The Fear Amongst Ourselves Blog / Dispatches

Dispatches #6 Mogadishu, Somalia The fear of insecurity disconnects people in the neighborhood. It creates unspeakable walls between us. We meet and exchange greetings, all very short: Asalaamu alaikum. Wa alaikum asalaam. We do not get to know each other by names. We have lived here, a district in Mogadishu, for almost two years. Every day I take a walk around the area with my mother. When we...

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Translation Not Possible Blog

There is an episode of Star Trek’s The Next Generation (yes, I am a sci-fi nerd) where we are introduced to an alien species that only communicates through metaphors and allegories. This method of communication is incomprehensible to others who only hear the nonsensical strings of individual words, even with the technology to translate languages universally. Whenever I watch an old Somali riwaayad, the ones...

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PODCAST PHOTO Blog / Podcast

In this episode, we discuss a British run dhaqan celis camp in Wales; #cadaanstudies as an analytic to question and disrupt the narratives of the ‘war on terror’; deaf advocacy in the Somali community, and more.


In the Archives Blog

In February of 2015, my father, Said Sheikh Samatar, took a fall down the stairs of his home in South Orange, NJ and suffered a brain injury from which he did not recover. A year later, I am thinking about him through his things. These things are objects that carry words, written and recorded. They are in my office, some of them still in boxes....

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PODCAST PHOTO Podcast

In this episode, we discuss lobster dinners and mourning our dead, ways to complexify our ideas of the diaspora and the local, challenge ideas of authenticity and identity, the young inventor Guled Adan Abdi, and more.


In the Borderlands Blog / Dispatches

Dispatches #5 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia I sit on a quiet patio in Bole on a Sunday afternoon, catching up with an old friend from Canada who, like me, is completing a PhD in history in the United States. Like me, she is a child of the diaspora, born abroad to parents from the Horn, retracing and rediscovering roots alongside academic research. It strikes me that...

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About Maandeeq

Maandeeq (she who “satisfies the mind”) is the name of the female camel that symbolically represented the Somali nation in poetry. It was she who was looted under colonialism, retrieved by her rightful owners at independence in 1960, and mistreated by dictatorship, corruption and war.

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