Macaronic

The Somali word for which is kee. It comes from the Italian word che (pronounced ke)

Other Italian – Somali cross overs

BoorsoBorsa (bag)

GoonoGonna (skirt)

JalaatoGelato (ice cream)

KatiinadCateena (chain)

Rajastiin/rajabeetoreggiseno/reggipetto (bra)

FoornoForno (oven)

TooshTorcia (torch)

OkayaaloOcchiali (glasses)

Kooba diinComodino (night table)

KatabaanAttaccapanni (coat hanger)

ArmaajoArmadio (wardrobe)

SuugoSugo (sauce)

DoorshoDolce (cake)

FargeetoForchetta (fork)

FiiloFilo (cord)

JaaloGiallo (yellow)

TaakoTacco (heel)

Mulki’s cave


Day:Friday, 1st
Month:December
Year :1989
Time: 00:09
Place : Alvesta, Sweden
Age: 28


Picture: Madre, padre, me. 1st birthday party. December 1st 1990


Ages 0-14: Sweden

Age 15: Kenya [spent half a year in Somalia+ Kenya at my behest so I could escape bullies that made life hell for me at school 😒]

Ages 16-21: Kenya [moved to Kenya permanently with my family after I finished 9th grade]

Ages 22-23: Egypt [ Moved on my own to study. Lived with friends]

Ages 24-25: Sweden [back after nearly 8 years abroad. First time fully acknowledging the teeters my mental health was in and how much moving around destabilized me as a highly sensitive person]

Age 26: UK [ temporarily moved to the UK in what in hindsight was me bypassing the healing I needed to do. I wanted to fastforward shit so that I could rejoin society as a ‘functional’ member. Fell into the clutches of highly toxic and manipulative people I thought were friends]

Ages 27-28: Sweden [ First time I’m accepting my existential task and my lot. Spent all this time in introspection, mindfulness and weekly sessions with a psychologist. Road to healing isn’t quick but it’s meaningful and long lasting.]


Theme of past year : Enduring the tension of paradoxes

Theme of this year : Allowing the divine will through my imagination, unhindered by fears or preconceptions

la dabaalo caashaqa

This is a song by the legendary Cumar Shooli who was a member of the legendary supergroup Waaberi who played Qaraami music in the 60s and 70s. Qaraami is classic Somali music with a fusion of jazz, pop and funk.

I don’t know why, but it never used to appeal to me until very recently and I must have listened to this song, la dabaalo caashaqa, at least a hundred times! Somali is such a potent and rich language and my paltry translation does it no justice. However, I just had to try to convey some of its beauty.



Dumar kale ma caashaqin
Hadal danbe kumaan oran
Doqaagu wuxuu rabo
Kolan daynba kuu galo
Wali diiday kuma odhan


I have not loved another woman
I have not even uttered a word to other women
Your wish was my command
Even if  fulfilling it meant I had to go into debt 

I’d never turn you down


Dadku wuu dagaalaa
Dabadeed heshiiyaa
Inaad raacdo duul kale
Ma wax loo dulqaataa

People fight
And make up
So how could you just walk away?

Naftaydii  diidayoo
Kama daadegaysee
Adaa seegay dawgee
Iga durug walaaleey

I’m in shock and can’t believe what you did
You’re the one who betrayed me
So please leave me alone

Haatan dayradaadaa
Ku dadaalayayoo
Ima diirinayside
Ogow dumarku kaa badan


I’ll take you up on your rejection
You don’t care for me
Know that you’re not the only fish in the sea



Waan kaa dal doorsaday
Dusha hayga xaganine
La dabaalo la dabaalo caashaqa

I’ve moved on 
Get off me 
I bid you, and love, begone!

​dambi kaama aan galin
duleed kaagamaan tagin
hablaha da’daadana
daan-daansi daayoo
dibnahayga uma furin


I didn’t do you wrong
I didn’t abandon you by the wayside
I didn’t so much as smile at other girls
Let alone flirt with them

adigay daraadaa
daqarradu i gaareen
inaad iiga durugtaa
ma wax loo dul qaataa?

You were the reason behind
These wounds I’ve been inflicted with
I can’t tolerate your detachment
anymore

 

daruur ii da’aysiyo
dabayl caafimaad baan
deeqoy ku moodaye
waxaad tahay qof ii daran

I thought you to be anticipatory rain clouds
or like a serene breeze
But Deeqa you turned out to be 
The one for whom the death knell tolls

 

Seeking you within myself

 

The Somali term ‘calaf raadis’ ¹ literally means one who seeks their destiny. Specifically, one seeking their soulmate.

So it has me thinking: How are you going to seek something that is your destiny? How do you decide who is or isn’t a soulmate? If you find her/him and you run away, will they follow you? If not, how can you outrun your destiny? And is destiny deterministic or is it decided by your outlook on life?

 
I mean, YOU are the seeker right? So what you’re seeking is a certain criteria by which you filter what you encounter? Criteria based on what you *don’t* want, what you secretly crave, whatever will act as a comfort zone.

 
So, doesn’t that mean that your calaf is … yourself? That whatever you are is a magnet drawing unto itself things of its nature? Like how life falls into place when everything seems to fall apart. How things mysteriously harmonize when you let go of control. How discovering yourself has little to do with piecing together clues and more to do with peeling away layers.

 
So… shouldn’t the prospect be to remove everything that obscures the path between you and your calaf/soulmate? The path being your heart… Would the one you’re seeking recognize YOU? Would you be ready to accommodate for them, or would you cut them down to fit you? How can you find a soulmate when you keep rejecting and repelling your own soul?

 
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
– Rumi


¹ ‘c’, in Somali is pronounced like ع in Arabic, which can pass for ‘a’ in English. So: calaf=alaf

Queen Araweelo

mumm

Mum as a teenager in a pre-war Somalia, circa 1986

mema

Me and her. 2016

Nomads wander in search of hope, and the wandering creates the hope they search for. They uproot their families to answer the distant call of greener pastures. They explore before they settle down. And they are never afraid of packing up again because they know how to erect a hut and how to saddle a camel. They know how to brace themselves for the tedious journey across deserts and through the cover of nightfall that can stretch for many weeks.They carry their homes in their hearts, and because of that they find belonging wherever they go.

Don’t kill my honour

Yesterday I watched a TED talk with the headlines What We Don’t Know About Europe’s Muslim Kids. Now, I’m very wary of any public discourse about Muslims because so much of islamophobia is legitimized, even by so-called liberals. But because the speaker was possibly a Muslim, I thought perhaps she’s sharing her experience of growing up in that stigma, something I relate to. So I watch it, and it quickly becomes a cultural narrative of someone who happened to be Muslim; it became about honour, and honour killings. This is a real phenomenon but it’s a cultural one that could be said to be specific amongst Iranians/Arabs/Kurds/Pakistanis/Afghanis.

I had an inkling of the direction she was headed to, but I decided to listen further. Then comes the punch line

The thing is that most people don’t understand is that there are so many of us growing up in Europe who are not free to be ourselves. Who are not allowed to be who we are. We are not free to marry, or to be in a relationship with people that we choose. We can’t even pick our own career. This is the norm in the Muslim heartlands of Europe. Even in the free societies in the world, we’re not free. Our lives, our dreams, our future doesn’t belong to us, it belong to our parents and their community

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