ogaan

“We were both born in the same year in Dadaab Refugee Camp and are both 19 years old. We spent some time getting to know each other and fell in love. We then got married and are now expecting our first child. In Dadaab, once you make a family, you are more respected. Before we were known as two individuals, now we are known as one family unit, and that brings so many blessings and tranquillity in our lives, to be united as one family unit. I’ve learned so much from marriage, and that balance is crucial. They say that marriage is like putting your hand in a dark hole; you don’t know what you will get. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, one should keep trying until they find their compatible partner. There’s always someone out there for everyone. We both love each other very much, and without love and compatibility, you won’t have a base to stand on. I know that in the Dadaab Refugee Camp, it’s quite difficult to raise a family with quality but we don’t mind as long we got each other.”

(Dadaab Refugee Camp)

“Waxaanu ku dhalanay xeradda qaxootiga ee Dhadhaab isku sannad. Hadda waxaanu nahay 19-jir. Waxaanu wakhti ku qaadanay in aanu si wacan isu baranao, markaas kadib waxaa na dhexmaray jacayl. Muddo kadib waxaanu go’aan ku gaarnay in aanu is guursano, hadana waxaanu sugayna Insha’Allaah ilmahayagii curad. Halkan xerrada Dhadhaab marka aad qoys dhisto waxaad helaysaa ixtiraam ka badan kii hore aad ugu dhex haysatay bulshada. Markii waxaa lanoo yaqaanay shakhsi shakhsi hadana waxaanu noqonay qoys dadkuna waxay noo yaqaanaan hal qoys. Tani waxay nagu soo kordhisay in aanu noloshayada farxad, nimco iyo  deganaansho ah ah ku nolaano.  In aanu nolosha ku midowno isla markaana noqono hal qoys waxbadan ayaan ka baranay guurka. Waa in aad deganaan yeelato. Soomaalidu waxay tiraahda, guurku waa sidii qof god madow gacanta geliyey mana ogaan kartid waxa kaga soo baxi doona. Marmar waad ku guulaysanaysa marmarna sidaad jeclayd kugu shaqayn maayo, qofku waa inuu sugo inta uu ka helayo qof ku haboon inuu nolosha la qaybsado. Inta badan qofka aad nolosha la qaybsanaysa waad helaysa. Annagu aad baanu isu jecelnahay, jacayl  iyo wadajir la’aantood nolshaada heli maysid degenaansho. Waan ognahay xeradda qaxootiga ee Dhadhaab in ay adagtahay in sidii  qoys tayo wacan loo dhisto laakiin maadama aanu is helnay midaas hada dan kama lihin.”

(Xerada qaxootiga ee Dhadhaab)

“Going back to Somalia was both one of my happiest and at the same time saddest life experiences. I was happy to go back to Somalia after a decade living in the West. You see, I left home at an early age as a child, and now I’m a grown man. However, my return became also one of the saddest moment of my life because I didn’t get the chance to see my mother. She sadly passed away four months before I decided to go back to Somalia. (May Allah have mercy on her). It’s funny how we plan and plan delay and delay but you never know the changes you will miss. You see, I was contemplating on going back for nearly 2 and half years. My first attempt was in 2015, but it didn’t work out as I was in high school at the time and had no money. I pledged to go next year as I attended college. I was extremely excited as I was going to see my mother and excitedly told my father and aunt. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, so I deferred my plans once again. After my mother’s death, I pushed myself to go because I got accepted into a program that would force me not to trave for at least two years. Even though I couldn’t see her face, I managed to visit my ailing grandmother who raised me when I was young. She was extremely old and but temporarily recovered once I arrived. It was a journey of mixed experience, but I’m more optimistic and determined to make more frequent trips back home and give back.“

(Minneapolis, United States)

