In a dark, small and closed space wriggling frantically to be freed. Surrounded by a gushing sound I hear a repetitive beat like the rhythm of a drum being hit. Footsteps are heard passing in the distance till a bright light appears. Gravity has taken over my world I can’t hold myself back any longer. My body is being forced into a direction, my fingers have no grip to help me survive.

I began to push myself backwards, but I’m beginning to feel claustrophobic with the erg to let go. What ever is trying to taken me, I refuse to lose the fight. A sudden thud hit the inside of my back so I punched back with strength. All of a sudden a loud screeching sound like the tires of a car skidding on ice was released. Within seconds, I found myself slipping through a dark tunnel and into a bright light. I instantly screamed as I was exposed to a cold breeze. Large firm hands held tight to my ribs, then silence. I stirred in “Love” with the most beautiful person ever. I cuddled closer to be comforted. The sweet smell of rose had me mesmerised.

I felt safe, happy and secure. It was definitely “Love, Love at first sight.” This was the day the day that I first set eyes on my beloved mother. “Hooyo Macaan”





So I’ve not blogged a post in a while. Starting to realise the world of blogging is time consuming! Considering a lot of mothers/fathers have their own blog. I personally would love to know “where on earth do you find the time?” After a busy day consisting of; breakfast preparation and lunch/snacks etc for the children. Not forgetting tiding up before setting off to work. Few hours later after a long day at work. I return home to my two girls, aged 3 and 21months clinging at my feet. Yes you pictured it, that moment when you’re trying to remove your boot, but find yourself almost tripping over one of the kids.


I discovered I don’t stop and give myself some me time that often. So decided tomorrow I will go shopping. A long ladies shopping leaving my girls and husband to run wild at home. “That should be fun”

Me and my husband have two separate schedules when it come to the kids. Don’t get me wrong, he totally loves my schedule but opts not to use it at times. Look out for post; Hooyo V Abo (Mummy V Daddy).




Looking at the reflection in the mirror, a person stands with confusion. With no recognition of the person staring back. The figure had long pointy lashes and dark deep eyes. Stood firm whilst trying to rub off the caramel complexion. How come friends were much more pale, and even had green eyes with fair skin? The reflection did not respond, it had no voice and when it did was left in doubt with unanswered questions.

The school bell rang and pupils rushed across the playground heading towards the big metal gate, painted blue. A variety of different shades, some more than others swiftly departed. Across the school gate was an open wide field with a long dark grey path leading to the school bus. It was on this field that pupils gathered in groups to talk before the bus would depart. A discussing broke out about life and the growing population of immigrants. An ear turned and people became engrossed by the topic. How darker skin is seen as less beautiful and the interest in bleaching seen as the norm. Lack of interest to embrace parents native language. Instead the youth were embarrassed to have a mother who dresses differently attend parents evening.

Walking home the discussion continued about tribes. It was my turn to departure from the conversation, as we approached the corner of my street. As a skipped along an elderly leaving the mosque called me by my father’s name. Hooyo would always teach us that it was good manors to show respect and greet elders, so I stopped to say hello. With laughter he told me that he over heard our discussion about tribes. Then continued to test my knowledge, which I knew little of. I gave him my immediate family tribe but was unsure where it fit. I began to sense a slight panic attack, my inner self pleading not to be humiliated! I heard a voice call in the distance, it was hooyo to my rescue. With elegance she answered “that’s not important, what’s important is knowing your family name, what you already have been thought is enough.” The gentleman agreed and I was free to go.

Out appeared that reflection, the figure who stood out from the crowd with confusion. Was some tribes seen as more affluent than others? Blue, white, red, green, black, this was more than a coloured bib given to you before playing a game of netball. Deep into the reflection a cheerful imagine emerged. It got closer and closer than suddenly stopped. A hand appeared reaching out to the reflection of the mirror. The figure was turned to be faced with warmth and reassurances. It was hooyo (mother), to comfort me freeing me from my worries.

