Hinterlands

The girl, Hawa, had been lying there for a few hours. Her eyes calculatingly followed the shape of the overbearing yellow and orange cliff face to her right, that hung over the blinding Indian ocean, like a precariously leaning suicidal figure.

61 Suleman Hersi - Untitled image

.خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ

.وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ مِّن نَّارٍ

 

He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery.

And He created jinn from smokeless flames of fire.

                                            – The Holy Quran, 55:14-15

Qoraxle Beach, Berbera, Former British Somaliland
August 1991
The Present

In the searing heat of midday, a child lay hiding on the beach amongst the stench of her tribesmen’s bodies.

Qoraxle, a small port town in Berbera, was enshrouded by mountains, sea, sun and as far as the rest of Africa was concerned, a civil war. The villagers slept through the afternoon heat, yet the unifying call to prayer for Asr would resonate throughout the divided country and across the ocean soon. The red sullied sand of the beach spread in a curve until it dissipated into a far blur. There seemed to be no horizon, to the point where one could not discern where the empty sky and monotone sea met. The girl, Hawa, had been lying there for a few hours. Her eyes calculatingly followed the shape of the overbearing yellow and orange cliff face to her right, that hung over the blinding Indian ocean, like a precariously leaning suicidal figure.

The beach was eerily quiet.

A part of Hawa tore herself off the ground and stood up. She would rather jump off that cliff, than lie there waiting to be killed.

Her black hair was knotted with despair and sleeplessness, glowing a bronze and henna red in the relentless Somali sun. She wore a shiid coloured by age and blood, and a garabsaar that hung in cascading lines of orange off her hollow collarbone and jutting shoulders, far more animate in the wind than the sunset painted sea. She put her hands together in prayer, bringing her little henna tainted fingertips to her face, her nails clogged black with dirt and blood. There was a design of a small circle with little triangles dotting the circumference, printed on both her palms. An emblem of the sun, and the seal of her tribe.

Her desperate prayer was interrupted as somewhere in the distance she heard the crack of several AK47s. They had finally found her.

Qoraxle Hinterlands, Berbera, Former British Somaliland
August 1991
A Few Hours Ago

Hawa was lost in the mountains. She trudged aimlessly as she waited for the opaque sky and shadowy sea to give way to dawn break. As the shepherdess of her family, she usually left Qoraxle before dawn to take the sheep to graze in the mountains of the hinterlands. Yet something had gone precariously wrong, and despite the feeling of foreboding, she had continued down a path she had not taken before. Sleep weighing her down, she’d dozed off under a sparse tree as the sheep grazed. She had jolted awake as she became aware of an imminent eerie, permeating feeling casting over her like dark clouds suddenly rolling in and over themselves on an empty sky. Her limbs responded slowly at first, as if unwilling, and then she bolted up, seeing the sheep were gone.

She had felt a convulsive chill run through her and turned to see three red lines of henna engraved on the trunk of the tree. The marking of the Jinn. Everyone knew Jinn resided in the Qoraxle mountains. In her hasty escape, and simultaneous search for the sheep her family entrusted her with, she had also become lost herself.

Now Hawa wandered aimlessly, looking for Qoraxle. When the sun lit enough of the world around her, she decided to search for the nearest village. After a few hours walking inland she was surprised that she did not tire or grow thirsty. Hawa found the remnants of an abandoned nomad camp with three bul. It was as if the whole place was trapped in limbo.

Hawa, unsettled, was speeding through the campsite when she heard the crackle of a radio, playing eerily to no audience in particular. “-Qoraxle village has been bombed this morning by the regime. The hospital was the first to be targeted and reinforcements are too far away to arrive on time! Everybo-”

Before Hawa could even register a feeling of immense dread for what was happening to her town, the momentary palpable silence was disrupted by a sudden shaking of the earth in rippling waves that threw her into a sudden panic. It was a grenade, and close by. The abandoned camp was being targeted. The second blast uprooted the bul itself and Hawa could not even muster a scream before she was sent scattering like the gritty sand. Before the ringing subsided in her ears she saw two huge grimy vehicles roll up through the swirling smoke and dust. They came to a jolting stop so close to her little sprawled body Hawa felt they would run her over. There was a moment’s silence as the jeep and a large truck stopped, and Hawa dashed into the nearest bul, under cover of the flying dust.

