On the evening of Saturday 17th October, my friends and family gathered in I’klektic art lab to celebrate the publication of my poetry booklet ‘The Capital of my Heart.’
The eventful evening saw audience members read out poems from the booklet, this was followed by a short reading from myself. After the readings, Ahmed Mukhtar performed Oud to a captivated audience and I showed a short film on the work Human Appeal is currently engaged in, in Senegal.
The proceeds of the booklet go toward building water wells and providing safe drinking water to people across remote villages in Senegal. The idea to collate my poems came whilst on a field trip to Senegal as I really wanted to do my part to help. In rural areas of Senegal, clean water is scarce. The lack of clean water means local inhabitants are at an increased risk of cholera and other life-threatening diseases. There is also an urgent need for clean storage areas. Without hygienic spaces to store water, the water often becomes polluted. Through human appeal carefully selected partners on the ground, they will be providing deep water wells and constructing concrete bases to ensure the land remains clean and hygienic.
You can buy a copy of the booklet online for £10 donation which will save lives here
The booklet showcase 33 of my poems which expresses my journey from pain to healing.
Photo credit : Rooful Ali
A man of principles who
the sun, the moon, the rivers that flow,
the magical nature, the heartbeat, and loyalty
all bare witness to his words. Even
beauty in his presence testify to
feeling beautiful, and adjectives
are numb as new words ought to be invented
for this Somali Shakespearian, this artist with an
imagination above all the imagination. But
I was sure when I meet him, that I will recite
a line of his most famous poem.
Baladweyn, or maybe sing
Has love been blood-written
or read him, his wonderful storytelling about
lions, jackals and hyena
Or dissolve myself into ink, so I am
wrapped up into his writing, or turn into tree in his
name, or become his hat
keeping his winter hair warm or let his echo voice
speak for me, can he read the language behind my eye lids?
If anything I would adhere to hand shake etiquette
I couldn’t decide how to shake, firm shake or a quick grasp
or what is the culture take on legend embrace?
I did nothing
I said nothing
I swallowed my memorised script and a friend
with her courageous tongue said,
She is a fan of yours, you know!
Breaking the silence
He listened to her as if listening can obey,
and spoke in a way that gave humbleness a new value,
and with tenderness behind his jasmine age,
with all the emblematical metaphor a man of his status can master,
he recited a prayer – I will wake up in the middle of the night, and
pray for you in a way I have never prayed before
I stayed there in that line until we exchanged amen and for once
I was in love with everything again
Painting by the Artist Ahmed Yoses
On 20th October 2013, I had the pleasure to attend Somali Festival Week at Oxford House in London, where the legend Hadraawi was launching his new book ‘The Poet and the Man’. This book is a collection of his masterpiece poems translated and led by Bill Herbert and including the authors Said Jama Hussein, Mahamed Ali Hassan ‘Alto’ and Rashid Sheikh Abdillahi Ahmed ‘ Gadhweyne’
Hadraawi is arguably the most popular living Somali poet who was born in 1943, towards the end of the Second World War into a nomadic, camel-herding family of the district of Burao in Somaliland.
I would recommend each one of you to get a copy of the book. We are blessed that his collection of poetry been translated into English.
‘Let these few lines be as striking
as the stripes on an oryx
as visiable and as lovely –
I simply place them in plain view.’
“Daalcan” (Clarity), Hadraawi
Many thanks to Kayd Somali Art & Redsea Culture Foundation who are behind documenting the life and poetry of the greatest living Somali poet and thinker – Hadraawi.
If you would like further information about the book, or how to purchase one, please email email@example.com or/and please visit website http://www.kayd.org .
Me with Hadraawi and you can also read my poem which I wrote when I met him last year at the same event here | https://samrasaid.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/in-meeting-hadraawi/