Throughout the years the same questions became more and more popular. Some quiet boastfully spoke of how much they knew about tribes, even though I had no clue. I wondered why Hooyo restricted my knowledge. My identity was not for exposure which meant every elderly was referred to as uncle or aunty. It was later in life that I learnt Hooyo did it out of protection. I was sheltered from the anger and hatred odour that has left an unpleasant stench in the atmosphere within the Somali community. I lived care free of not worrying about the tribe I was, which would define what friends I could or couldn’t have. It was already difficult being born in the west and already labelled. I am pleased Hooyo never contributed to more labels.

The history of what happened back in the motherland should not have an influence of how you perceive others. I can see Hooyos main objective was to raise her children, allowing them to embrace the west, inherit the Somali culture, to then implement them both according to good practice of Islam. I applaud her effort and hope to pass down her teaching to the future generation if God Wills!

Tea Etiquette


Bubbling on the stove hot water mixed with cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. The finest tea set is placed neatly on a beautiful silver tray. A rich cent is released into the air, leaving guests feeling dehydrated as they wait for a nice cup of Somali tea. I carefully dry the cups and saucers then gently pour the tea into the tea-pot. As I staggered through the back living room, through the long narrow hallway I stopped. The door leading to the guest living room was closed. Stood next to me was my sister, performing our ritual, debating who goes into greet the guests first. She looked at me and laughed as I was the one carrying the tray. Hooyo would always teach us that it was good manors to show respect by saying hello to our guests. This was not optional, it was mandatory and if you did not greet the guests be prepared to be questioned by Hooyo. Never entering without knocking, I waited patiently for either Hooyo or my father to acknowledge.
My childhood home was never empty, it was like a hotel different guests would enter and leave. Hooyo would have a welcoming policy leaving her front door open to the entire community. It didn’t matter who you was Hooyo would always lend you an arm and a leg for support. I entered the room which was full of men, one lady and Hooyo. I had to brace myself for the unexpected, Hooyo watched from the corner of her eye. I held my breath in at first, released a large sigh hidden behind a quiet nervous laughter and a smile. Hooyo observed like the head teacher of a school. Carefully she monitor my tea etiquette, till every last drop was poured. I reached for the tea-pot and began to gently pour, the room is silenced, eyes all fixated on my every move. I little trickle of tea ran down the side of the last cup, I quickly wiped it away with a clean tissue. All of a sudden the room felt a lot warmer, I began to wonder who turned up the heating. Once finished I would glance over towards her direction, hooyo smiled and I was in the clear, perfect!


Beneath The Car


There was a day when every Hooyos nightmare became true for my Hooyo. A normal sunny day in the summer all the neighbours where out sitting in front of their homes. The children’s laughter filled the air as they play joyfully. It was time for hide and seek, but I was not able to play. Hooyo had gone inside to fetch some water, I was told to stay in the gate. I was an adventures young child, having to keep up being born after two boys was not easy. “Ready or not hear I come,” yelled my older sister. A yellow four door car drove up the street, performed a three-point turn and returned. My sister ran quickly across the road with no awareness that I was to follow. Screech, went the sound of the wheels of the yellow car. Neighbours screamed in shock and horror! No one could tell whether I was dead or alive. I lay still, terrified and baffled as to what had just happened. Everything went dark, I could not see the beautiful bright sun, instead the smell of oil, rust and metal clogged up my nose. My back hurt and my knee was throbbing with pain. I could see rushing footsteps heading towards my direction. To my left a huge round black wheel blocked my view, so I looked towards the right. A flying object leaped like a frog over the gate of my parents home. I was gently pulled from beneath the car, loud voices filled the air. It was my big brother to the rescue. Hooyo with a stressful look, was making plenty of dua asking Allah swt for everything to be ok. That day was a blur but I had a lucky escape, my head was inches from one of the wheels.


At the time of the accident it was almost time for the third prayer of the day (Asr). The man who almost ran me over was heading towards the mosque before I slipped and found myself beneath the car. He was overwhelmed to know I was safe, explaining that he was due to fly out for the pilgrimage the next day. Amazingly I was left with a few grazes and a new name “Lucky” given to me by the owner of the yellow car. He made a promise to make prayers for me whilst he’s at Haji. He never did return but the name he gave spread like fire around the community. I was forced to live with it as a reminder for the rest of my life.

Gun Kit


Two flags raised, disagreeable,
Uncompromising leading to division
Will we become better, is it able
Somalis need to do some revision

Begrudging, on the past
Face to face, we antagonise
How long will this last
But we don’t even realise

Reluctant we stand
Love turned to hate
Bloodshed on motherland
Is it too late?