She heard the car door open and dipped back behind the yellow cloth covering the mouth of the bul as what she assumed to be the leader barked an order. She supposed having found nothing, the men scuttled back into their vehicles. They started the engines again ready to speed on.

Hawa knew she would never make it to Qoraxle on foot, so she sprinted after the truck, leapt up, fingers clutching perilously at the edge, then leapt inside. She crept and crouched, hidden amongst the guns, bullets and munitions, under a hot plastic tarp. Hawa vowed she’d escape the second the truck paused.

Just as Hawa though the journey was never-ending, she peeped out of the tarpaulin to see they had stopped at Qoraxle Port, her home. Yet the bustling town port had been reduced to silence and was devoid of any human presence. The truck rolled up to the beach where it stopped. This was Hawa’s chance to escape. Flinging the tarpaulin over her head, she bolted out.

But not before she was spotted.

Qoraxle Beach, Berbera, Former British Somaliland
The Present

The sparse yet peppered sound of gunfire chased her. It came closer and closer, the silence punctuated by her own erratic heartbeat. All Hawa could hear was her own haggard breathing. There was nowhere to hide on the clear beach except amongst the dead bodies, so she plastered herself to the side of someone who could have been her uncle. She could taste the sweat, salt and soullessness emanating from his body, and although it made her gag, the idea of rotting along with the rest of these bodies murdered angered her more. Somewhere overhead, the manic shouts of one of the soldiers came closer and the stuttering of the gun became increasingly unstable, interrupted by bursts of noises escaping his mouth. Bile swirling in her stomach, she peeped over the corpse.

He made his way towards her.

Hawa prayed she had not been spotted and tried her best to play dead. The soldier gripped the previously aimless gun and held it with a new purpose. The guttural noises were within earshot, but combined with the garbled tone of his tribal dialect, Hawa could not discern what he was saying. The soldier’s eyes were too big for his head, in a way Hawa found scary and were darting around so fast his feet stumbled into the dead.

“Come out, child! There’s no fun in hiding amongst the dead when you’re still living.”

Hawa began shaking as if she was possessed.

The man had his back to Hawa and tripped over the body she was hiding behind, crashing into her. Desperate, she crawled out from under him and over stricken faces. Although she tried to avoid them, her fingers found grip in gaping gazes, mouths and wounds. She was expecting a bullet to embed itself in her small frame by the fifth body, but instead the soldier let loose another burst from his AK47 at an enemy that was not Hawa. She dived to the ground and saw that he had not, or could not see her.

The soldier ploughed on through the dead as Hawa was left behind, unnoticed and alive. Shaking uncontrollably now, Hawa felt the essence of her being flaring up. He was only a few metres away. Something had forced her to stagger up, blinking sand and dust from her eyes. From behind, he felt Hawa’s uncanny gaze fixated on him, burning the back of his head and boring into him hotter than the noon heat of the sun. He turned his head over his shoulder slowly, to meet eyes with what he had not seen earlier. His face contorted into an expression of genuine terror. He was not seeing her, but something else, something not yet diabolical. Screeching, he abandoned his gun, stumbling over the bodies and the phrase: “Jinn! Jinn!”

He ran back the way he came to the group of soldiers he had wandered from, repeating jinn until his voice went hoarse and out of earshot.

Hawa felt a sudden sense of relief, and felt some control over her limbs again. She did not know what had made her stand up so abruptly. She wondered why the soldier had thought that she was a jinn. Yet as she thought this, with a surmounting feeling of terror, she heard loud voices approaching. It was the hysterical soldier, with many chiding voices following, as he swore he had seen a possessed child on the beach.

Hawa could not outrun them. She let a sigh out into the wind and turned her face to the sun, her eyes closed, fingertips to her lips, hands cupped in prayer. She rubbed her face with a weariness far beyond her years and opened her eyes, bright spots of white light fluctuated before her. She realised what needed to be done, and no longer worried. Instead she thrust her orange garabsaar over her bony shoulder and looked to the precarious cliff from earlier.

