synthroid 75 mcg ingredients

Writers from the Horn can no longer bear to be passive witnesses to conflict

Rasna Warah. Photo: africa review. www.kismaayodaily.com - your gateway of Afrincan and Somali news around the world.

Rasna Warah. Photo: africa review. www.kismaayodaily.com – your gateway of Afrincan and Somali news around the world.

IN SUMMARY

  • For decades, writers from the Horn of Africa have been seen as passive witnesses, who, despite experiencing the horrors of conflict, remain silent and immune to the destruction around them
  • However, conflict and violence can became the fodder that feeds writers’ creativity

A character in Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah’s novel, Links, remarks that “in civil wars, both those violated and the violators suffer from a huge lack – the inability to remain in touch with their inner selves”.

In an essay on Farah’s writings, Fatima Fiona Moolla notes that this inability manifests itself pathologically as schizophrenia or madness – “psychological responses to a society self-destructing”.

The “collective insanity” of a country such as Somalia that has been destroyed by civil war, Moolla adds, needs to be understood as “the betrayal of one Somali by another”.

Another character in Links observes: “In civil war, death is an intimate . . .you’re killed by a person with whom you have shared intimacies, and who may benefit from your death.”

The guilt associated with this type of betrayal fragments individuals emotionally; they develop a “schizoid personality similar to the guilty conscience of a Lady Macbeth, at being a passive witness of the slide into anarchy”.

For decades, writers from the Horn of Africa have been seen as passive witnesses, who, despite experiencing the horrors of conflict, remain silent and immune to the destruction around them. Their voices are hardly heard, especially in their own countries, where literary pursuits are viewed as an indulgence.

However, conflict and violence can became the fodder that feeds writers’ creativity, as I found out during the recent Kwani? Litfest in Nairobi, where writers from the Horn of Africa shared with audiences narratives about conflict-ravaged cities and damaged people whose search for their inner selves becomes a necessary journey towards redemption.

In their cases, war did not destroy their ability to remain in touch with their inner selves; on the contrary, it made them more attuned to their memories and feelings, which the war threatened to destroy.

I heard the deeply personal, but highly disturbing, poetry of 24-year-old London-based Somali poet Warsan Shire, whose poems one reviewer has described as “echoes of the many ‘immigrants’ before her time to have suffered under the ravages of war and exile”.

Shire’s poems, which often describe the trauma and desperation experienced by Somali women living with or escaping war, are as shocking as they are profound.

The soul-destroying violence experienced by women – as war victims, refugees and exiles – is graphically expressed in her poems, as in this opening line: “The first boy to ever kiss your mother later raped women”.

Rape – or the threat of it – is a recurrent theme in her poems, as in this line from her poem “In Love and War”: “To my Daughter, I will say, ‘When the men come, set yourself on fire’.”

I also heard Djibouti-born author Chehem Watta describe the isolation felt by writers like himself, who are shunned by a society where individualism is frowned upon and where clan and group loyalty is paramount.

He spoke of a once matriarchal nomadic society where women were the decision-makers, but which over time became highly patriarchal.

Women are now oppressed by their husbands and fathers. This has led to increasing self-immolation among women, which to him, is a symbolic rebellious act; by setting themselves on fire, women are defying the rules created by men.

Eritrean author and former soldier Alemseged Tesfal explained how 30 years of war impacted his tiny nation, and how the international community failed his people.

In one passage from his memoir, which he wrote when he was in the trenches on the frontline, he talks about seeing a human heart lying on the battleground. The organ had been violently ejected from a soldier’s body that had been blown up. A whole heart lying on the battlefield on its own, without its owner. What was its nationality and ethnicity? he wondered. Did it have a tribe?

The inimitable Egyptian feminist writer and medical doctor Nawal el Saadawi described her life-long struggle to bring about justice, freedom and dignity in her homeland, a country, she says, that is currently being hijacked by those who want to reverse the gains of the Tahrir Square revolution.

Sadaawi, who was jailed by Anwar Sadat’s regime, believes that writing is a political act because it threatens the power relations in society. That is why “good writers go to prison”.

Source: (nation)

Kismaayodaily On December - 24 - 2012

Leave a Reply


  • RSS
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Youtube

Somali Rowing and Ca

Somali Rowing and Canoeing federation sacks president, interim committee appointed [caption ...

KHUDBADII MADAXWEYNE

KHUDBADII MADAXWEYNE XAAF UU KA JEEDIYAY CALEEMA SAARKIISA Source: Gundhig.

MAXKAMADA CIIDANKA P

MAXKAMADA CIIDANKA PUNTLAND OO XUKUN DIL AH SOO SAARTAY [caption id="attachment_11066" ...

HARGAYSA OO LAGU ARK

HARGAYSA OO LAGU ARKAY KOOX DAACISH AH [caption id="attachment_12599" align="alignright" width="300"] ...

DIYAAR GARAWGII U DA

DIYAAR GARAWGII U DAMBEEYAY EE MAGAALADA CADAADO May 29, 2017 [caption id="attachment_13622" ...

Sponsors

  • http://kismaayodaily.com/?p=10650
  • http://kismaayodaily.com/?p=10650
  • http://kismaayodaily.com/?p=10650
  • http://kismaayodaily.com/?p=10650