In the Somali culture, we carry our forefather’s name like an ID card; you have your name, your father’s name and then your grandfather’s etc etc etc. In my case, ‘Id’/’Ciid’/’Eid’, is my great-grandfather’s name and it’s also the kind of name that hits you with a spotlight when you’re in certain places…this town I’ve moved to is one of those places. Less than 2 hours in the country and at least 3 different people had figured out who my family is, and all I could do was that awkward tight-liped smile with a gentle nod of the head to confirm.
I wrote this piece when I was about 16 or 17 for a speech contest at school. Almost 9 years later, my sister has finished school and is on her way to university. It has taken Allah’s grace and mercy, all four of us in our family, sacrifices, compromises and countless dedicated teachers over the years to make this happen. My sister is honestly the most motivated and strong-willed person I have ever met, and my mother is the personification of love, support and patience. This piece will forever and always be one of my favourite things ever.
I would be lying if I said that any of it is easy but I wouldn’t change a damn thing because my sister, and all people with Down’s, can brighten up the world with their unconditional love, their smiles and their hope! She’s taught me more about being, than anything or anyone in this world could and I thank Allah swt everyday for blessing our lives with Habon!
My grandma was one of the closest friends I’ve ever had and I remember always wanting to be just like her. To be as open, as worldly, as loving, as wise. I remember tracing the scar on her ankle that she got from a bullet and seeing her as superwoman. I remember seeing her communicate with all our neighbours although she spoke no Danish and believing she was out of this world. I remember the veins on her hand and the smell of her perfume. Read More