It jutted out at an inviting angle.

Hawa was known as a fiery child, because of her henna-ember dyed hair and ambitious, independent attitude. And this time, she was determined to put out the flame of her soul in the bottom of the ocean before any enemy tribe or rogue militia would put a bullet through her temple. Taking matters into her own hands, Hawa’s small bare feet left behind red ribbons of blood as she made her way steadily to the top, her toes curling over the edge of the sharp cliff.

In uncensored ugliness, she saw now below a spectacular display of bodies. They were plagued by the militia, who were slowly making their way across the dumped bodies searching for her. They had AK47s on their backs, with cartridge belts strapped around their bodies. They rifled through the contents of their enemies’ pockets, stealing inflated money, false identification, imported watches and personal photographs of beloved family members. Hawa could not bring herself to be angry anymore. Resigned, she stood up and gathered her shiid in her fists instead.

In a local masjid a few kilometres down the beach the muezzin performed the third call to prayer for Asr, a holy and pure melody that echoed down the beach and reverberated through the blasphemous bodies of those both butchered and breathing, so that every man and woman, rich or poor, from the tribes of the Hawiye, Isaaq or Darood would wash their sins away with ritual ablution and lay their foreheads to the ground as one to ask Allah for forgiveness. The call continued:

“. . .  الفلاح حي على. حي على الصلاة

Hasten to prayer. Hasten to success . . .

The murderers below ignored and drowned it out with their own pillaging sound of sacrilegious success. Hawa looked down in disgust as one of the men below ripped apart the front of a mother’s shiid and prised something from around her neck. Hecelebrated by thrusting the glinting object up to the sky and the men around him congratulated him, slapping him in the back with a friendly nudge of their guns.

Hawa cried then, first because she felt she was the only human there that day, and secondly because she would also be the last. She felt the wind curl its long, slender and pointed fingers around her shiid, and flung her across the open space, out to the sea far enough so that when she washed ashore, her soul would have long departed from her. She imagined she fell with the grace and suppleness of angels, ready and accepting, and wished to be obliterated into nothingness in the water below.

As she crashed through the surface, the water clawed its way down her throat and settled in the cave of her lungs like a beast returning home. But she found herself not drowning, and instead she felt her body and garments slowly floating back up to the surface, despite her desperate attempt to sink lower. She thrashed and kicked so that the sea sucked her soul to the bottom, she breathed in so deeply she imagined she’d vacuumed the whole ocean into her little lungs, but her fiery attempt was put out by the force of the sea.

No matter what chance to embrace death came her way, it seemed she would not die.

Hawa did not know for how long she was underwater but she finally glided to the top, and her face broke the surface. Before she could notice the passage of time in the sky, she breathed the despised air, the heavy velvety blackness of the sky dotted with glittering sequences cast a revenant glow on her wide forehead and cheekbones. Hawa felt the cool air on her burning face and as she lay on undulating waves, she wondered why she was still alive, and could not help thinking that something had indeed been preventing her from dying.


Suleman Hersi (Photographer) is a 27 year old civil engineering student, who holds a BS in engineering. He has always enjoyed being creative, and has tried his hand at various art forms including poetry, short stories, rapping, and beat-boxing. Photography is a medium he returns to regularly. From 2013 to 2016, Suleman simply used his smartphone to capture images; by 2017 he found freelance photography work. His dream is to work as a concert photographer, as he enjoys the show energy and atmosphere. Suleman will travel to Somalia next year for photojournalism. He resides in Asker, Norway.

Instagram: @ihersi
Website: www.ihersi.com

Asma Ismail (Author) is 23 years old and lives in Birmingham, England. She works as an English teaching assistant in a secondary school. After completing her English and Creative Writing degree, she still hasn’t let go of her storytelling roots, and appreciates opportunities where she can share creative work that holds true to her culture and identity as a Somali.

Forbidden Fruit

Avocados and bananas spoil unless you coat them in lemon…

52 Ikram Ahmed - Untitled Image 1

Avocados and bananas spoil unless you coat them in lemon—

burning them a little so they become vigilant

& right their wrongs before Armageddon.

