Thursday, June 30, 2011

Group Poem 22 (Somali Independence Day) : 2011

Why do I have hope for Somalia you ask?
The tragedy and the disasters are too much of a task
But now the topic is on our mouths
We keep discussing it, drinking tea in sips
But I remember twenty years ago when  
I saw my parents and the few families in the West sponsoring relatives and friends back then
We nicknamed our house a Somali hotel as I found another pillow to give
They were wearing clothes that didn’t match, messed up skin, but ready to live
Not one word of English and running away from puppies
Not one clue of where to go or where to drive looking like gasping guppies
I saw how they fixed their tired skin with henna and creams
Enrolling in ESL classes to learn how to find new dreams
How they saved money, started businesses and bought cars
How the kids went from no education to gold stars.
How they made me proud to be Somali

Shocking me that I never saw one tear fall from their eyes
Holding all their fears inside
Waiting for them to crack like an American kid over lesser matters
Instead these kids smiled and told jokes never showing that their heart was in tatters
They kept praying
They kept studying
How they made me proud to be Somali

Then the parents who had a whole life that they had to start anew
I could never imagine to start your life all over without a clue
But they packed away their engineering degrees from the Mogadishu University
Signed up to work in a warehouse in a strange city
Mothers who never have to work, now had to suck up their pride in sight
And apply for welfare and clean office building during the nights
Never breaking down and giving up
How they made me proud to be Somali

Then the infamous Somali Credit Card that is accepted around the world
With any Somali person without fear of it being cold
Good for asking for bread, water, shelter, and favors
Sharing the last bread to savor
What strong people the Somali are
How anyone else would have given up, but not them
They press on regardless, shining like a hidden gem
How they made me proud to be Somali

Look at them today
How many Somalis we have in colleges around the way
Go to graduation Day and see how many Somali are waving a tassel
Look in Columbus! Global Mall! Banadir Mall!
How many businesses we have started that even in this messed up economy did not fall
Look at the money transfers like Dahabshill
Giving back blood to a bleeding nation in a billion dollar bills
Beautiful people who get up every morning with faith in their hearts
How they made me proud to be Somali

How could you not have faith in such people too!
The ones back home living in stateless uncertainty but stand strong too
How could I not faith in them!
How could I not believe in them!
We have worked together
Just as we have living in such bad weather
How they made me believe in the future of Somalia

Besides don’t you know that all this traveling is good
It is teaching and growing us as only travel could
Every country that became successful did so
Europeans and Japanese traveled to help them grow
We are traveling and learning
Yet never stopping to end our yearning
Give us a minute and acknowledge
Twenty years is not that long for a journey of knowledge
Yes, I have hope for Somalia, because my people are strong
We will finish before too long
No matter the obstacle, my people have faced it with courage 
No matter the darkness, my people will join the world stage
How they made me believe in the future of Somalia

Somalia, we will have peace, and we will be an example in Africa
Our scientists will discover new medicines.
Our engineers will create new inventions.
Our doctors will be sought out by the world.
Our writers will be studied all over the world.
Our musicians will be loved everywhere.
Our actors’ laughter will touch the world.
Our businesses will create jobs for every working able citizen.

If you doubt my words, mark my words, here on this day in 2011 for all the world to hear me. Somalia, will wake up to our destiny. We will have a future. We will take our failing nation to Honor Roll. We will shout to the world as one that we are Somali.

Sindiya Darman
Copyright © 2011

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