The Story of Us – excerpt

Somalia droops from the ceiling and clings to the window sill in the form of gaudy, mismatched drapes that belong in a home built with no double-glazing. We avoid mentioning its presence like the way you avoid eye contact with the person begging for spare change in the street, because if you look at him then you both exist and it becomes a forced relationship of give and take. So instead, my childhood is cleaned up for guests and decorated with once-upon-a-time’s that are divided into a thousand and one nights, polished for retrieval. Here we are, three war-torn generations tucked away in a Hampshire cul-de-sac, such a long way from home, we’re told. Reminded. Told. My grandmother’s clothes smells of myrrh and petroleum jelly, next to her cardamom shaah is a bowl of heated up crunchy nut cornflakes. She forgot what it’s like to not have a microwave. The summer is nearly over, so is my time here in this self-declared, self-governed nation at the end of the street.

Author: hannaali

Writer, Poet, PhD Candidate @SOAS | African Identity #Africanness #Blackness #Afrabia #AfroArab #IslamInAfrica #Identity and all things #Somali

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