Karima signature


Ikram Ahmed (Photographer)

Instagram: @byikramnur

Karima Osman (Author) studies public health and medicine, and enjoys the art of poetry in her free time as a way to reconnect with her motherland, the nation of poets. She runs a blog, Nomadic Intuition, where she features her writing and has self-published a poetry chapbook in 2016. We hope you enjoy her words.

Instagram: @arim.ka 
Find Karima’s book, Bishara, at this link

Tabasho

Maahmaah tun weyn baa leh
Ninkastaaba tulud geela
Ama tiro wuxuu haysto

58 Suleman Hersi - Untitled (Merry go round)

Maahmaah tun weyn baa leh
Ninkastaaba tulud geela
Ama tiro wuxuu haysto
Ceel iyo darkii soo tub
Waana tabarta xeeshiisa
Halkuu dhigi tayuubkiisa
Tixda waxaan araartayda
Ugu ladhay tusaalaynta
Garashadu hasoo toosto
Tabashana wada gaadho
Tolka gebi ahaantoodba

Af dal dhan ah tilmaantiisa
Af dad dhan ah tiraabtiisa
Misna tebinta weedhiisa
Ninka tirin u xaydxayta
Badawnimo in loo tiirsho
Maskaxday kasoo tarantay
Inagaa tilmaantaas leh

Tabar duunyo lagu qaaday
Qof tiraab ku doondoonay
Tahli maayo helideedde
Qof wuxu ku tookhaayey
Tahanbaab la doonaaya
Intuu taag awoodaayo
Gomadaha ku tuuraaya
Hantidiisu tuug booba
Iyo telef ma waayeyso
Isaguna tafiir laawe

Teel teel u yaalkeena
Iyo beelo kala teedka
Taageero cadaw siinta
Walaalkana takoorkeenu
Kalsoonida wixii toogtey
Weeye tiray odhaahdeena

Af tubeec kusoo heesay
Gaariye tixraac suuban
Tuducyada kusoo qaatay
Tabantaabo helay waayo
Taariikhna geli waayey
Sow inuu dadkii tiirshay
Waa gartiise tebo maaha

Inagaa cidlada taagnay
Afka tahar ku sooryeynay
Inagaa markuu tiicay
Taageera garan waynay
Tiradeenu waa duul dhan
Taranteenu waa qoomam
Waxa tuulan dunideena
Afaf lagu tiraab sheegto
Luuqdeenu kuma taale
Caku tiro badnaanteena

Tebi oo ku baro diinta
Hanti weeye toolmoone
Ha is dhihin tacliintaadu
Weligeed ma toosayso
Jeeerood afkana tuurto
Taariikh hidde na laasho

Toosh iyo ka dhigo nuurba
Haka talin dhamaadkiisa
Waa taajka sumadeene
Tacadiga kadaa weedha
Ha turxaamin suugaanta
Talo iyo ka dheef waano
Dadka aad kasoo tarantay
Ruush iyo talyaan maaha
Carab iyo tigreey maaha
Ingiriisna kuma toostid

Soomaali baad tahaye
Ha tirtirin astaantaada
Halacsiga tigaad beeran
Waa tacab gadaashiisa
Inaguna tartami mayno
Afka oo tabaalaysan
Halkuu tegay asaageenu
Faca tiigsan kari mayno

Tarbiyee ilmaha waani
Tawxiid markuu qaybo
Iyo tiir islaamkeena
Afka hooyo waa taajir
Ilbaxnimo tubteedii dhe
Hanka toosi waa guule


Suleman Hersi (Photographer) is a 27 year old civil engineering student, who holds a BS in engineering. He has always enjoyed being creative, and has tried his hand at various art forms including poetry, short stories, rapping, and beat-boxing. Photography is a medium he returns to regularly. From 2013 to 2016, Suleman simply used his smartphone to capture images; by 2017 he found freelance photography work. His dream is to work as a concert photographer, as he enjoys the show energy and atmosphere. Suleman will travel to Somalia next year for photojournalism. He resides in Asker, Norway.

