Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Story Behind TNP

Designed by Abadir Hashi
The Somalia-Nation of Poets (TNP) group connects our Somali poets and audience who live all over the world. Due to the country’s civil war, Somali people have moved to dozens of different countries around the globe. This migration has caused most of our literature to become lost over the last twenty years. If we, as Somalis, do not create a space for our own literature – it will be created for us. And, this is a heavy price, to pay for any group of people.

I started TNP in October 2007.  The group only consisted of people that I knew and practically begged/talked into joining the group. Gradually, people I did not know found their way to the group and it started growing slowly. During this time, the group was not very active. Only two or three people kept it going and eventually that also stopped. Lack of proper planning, organizing and vision for TNP in 2007, meant the page was not reaching its potential. Due to these reasons, there was a two-year hiatus.

During this time, I'd visit different blogs owned by young Somalis around the world. I noticed the amazing and talented individuals that were part of our community. Each of these blogs was unique and diverse. However, there were vast similarities between these Somali youth. For instance, often these blogs addressed similar topics e.g. religion, immigration, clan conflict, gender-related blessings and obstacles, family, longing for a Somalia which many just knew through the eyes of their families, racism and discrimination and the formation of one’s identity in a foreign soil or adopted home.

These were all themes that I could relate to. I left Somalia when I was merely a baby, moved to Kenya and eventually relocated to India, where I spent most of my childhood and teen-years. Reading the narratives of these bloggers was my favorite past time  but searching for Somali bloggers was beyond time consuming. There were times I would search for Somali bloggers and by the time I found a blog  I would run out of my “free” time. It was then that I had an epiphany.

What if I created a blog and FaceBook Fan Page where Somalis could share their work? It did not take me long on deciding to create TNP again. In June 2009, I created the FanPage as well as a Blog for TNP. Slowly, I started writing and inviting Somali poets/bloggers to share their work. The response from these folks was just overwhelming. Everyone was not only supportive, helpful and shared their work but they also helped advertise and build TNP. In addition to the poets, people who genuinely enjoyed poetry starting “liking” the page.

The road to establishing TNP was not always an easy one as it demands an incredible amount of time and energy. However, the past 6-years of TNP has been enriching, fulfilling and filled with the love and support of amazing people, many of whom, I have yet to meet.

TNP’s mission and vision is to provide a strong platform where young Somalis can share their work and celebrate the work of their peers; while building a strong network of like-minded individuals who will connect beyond the reach of TNP. This group aims to compile written and oral poetry by a Somali diaspora youth about any issue they deem relevant.

Halima Ahmed
Founder &Admin
March 6th 2013


  1. Hi. I'm the sub-editor of Afrikan Sarvi/Horn of Africa -journal, Finland. I'd love to introduce your web-site and poets at the journal. Please visit our journal http://afrikansarvi.fi/issue7/paeaekirjoitus and contact me asap.
    Maippi Tapanainen, editor@afrikansarvi.fi