White papers hung onto his clipboard, a thin pen held over his right knee.

He smiled while studying my face. On his were wrinkles at every patch of brown skin. I thought of Awoowe, his gentle smile and frail body lying across my mother’s bed. The final hours of his life shrinking him away till he could take no more breaths.

“Warda, my girl. Thank you for seeing me. Can you tell me when you last received treatment?”

His smile was gone and the kindness in his eyes evaporated. I should have known him to be another informant, greedy for my secrets. I wouldn’t share a thing this time.

He peered down at the papers, flipping back and forth between them.

“It says you were on your own for some time.” Another smile, “Kaaligatha iiyo Kariimka…”

Just you and your Most Generous God.

It had been years since I heard that last.

My Hooyo came to mind. In the afternoons she fed me. After I would watch her small silhouette behind the beige and white dotted curtain beside my bed. She would roam around the home, holding sweet incense to every corner. Last was a gentle kiss over my head as she left me alone to my thoughts.

Back then the voices were less lethal:

“Why has she left you to yourself again?”

“She won’t come back this time.”

“They’re coming to get you.”

“You’ll be dead before you know it.”

Hooyo despised my illness and blamed it on the evil eye. Other days, on the jinn.

In the evening she would return home to prepare dinner for Quran saar, swift fix to the supposed jinn residing in my body. There were endless hours of sitting, encircled by sheikhs, learned men with lengthy beards, some dyed orange red and others plainly gray.

Ayats free falling from their lips. Some voices like thunder and others soft as velvet.

“When did your mother pass?” the old man asked me from his chair.

My eyes searched the room until I found her at the back, carrying the same incense in her hands, swaying alongside the smoke. She stopped suddenly,  to stare at me.

“She’s there, just behind you.” I told him. The old man turned back around.

“Don’t you see her? Don’t you smell it?”

“Smell what?” The old man asked.

Hooyo held a finger to her lips before slipping into the hall, leaving a trail of smoke behind her. She would return again when mentioned by name.

“You just missed her.”

The old man frowned and scribbled things onto his white papers. He was displeased at her leaving.

“Don’t worry, she’ll return soon. She always does.”


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

Instagram: @fvrdosa
Twitter: @fvrdosa

HALIMA HAGI-MOHAMED (Author) is a Somali-American writer. She was born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in Fresno, California. Her writing deals with themes of family, mental health, identity, and religion. Last year she published her first book of short stories titled Amilah.

Halima’s short stories can be found at halimawrites.com
Instagram: @halimawrites

Aamusnidu waa hadal

You can listen to Yahye Yeebaash read this poem here:

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Maalmuhu isniin iyo
Axad iyo salaasiyo
Arbiciyo mid weeyaan,
Iyagay isku uruuro
Hadba wiiga ugubiyo
Bilo aadmi sheegtiyo
Cimrigiyo awaashiyo
Qarniyada amaamuda.
Ayaamaha laftooduna
Afarqaadka mirirkiyo
Saacadaha idlaadiyo
Sikin kaa ordaayay
Abtirsiinta sheegtaan

Ha-yeeshee Ifraaxeey
Nin intaa is dhawraa
Aakhiro badbaadoo
Sida aad adduunyada
Uga eed baxdaabaa
Rabbi kuu ilaashaa

Wakhtiguna ayaantaad
Farxad ubax barwaaqada
Ku il-doogsanaysuu
Orod iyo xawaaraha
Kabti kugu ag dhaafa
Marka aad se urugiyo
Murugiyo assay iyo
Aramida guraysuu
Kolba aadyar luudaa

Ifku waa sir iyo caad
Intan aad arkaysana
Inta aad ilduuftee
Ishu dhaadi waydaa
Afar laab ka badanoo,
Uurkuna dareenkuu
Afka sheeg idhaahdaaa
Inta uu ka oodmee
Ereyada u waayaa
Kollay aad u badanoo
Aamusniduba waa hadal
La adeegsi bido goor
Hadal kuu istaadhmayn!

Anna saaka beerkaan
Muddo seexo idhibaa
Igu laba kacleeyoo
Markuu aamu diidaan
Tixda arar la sheegiyo
Maansada abuuraa,
Marka uurku ooyaa
Gabayguna ilmeeyaa

Sababbuu ilaahay
Muslin qira arkaantiyo
Kaaga dhigay Islaamoo

Sababbuu ilaahay
Soomaali awr-liyo
Kaaga dhashay abkaaso

Sababbuu ilaahay
Ruux iskii u nool iyo
Iinsaan kas diririyo
Karaamada qof aadmiya
Kaaga duway aboor iyo
Abeesiyo dugaagee,

Dadka oo iimaankiyo
Ashahaadda qirayaa
Marka ay kun iiniyo
Kuman eexa dhaartaan
Ibna aadan sheekiyo
Anigiyo anaan odhan
Ku illaabo garashada
Xaqqu waa alliyo nebi
Ka adkoow odhaahdood.