Instagram: @ihersi
Website: www.ihersi.com

Maariya Cisman (Author): “Magacaygu waa Maariya Cismaan Maxamed joogta Boorama  waxan ku dhashay magaalada Burco sannaddii 1996-dii, halkaas ayaanan ku barbaaray 2012 ayaan dhammeeyey waxbarashada dugsiga dhexe, isla 2012 ayaan usoo wareegay magaalada hargaysa halkaas oo aan ka bilaabay waxbarashada dugsiga sarre.
Sannadii 2016-kii ayaan qaatay shahaadda dugsiga sarre, waxaanan jaamacada camuud ee magaalada boorama ka bilaabay cilmiga shaybaadhkha. Welina waan wadaa, waxaan ahay hal-abuur afka hooyo ku gabya.”

Facebook: @maria.osman.33
Instagram: @MaariyaCisman

Birthyear

In the afternoon black was worn for your engagement  
Clean, smooth black like the faces circled around you, the groom to be
Prayers were recited as the wind blessed your new beginning

23 Sumaya Mohamed

The year started with a whimper
A soft cry barely heard or understood
In the morning white was worn
Clean and spotless for a funeral
Your body beneath my feet covered in a white shroud
Began to change in color as we threw dust and earth upon it
Your body seemed so small, was all I could think–
Soft
Delicate
Beautiful
Prayers were recited as the earth celebrated your homecoming

In the afternoon black was worn for your engagement
Clean, smooth black like the faces circled around you, the groom to be
Prayers were recited as the wind blessed your new beginning
The seasons come and go with vibrant colors
The moods circle around increasing and decreasing in volume
Prayers recited in between poetry and songs sung

In the evening a child was born
Blue was worn like the storm clouds gathering after the sunset
As rain pounded between leaves and pavement as I cried
My cry an entrance to this world
The rain poured for me cleansing those around me who watched
How small and fragile I looked


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring visual artist currently based in Bosaso, and roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Ali Hagi (Author) is a Somali male living in San Diego, California. He is 28 years of age and was born in Qooryooley, Somalia during the civil war. His family fled and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya until they were granted entrance to the US as refugees in 1993. Ali took some time off from school to find his place and figure things out. He is now pursuing a Bachelors degree in English Literature, Insha’Allah. Ali is an avid reader and writer and has been writing poetry from a young age. He takes inspiration from poets he reads as well as the stories and poetry of his grandfather, Muhammad Omar Dage, a renowned poet in his own right. Ali plans to pursue a career in writing and publish a collection of poetry as well as a novel in the near future, Insha’Allah.

 

Poem, Untitled (1)

Inta dhimirka waalida
Dhaban dhaabay suuqyada
Inta maanku dheeliyee
aan  wali hugii dhigan

21 Sumaya Mohamed

Inta dhimirka waalida
Dhaban dhaabay suuqyada
Inta maanku dheeliyee
aan  wali hugii dhigan
Inta guri dhex joogtee
Aan cidiba dhaadayn
Inta dhibic yar uun qabee
Lagu dhibayo suuqyada
Inta magac dhibsanaysee
Dhagta loogu ridayuun
Inta ay dhalaan yari
Ka dhaarsheen inuu lado
Intaan dhuuni helinee
Dhawr caano maal qada
Inta dhaxanta jiiftee
Dhulku gogol u yahay uun
Inta dhibicda roobkiyo
Dabayluhu dharkood yahay
Inta dhaqashadoodii
Dibad yaalka laga dhigay
Waxba may dhitaysane
Wali hooy ma dhaadoo
Dhaayaha ma saartoo
Maku dhibay dhibkoodani???


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring visual artist currently based in Bosaso, and roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Naaima Abdi (Author): “Waxaan ku barbaaray dalka Jarmalka, waxaan kusoo noolaa isagana dalka UK, imikana waxaan si rasmi ah u dagnahay Hargeisa, hal-abuurka ama qorida maqaalo iyo maansooyin u badan hogol tusaalayn, waa ii hobby ama maararow, waxaan inta badn ku cabiraa aragtidayda ku waajahan duruufaha kala duwan ee bulshada soo waajaha, sida baahi, xanuun, i.w.m.”

