wadan

“I woke up one day, unable to use my legs anymore. I was fine before that. For two years, I was unable to walk and needed constant care from my parents. During my disability, I overheard some female neighbours telling my mother, who is going to marry a ‘jiis’ girl (limper in Somali). Another day, I accidentally saw the word ‘jiista’ (the limper) as my contact name on one of my friend’s phone’s list. After a while, I recovered, and I had so much energy in me that I wanted it to channel into education. I asked my parents to enroll me back into school, but they kept telling me that I’m still ill and have to stay at home. I know they cared for me, but I needed to get out there, I still complied. Other people still kept telling me that I’m a girl and my place is at home. After a while, I got fed up with the constant morale killer statements and the harsh nicknames that they used to call me. I left home and moved to a different country to seek education. I came to Nairobi, enrolled into school and finished my education all the way to university level. Since I came here, I haven’t witnessed anyone calling me abusive nicknames or tried to kill my dreams. Thank God, I’m healthy now, and I can use my legs once again. I work for one of the best companies in Kenya, and I pay for my other siblings’ education as I’m their role model. One thing I can say is, that the road is long and bumpy, but please be steadfast, and you will succeed.”


(Nairobi, Kenya)

“Subax ayaan soo toosay, mise maba socon karo. Lugahaygii imaba qaadi karaan, sida aan doonayo ma samaynayaan! Wixii intaa ka horeeyey waan caafimaad qabay. Mudo dhan laba sano iyo bar waxba ma qabsan karin. 24-saac waxaan ubaahnaa daryeelka waalidkay. Mudadii aan xanuunsanaa ee guriga aan joogay, ayaa marar kala duwan maqlay dumarka dariska oo hooyaday ku leh ‘yaa kaa guursanaya gabar jiis ah’. Maalin kale, gabar ayaa taleefon numbar-kayga ku qoratay ‘jiista’. Ayaan kadib, caafimaadkayga sidii hore waa  kasoo roonaaday, waxaan go’aan ku gaaray in waxbarashadii dib aan ugu laabto. Waalidkay ayaan in badan ka codsaday in waxbarashadii dib la iigu celiyo, balse mar kasta waxay igu oran jireen, waad xanuunsanaysaa ee guriga iska joog. Dadka qaar, ayaa igu oran jiray ‘awalba gabar ayaad ahayde gurigaaga iska joog’. Markii danbe ee aan u adkaysan waayey niyad-jabka & naanaysyada ay iigu yeerayaan, ayaan go’aansaday in degmadii aan deganaa oo ku taal Soomaaliya aan isaga tago, waxbarashana u raadsado wadan kale. Waxaan imid magaalada Nairobi oo waxbarashadii aan ka sii watay ilaa heer jaamacad.  Halkan kuma arag cid magac xun iigu yeedha ama igu tiraahda heerkaa ma gaari kartid iyo jiis ayaad tahay ee meel iska fariiso. Maanta waan caafimaad qabaa, Alxamdullilah, lugahayga ayaan ku socdaa, waxaana ushaqeeyaa shirkad oo ka mid ah kuwa ugu sumcada fiican dalkan. Waxaan dhinaca waxbarashada ka taageeraa walaalahay iga yar, una ahay tusaale. Sidoo kale, waxaan gabdhaha Soomaaliyeed ku dhiira-galiyaa muhiimada ay waxbarashadu  leedahay. Wadadu weey dheer tahay, caqabadaha waa badan yihiin, laakiin guul baa u danbaysa.”

(Nayrobi, Kenya)

Oft him anhaga
are gebideð,
metudes miltse,
þeah þe he modcearig
geond lagulade
longe sceolde
hreran mid hondum
hrimcealde sæ
wadan wræclastas.
-
Often a solitary man
finds mercy for himself,
the Lord’s compassion,
though he, heart-sorrowing,
through the flood-path
long must
stir by hand
the frost-cold sea,
wade the ways of exile.
—  The Wanderer, 1a-5a

“I was born deaf, and I’m a teacher of the deaf. In my family, only my sister and I are deaf. I was called to Dadaab Refugee Camp twice for interviews as I was promised to be relocated to a different country. I had difficulty finding an interpreter that could understand my language and convey my words but what was much worse was that on the first occasion that I was called to Dadaab, my mother passed away. I rushed back for her burial. The second time I was called to Dadaab for an interview, my father passed away. Since then, my grief turned into depression. I then made the conscious decision to relocate to Dadaab with my deaf sister permanently. We noticed that there were many deaf Somalis who didn’t know the sign language and there was a clear barrier between them and society. I signed up as a teacher for the deaf, and now I teach deaf children from class 1 to class 6. I teach them the Kenyan Sign Language, Mathematics and Creative Arts knowing that they will have a chance in life. I found my purpose and I’m smiling again.”

(Dadaab Refugee Camp)

“Waxaan dhashay anigoo naafo ka ah dhagaha hadana waxaan ahay macalin  caruurta  dhagoolayaasha ah. Qoyskayaga aniga iyo walaashay ayaa maqalka naafo ka ah. Aniga waxaa  dhacaday  in la iga yeeray kaamka qaxootiga ee Dhadhaab laba jeer  si  aan waraysi   la iga qaado,  balantu waxay ahayd in wadan kale aan ka helo dib-u-dejin. Markaas waxaa igu adkaatay in aan helo turjumaan fahmi kara hadalkayga isla markaana gudbin kara waxaan u sheego oo sax ah, laakiin taas waxaa kasi darayd markii kowaad aan tagay Dhadhaab in hooyaday dhimatay  kadib waxaan ku noqday  aaskeedi. Hadana markii labaad ee waraysi la igu yeero Dhadhaab waxaa igu dhacday in isla markana uu dhintay aabbahay Markaas kadib xaaladaydu waxay isku bedeshay mid murugo ah. Kadib waxaan go’aansaday aniga iyo walaashay oo iyaduna dhagaha naafo ka ah in aanu si rasmi ah ugu guurno Dhadhaab. Waxaanu  ogaanay in Soomaali badan oo  maqalka naafo ka ah ay ku noolyihiin xerada Dhadhaab, hadana waxaa jiray caqabado iyaga iyo bulshada u dhaxeeyey. Waxaan saxiixay heshiis in aan noqdo macalin wax bara caruurta dhagaha naafada ka ah inta u dhaxaysa fasalka 1-aad ilaa fasalka 6-aad waxaan baraa luqada calaamadeedka ee Kiinya iyo xisaabta iyo farshaxanka  si ay u ogadaan in ay haystaan fursad nololeed. Waan helay ujeedaydi markasta waa dhoola cadeeya waanan  ku farxaa.”

(Xerada qaxootiga ee Dhadhaab)