being qaali

child of the world

A Smile of Down’s Syndrome

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!

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My Songs of Freedom (spoken word)

I only want songs of freedom that go on repeat
That don’t stop until the stomping of feet have subsided
And the hearts have drowned in the satisfaction of victory

I only want songs on repeat if they make my insides scream
Like an animal needing to be unleashed
I only want to hear it if it makes the big man wanna tame us

I only want to hear beautiful voices that haunt struggle
And cries that make my nightmares shudder with disbelief
I want raw reality

I only want to hear tunes that make your body shiver
Raise the hairs down your spine
The songs that would choke authority like vines
On a tree, a type of synergy
Isn’t that what it was meant to be?

Where we help them help us
Or did I miss the memo where we were ruled as insignificant
That people’s homelands were deemed irrelevant
And blood, oil, and diamonds were blessed with the holy water

I bet even Satan screams at the thought of us
We were meant to have a conscious
Be a bit more than the animals that roam the wild
Hold hands with thy neighbour instead of having gun-loving behaviour
We need a saviour
Or are we too far gone?

We think we are immortal and we live without morals
Where there are men that have fantasies of little girls
And where mothers kill their own sons
We all need to be put in stray jackets
So help us God an epidemic has begun

I only want songs of freedom that makes me forget about what I’ve seen
Words that wash away the red that surrounds me
That shines light in the darkness
That makes my deepest fears become thoughtless hymns of silence

I would rather be mindless
And walk the street with no alliance
Or license that tries to tell me that I’m over exaggerating or that this crazy is all in my head
Because in my head I hear songs that calm the masses, that penetrate the glass ceilings and call for reform.
Don’t tell me I’m not alright when your world is my asylum
And my head plays rhythms of peace and end to violence

I want kindness
Does that make me spineless?

cries (spoken word)

i shiver and shake
my voice quakes
sentences i cannot make
stumble over my words
every syllable in haste
these are moments
very chaste in symmetry
no need for word playing skilfully
or ignorant bigotry
there’s a line in the sand
where wrong is wrong
and right is right
and though my palms are sweaty
I breathe life into the mic
and recite cries
in C8 to low E
stories and dreams of being free
little kids with the city’s key
star gazing through grand baobab trees
they want life
to not be cleansed like dirt
or trafficked like merchandise
they want rights
to not have rockets over head like kites
and snow falling through their roofs at night
they want to be more than the world’s project against plight
to carry themselves with pride
and not have their souls squeezed of life
as double standards are noosed and tied
I cry
For they die
and humanity turns a blind eye
on their fellow mankind
as contracts of demise are signed
for truly there is no bind
so I cry
cries of the ones left behind

will i forget me?

I wonder if our mothers
long before they were our keepers
and their spines had moulded to bear us
when their curls still played in the wind,
and the sun carressed their skin

I wonder if they were much like us
fiercely passionate, highly opinionated, fearlessly alive
yet so complexly delicate inside and filled with such grande dreams
children of the flower, bearers of the land

And if they were much like us would that mean that all I’m fighting for now may become mute
All this fight I have now will it become apathy?
Will I mistake control, for care?
Lies for honesty?
Misogyny for protection?
Empty words for hope?
Will I ignore it when I see a stain on the collar of his shirt and know that I don’t wear that shade?
Will I forget how to stand up for myself just to make him feel like more of a man?
and will I pick up habits to numb the pain?

Will I forget what the sun feels like as I get my yearly vitamin D prescription?
or will I forget that sticky salty wind that would hit my face as my feet hit the beach every morning?
Will I forget what it’s like to stay up through the night with a really good book and be carried away into another world?
or what it feels like when you go to a new place and you can just feel something in you crying out for it?
What it feels like to just dress for me or what it’s like to feel sexy?
or wanted? desired? loved?
I feel like I’m already mourning a life that I am just beginning
I’m missing the woman I could be

I wonder if our mothers miss her too
The potential
The plan
The hopes and aspirations

Will I forget that I ever wrote this?