Instagram: @na_poetry

مكتوب (Maktub)

Nothing of our circumstance is convenient.
But if a river didn’t flow steady, I wouldn’t drink from it.
& if the ocean always drew closer to the sun in her waves,
the people on boats would grieve.

Processed with VSCO with tech preset

Do you see this green stem?
How can they reason that the water from the soil travels up,
If they can’t believe that we, too, will one day ascend?

& do they not know that the rain that comes down
brings with it, the whisperings of our dead?
drops of acid rain to hiss at our ancestral mistakes. 

Do you see that the sheep does not fear the pious farmer,
Even as he brings forth his sharpened tool?
The sheep knows well what is to come,
& even when the flock runs, it stays.

For the prayers recited before it’s slain will stretch themselves
into a cloak of protection on judgment day.
An atom’s weight of good can go a long way,
& this sheep knows what route is best to follow.
What is a death ordained by the pious farmer,
but a life simply tracing its destiny with the ink of honor?

***

Look at me. No, not with your eyes.
Don’t you recognize me from a past life?
Nothing of our circumstance is convenient.
But if a river didn’t flow steady, I wouldn’t drink from it.
& if the ocean always drew closer to the sun in her waves,
the people on boats would grieve.

We are born of different garments but of the same cloth,
the colors of your wisdom harmonize with the patterns of my complexity,
we pass on these garments to clothe our children and their children.
What greater thing to have in common,
than the thread that weaves through our carpet?
Like the one in my mother’s living room,
It possesses a beauty that invokes the might of sand and bottles of perfume,
for the soldier who touches it in Burma,
& the maid who sweeps over it in Khartoum. 

When tea with sugar is offered to you, remember me.
You are bound to no one, so live freely, but you’re a person of their word,
and it is you who proclaimed that
the sun doesn’t shift from its axis.
So, until you recite otherwise, I will trust it–
awaiting the day when sun meets ocean in a sunset decreed.

Karima signature


Suleman Hersi (Photographer) is a 27 year old civil engineering student, who holds a BS in engineering. He has always enjoyed being creative, and has tried his hand at various art forms including poetry, short stories, rapping, and beat-boxing. Photography is a medium he returns to regularly. From 2013 to 2016, Suleman simply used his smartphone to capture images; by 2017 he found freelance photography work. His dream is to work as a concert photographer, as he enjoys the show energy and atmosphere. Suleman will travel to Somalia next year for photojournalism. He resides in Asker, Norway.

Instagram: @ihersi
Website: www.ihersi.com

Karima Osman (Author) studies public health and medicine, and enjoys the art of poetry in her free time as a way to reconnect with her motherland, the nation of poets. She runs a blog, Nomadic Intuition, where she features her writing and has self-published a poetry chapbook in 2016.

Instagram: @arim.ka 
Find Karima’s book, Bishara, at this link.

Dibba u Murmi Mayno

Aar na dhagayso oo waa dambiye. Maadaama aanu qofku iskii u dambaabin, miyaanay cadayn marka uu dambaabayo in shookaanta loo hayo?

53 Ikram Ahmed - Untitled Image 2

Axmed, Cali iyo Xamse. Marka la shaahayo wax laga doodo lama waayo.

Kabihii inta uu baalashaystay ayay labadoodiiba Axmed soo raaceen. Maqaaxi kuraastu cuslaysay, dadkuna kuraasta cusleeyeen ayay meel gees ah, saddex kursi u la baxeen. Labaduba inta ay dhanka wadada u jeesteen ayuu Axmed na ka soo horjeestay. Isagu badanaa wadada dhabarka ayuu u jeediyaa. Dhawr jeerna saaxiibadii waxa uu kula taliyay in ay iyaguna ka jeestaan. Laakiin rag dhagaystaba ma yihiin. “Waar naga hor kac niyaw aanu indhaha magaalada u qaybinnee.” Ma iyagaaba boodhka gawaadhida soo doonan lahaa, haddii aanay dan kale u socon.