Marka gaal itaashado
Inta nool jidhkaagee
Agabkuu sameeyaa
Adigoo kobtaadiyo
Arabsiyo kolkaa degay
Waxa jira Almaaniya
Kugu eegmo geeyaan
Indhow-garaad layaabiyo
Argagaxa la saro kaco
Sirtu waa aqoontiyo
Alif iyo wax maalaha

Asalkay lahayd iyo
Dunjigay ku ahabtee,
Marka qolo asqawdaa
Usha qabato diintee
Qolo kale ayaan iyo
U awoodo sheegtaan
Qolo kale iftiin iyo
U astaamo sheegtaan

Inkiraadda qolo kale
Ku awaajji faafshaan
Ninba gaar si araggii
Aayadaha u kala guro,
Duco waa allow sahal
istiqfaartu waa diin

Iglan waa maraykane
Kolka ay israa’iil
Labadaba afkood tahay
Carabtiyo imaaraad
Inta laysu daba maro
Midba agab kasoo gado
Iiraanna lagu diro
Falasdiin la iibsado
Afrikaanna sheekiyo
Ictiraafka lagu sabo
Waa been nin aakee (A-K)
Kugu yidhi itaashee,
Jihaad waa af xilashada
Akhriskiyo qoraalkiyo
Qalinkiyo adeegsiga

Ururada qabiilkee
Loogu eexdo beeluhu,
Kolka gelin axsaab iyo
Qaran loo abaabulo,
Duqaydiyo islaamaha,
Ubadkiyo caruuraha,
Inta loo tollaay dhaho,
Anbabaxa daraddii
Ammin loo dedaal falo,
Kolka loo ansixiyee
Xilka loo agaasimo,
Iskaddaa cid kale oo
Abtigiis dharaartuu
Inyar oo caddaalada
Idilkeed ka laayahay,
Hays odhan is-biimee

Duul wada asqoobaa
Kaa awtay dhegehee
Ashtakada hasii badin
Aadna haw calaaclin
arligiyo dhulkaagana
oday kaa tegaayiyo
haw nicin afmiinshaar
abidkaa ha niyad jabin
mabda’aaga ku adkow

Axda iyo xanuunkiyo
Alwadkiyo baroortaa
Dadka qaar u iidoo,
Markaad Aah tidhaahdeed
Igaddaa dhawaaqday
Usha kula dhacaanoo
Looma ooyo ruuxaan
Ilmadaada dhabankiyo
U qalmaynin urugada


GOULED AHMED (Artist) produces creative photography, both composed and candid, as featured on his Instagram account, @xawaashking

YAHYE YEEBAASH (Author) is a home-grown Somali poet who studies Medicine as a profession. He started writing his first spoken word poetry at the age of 16. Since then, his work has focused on youth issues as he conducts many events all over the country. He is the producer of a TV and web series called Sirta Nolosha and he is also leading a creative campaign (Hal-abuur) which nurtures the poetic talents of high school students.

Facebook: @yaxye.yeebaash
Instagram: @YaxyeYeebaash
Twitter: @YaxyeYeebaash

 

Hoyoo Ma Talo

Jilbabi

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She went to buy some milk,

left the war and now her keys are by the kitchen sink.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She forgot to say bye,

walked away from the TV, tribal cries.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

Abo waved me off again.

Eyes glued to Horn Cable; politics begins.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

I lost my Hoyoo, Abo where is she?

She’s in her room. He’s pointing.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

I refuse to pick up the phone,

all I see is flaming-orange handprints on the walls,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

The floors littered with her dahaab,

all from her hustle and my lack of adab.

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She tells me her stories-

Tahrib from Hargeisa, Djibouti, Syria and Turkey,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

She lost them all young.

The war that took everyone,

Hoyoo Ma Talo.

Ayeeyo Ma Talo.

Haboo Ma Talo.


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

FATHA HASSAN (Writer) is a Creative Writing and English Literature graduate, born and raised in London. She loved writing after discovering her talents while studying in university. She now hopes to finish and publish the novel she started as part of her dissertation.

Instagram: @fathaaaonline

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.