“In aan ku noqdo Soomaaliya waxay ii ahayd mid ka mid ah wakhtiyadii igu farxada badnaa hadana igu naxdinta badnaa noloshayda. Waan ku faraxsana in aan Soomaaliya ku noqdo anigoo ku noolaa dhanka galbeedka muddo gaadhaysa 10 sanno. Waad aragtaa wadankii waxaan kasoo tagay anigoo caruur ah hadana waxaan hadda ahay nin wayn. Si kasta ha ahaat’e  in aan noqdo waxay ii ahayd mid ka mid ah wakhtiyadii igu naxdinta badnaa sababto ah wakhti umaan helin aan ku arko hooyaday oo dhimatay 4 bilood ka hor intii aanan go’aansan in aan ku noqdo Soomaaliya ( rabbi naxariistii Janno ha ugu deeqo). Waa cajiib sida aynu u dejisano qorshe, hadana dib u dhac inoogu yimaado, ma ogaan kartid isbedelka kugu imaan kara. Waad aragtaa waxaan ku talo jiray muddo laba sanno iyo bar ah, markii ugu horaysay go’aanka gaaray waa 2015 , laakiin taasi iima suurta gelin maadama aan ku kujiray dugsiga sarre.  Waxaan balan qaaday in aan sanadka danbe jaamacada bilaabo, aad baan u faraxsana in aan soo arkayo hooyaday, si farxad lehna waan ugu sheegay aabbahay iyo habaryartay. Nasiib darro qorshahaas iima shaqayn. Hadana markale qorshahaygi wuu dib dhacay. Kadib geeridii hooyaday waxaan ku khasbay naftayda in aan tago, sababto an waxaan ku guulaystay barnaamiij igu khasbayey ugu yaraan in aanan safar u bixin laba sanno. Inkastoo aanan hooyaday wejigeedi arki karin, laakiin waxaan ku dedaalay in aan soo arko ayeeyday oo isoo korisay markii aan yaraa,. Waxay ahayd waayo aragnimo kala duwan. Lakiin waan ku talo jira in aan marar kale ku noqdo dalkii oo wax u qabto.”

(Minneapolis, Maraykanka)

“My late husband was a soldier, and we were on the move all the time, some of the perks of being a military wife.  We lived and visited many places across the Somali territories. I currently work as a traditional weaver and sell what I weave on the market. It’s a dying art nowadays.  I learned the art of weaving in the 1970s from my dear mother, and I would love to teach this skill to my precious daughters, but they don’t want anything to do with it. They think it’s something backwards. They are persuading me to stop doing it, arguing that it will make me blind considering the high level of skill and attention required. If they only knew that it is a Somali art that needs to be kept alive. If the coming Somali generations refuse to learn it, it will be a thing of the past.”

(Erigabo)

“Aniga askari baa i qabi jiray kaasoo hadba meel loo badalo, taasi waxay keentay inaan degno oo aan barto meelo badan oo ka mid ah gayiga Soomaaliyeed. Hadda waxaan ku shaqeystaa wax tolid taasoo aan  waxyaabo kala duwan tolo ka dibna aan suuqa ku iibiyo. Runtii wax tolida waa xirfad sii yaraaneysa. Waxaana ka bartay hooyaday macaan sanadihii 1970-yadii. Waxaan jeclaan lahaa inaan baro gabdhaha aan dhalay laakiinse ma rabaan. Waxay igu yiraahdaa maxaad  ku faleysaa waxaan Ilaahay baa wax ku siiyee waad ku indho-madoobaaneysaaye. Balse waxaa haboonaan lahayd inay ogaan lahaayeen in ay xirfadani ay tahay dhaqan sii dhumaya oo la rabo in la badbaadiyo.”

(Ceerigaabo)

“He left me for a younger woman. We have 5 children together and the time I needed him the most, he wasn’t there. Instead, he got tired of it and found himself a younger version of me. If he was going to treat me like this, why did he marry me in the first place? What did she have that I didn’t have? Let me tell you, if I knew this was going to happen, I would have stayed at my parents’ home, enjoying singlehood for the rest of my life. I don’t want to generalise but at this very moment, I truly believe that men are responsible for women’s misery.”

(IDP Camp)

“Wuu naga cararay oo gabar iga da’yar ayuu guursaday. Waxaan leenahay 5 caruuro. Markaan u dhalay, wakhtigii igu adkaa ee aan uu baahnaa in uu ii tageero ayuu naga cararay. wuu na dayacay, gabar kale oo da’yar buu guursaday. Ma garankaro sababtuu u guursaday ee caruurtisa u dayacay.  Hadii aan ogaan laha inuu sidaa ila dhaqmayo gurigii waalidkay kama imadeen waa iska joogi laha. Inkasto caruur Ilaahay isiiyey hadana marmar nolosha sidan oo kale ah waxaan is iraahda guur la’aanta dhaanta. Ma doonayo in dhibaatada dumarka dusha ugu saaro dhamaan ragga Soomaaliyeed laakin hadda, waxaan aaminsanahay in dhibta dumarka Soomaalida haysata  inteeda badan raggu inee masuul ka yihin.”

(Xerada Barakacaaysha Gudaha)