Inta uu kabbo shaah ah dhuunta mariyay, ayuu cod la wada maqlayo ku yidhi “Acuudubilaah… Waar qoftaa na dambaajisay maxay ahayd, Xamse.” Waligood laba erey isku waafaqay ma aha e, waa kaa jikaar ku bilaabay. “Jaw, marka aad labada indhood inantii dariiqa soo martaba ka dhex saarto ayaad waxaa ku andacootaa. Waa midhkaan kugu dhaamo. Kolay waan kaa dambi yarahay.” Muran qadhaadh baa ka dhex bilaabmay, Axmed na waa isku daawaday. “Oo indhahayaga saw iyadu ma soo doonan, Shaahayagaasaannu iska fiiqsanaynaye.”  “Alla indho adakidaa niyaw, maad iska qiratid sidayda. Hadhowna hoosta ka astaaqfuralaysatid.” Mar dambe ayuu Xamse dhankii Axmed u soo jeestay. “Waar Axmed, xagga diinta adaa nagaga wanaagsane, dee ninkan wax u sheeg.”

“Ar kan naga daa niyaw, iminkuu khudbaddii jimcaha noo soo qadimayaaye.” Cali baa la soo booday. “Ar khudbadda wa…. Ar ninka dhagayso niyaw.”

Axmed iyo Cali baa loo kala baxay, Xamsena maqalka ayuu ugu deeqay.

Horta marka hore qofku iskii dambi ugu ma dhaco. Ileen waa dambiye. Miyaanay dambi ahayn. “Ar dambina ma aha e, ishu baalashka waa isaga baahan tahaye!” Aar na dhagayso oo waa dambiye. Maadaama aanu qofku iskii u dambaabin, miyaanay cadayn marka uu dambaabayo in shookaanta loo hayo. Haa dheh dee. Markaa, marka aad inantaa isha ka baalashaynayso, saw iyana ma cadda in shookaanta laguu hayo. Haa dee, way cad dahay. Sawdigan marka aad il weyn cabbaar kusii eegto la soo boodaya. “Acuudu bilaahi mina shaydaani rajiim.” Intaa miyaanad iskaga eeryin marka aad aragto in uu kula fogaaday. Waar nooga deg gaadhiga oo farsamaysan weeye dee. “Waar adaaba gaadhi kale na saaraye.” Horta i dhigayso dee kuuma dhamayn e. Anigu kaligaa qaladka kuma saarayo. Ragga oo kaliyana ma abbaarayo. Hablaha laftooda qaar badan oo ka mid ah, shookaan baasta iyaba waa loo hayaa.

Waliba iyaga waxoodu shookaanba ma aha e, la taliye khaas ah ayay lee yihiin. Albaabkaa ka bax marka ay is tidhaahdo ayay kusoo xaadiraan baan is idhi, inta kale mooji. “Oo Ileen waa waxan ay la raagaan. Mid baad la balamaysaayoo saacad ka dib xiligii balanta ayay kuu imanaysaa.” Niyaw maad na dhagaysan. “Haa.” Ileen waa la taliye xariif ahe wuxu ugu soo gabogabeeyo miyaad taqaannaa. “May.” Si ay Quruxdaadu u muuqato, barta aad u qurux badan tahay uun, dadka ku walacso. Ilaahayna dee, mid ba meel buu quruxda u galiyaye ma ogtahay. “Haaye adigu maxaad ugu diidaysaa in ay habluhu quruxdooda muujiyaan.” Waar niyaw maad na dhagaysan, quruxda hablaha malaha faderaal la wada lee yahay baad u haysataaye. Marka inantaas uu quruxdeedii banaanka keenay ku soo hormariyo, dee adna waa kaa diirad qaloocda kuu saaray ee ku yidhi indhaha ayaad baalashaynaysaa! “Markaa ma intaas oo kaliya baa.” Maya walaal e, miyaanad maqal ‘wax kastaba isha ayaa macalin ah.’ “Haa.” Dee hadda waa barqo e, immisa habeen ayaad mid ku waydaaratay ka daba kacday. “Tiro ma leh.” Aan kuusii wado e, marka aad ku murantaan xumaha hablahaa u horseeda oo quraarad cadar ah inta ay isku jebiyaan suuqa lugeeya iyo Ragga ayaa indho bahal leh oo hammuun baas qaba, miyaanay u ekayn in dirawalkani inta uu baabuurtiina isku duqeeyay idinka dhex baxay. Haa dheh dee, ha yaabine. Markaa maxaad hablaha qaladka u saari, oo aad isaga reebi. “Waar kan raggaa waalan ku dooodayaa iga daran e.”

Wali ma maqashay qofkaa hebel waa lasoo riday. “Haa, anaaba arkay mid sida falaadha ridan, oo isaga oo aan dhag la qabto lahayn daf kusoo odhanaya, sidii daadkii xaabaale.” Walaal waynu wada ridan nahay hadaba. Masaa’ibtaa inna ridaysa uun aynu iska qabanno. Bes. Dibba u murmi mayno.


Ikram Ahmed (Photographer)

Instagram: @byikramnur

Abdirahman Jazeera (Author): “Waxa aan ku barbaaray magaalooyinka Burco, Berbera iyo Hargeisa. Haddana waxa aan ku noolahay magaalada Boorama. Waxa aan cilmiga shaybaadhka ka bartaa jaamacadda Camuud. Dibba u Murmi Mayno, waa sheekadii u horaysay ee aan qoro.”

Poem, Untitled (2)

Gadgadoonka waayaha
Xiliyada is garab yaal
Haddii uu garaadkaa
Maankaagu gaabshoo
Gaadhi waayo meeshii
Naftu kuu galbineysoo
Hakad uu kusoo galo
Ha giriifin noloshee

19 Sumaya Mohamed

Gadgadoonka waayaha
Xiliyada is garab yaal
Haddii uu garaadkaa
Maankaagu gaabshoo
Gaadhi waayo meeshii
Naftu kuu galbineysoo
Hakad uu kusoo galo
Ha giriifin noloshee

Geenyada jareysoo
Godkii hore ka digo rogo
Gobolkuba haduu dumo
Galbis weeye maantaas
Iyo waxaan lasoo gocan
Waagii soo guduutana
Yi’ didiilo gaariyo
Waa nasiib kusoo galee
Haka gaabsan hanashada
Gunta dhiisha uga tolo
Shalay galab wixii tagay
Weligaa hasoo gocan


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring visual artist currently based in Bosaso, and roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Naaima Abdi (Author): “Waxaan ku barbaaray dalka Jarmalka, waxaan kusoo noolaa isagana dalka UK, imikana waxaan si rasmi ah u dagnahay Hargeisa, hal-abuurka ama qorida maqaalo iyo maansooyin u badan hogol tusaalayn, waa ii hobby ama maararow, waxaan inta badn ku cabiraa aragtidayda ku waajahan duruufaha kala duwan ee bulshada soo waajaha, sida baahi, xanuun, i.w.m.”

Instagram: @na_poetry

Where shall we hide?

be careful now…
for the trees are no longer safe.
You fled
seeking a sense of belonging

24 Sumaya Mohamed

Dear Hooyo,
I remember your sad tale of escape
where those cruel eyes hid in the darkness
awaiting your slumber,
be careful now…
for the trees are no longer safe.
You fled
seeking a sense of belonging
with only your identity as your prized possession.

Teaching us our mother tongue
you gave each of us the gift of Dhaqan (Somali culture).

But mama,
“look over there.”
the familiar torment has made a wicked return.
Those sworn to protect us are no longer a safe
alliance,
our existence is now an absent thought for many .

As we flee from our shelters,
where we got a taste of your childhood.

I ask you
Where shall we hide Hooyo?


Sumaya Mohamed (Photographer) is an aspiring photographer and visual artist currently residing in Bosaso, but roaming around Somalia. Her images portray everyday life in the motherland.

Instagram: @svmaya

Aftha Ayan (Author) writes poetry daily. She is an English teacher of adults, and in her spare time writes and reads books. Aftha has completed a BA in English Literature and PGCE in English/ESOL. She lives in Manchester, UK where she was born and bred.

Instagram: @alyanur._