Things look hollow
Tears run down children’s cheeks
Now living in sorrow
Days turn into weeks.

Venture looks strong.
We cannot even unite
This is all wrong
We shouldn’t fight

Living our life through hate
Our duty is to defend
Do we have to debilitate
Need to apprehend

Stress and frustrate
The bridge has now split
No time for a mate
Outcomes the gun kit

Gun Kit

The Tear Drop


I look forward for this particular month, everything is more calm. You feel blessed, light-hearted and ready to embrace the beauty that this month brings. With happy faces, laughter, and the smell of Oudh, a range of oriental perfumes lingers through the air. Colourful dishes full of mouth-watering flavours fill the table, with plates of nibbles, samoses and kac kac a snack made out of dough. The time comes when you have to take that glass of water, a cold trickle goes down the throat. You feel it travelling through your body touching exactly where is needed to help quench your thirst. With the feeling of it being the best ever cup of water taken in your life. Ramadan had come, my blood is running round like a child who’s been let loose in a toy store.

I eagerly rang my mother to wish her Ramadan Kareem, and the blessing of reaching another year. She reminded me to be thankful for this blessed month. Hooyo and I had our own specially talking time during the day. None of my other siblings dare to try to call, the line would not be free for the next hour. 2pm every afternoon Hooyo would know I’d be calling her on my journey home from work. By the time I would reach home it was almost an hour. Hooyo was explaining how she was sending money back home to those in need. She was not fasting, and explained how she really missed it too. She gracefully explained how God had willed her not to fasts due to illness. “Oh hooyo are you still sad that you can not fast? You have a valid reason.” I tried to reassure her but she genuinely wished she could fast. “Hooyo,” she said with a firm tone. When Hooyos tone changes to the level you try to talk to a toddler, once they’ve been mischievous. You know mother is about to tell you something you should take note of. “Yes, Hooyo? I replied. “Hooyo, being able to fast is a blessing, you don’t want to notice this when you’re not able to fast at all. Take every Ramadan as if it’s your last, grasp each day and make the most of it. Oh and don’t forget to send money to the less fortunate too. Or send it to me and I’ll include it to the money I’m already sending.”

I stopped and paused for a few seconds as hooyo continued to talk. I didn’t seem to note down the importance of this blessed month, but began to calculating in my head how much I could afford to send. I began to drift off into my thoughts of creating different figures, trying to convert pounds into dollars: £50 = $80, £40, $64. I was not the best at maths so my calculations took me out of focus. “Hooyo, just send what you can no matter what. Every penny counts to someone who does not have it. Send at least £10 that will do.” Hooyo was the type of women who was always ten steps ahead, encouraging you to do what’s good, without making you feel that you can not contribute.

One evening I was talking to a friend, Ramadan was almost over. It surprised me how quickly the days flew. Like the leaves being swept away by the gushing wind. It was day twenty-one already. We spoke about whether or not either of us was going to the mosque for the night of power. We chuckled about wrapping huge blankets and creating a comfy corner for our kids to sleep on whilst we prayed. The next morning I was startled in my sleep, I don’t know why but I was not able to return. I lay in bed browsing through my phone till the baby woke for a feed. It was now just passed 7am and my mobile rang. I stared at the call, it was my younger sister. The hair on the back of my neck stood sharp and firm like a thorn-bush. I could not answer, my heart-felt like it skipped a beat. The call stopped and within seconds I quickly opened the top landing stair gate. Taken huge strides down the stairs, I couldn’t even recall my feet touching any step. I didn’t manage to get to the call in time. The ring tone of my mobile phone was calling from my bedroom. I was running marathons round the house, breathless I quickly burst into to my bedroom, standing up I answered. Taking a deep inner breath, “What’s happened” I shouted panicking with the thought of something happening to Hooyo. Is it mum? She was just crying “No, It’s Ayeeyo (Nan)” she answered. My body crashed and I fell seated onto the bed, like the effect of a domino being knocked over. “I knew it” I cried out. Without asking her what happened I hung up and quickly began to pack. Whilst on the motorway I decided to call to find out exactly how Ayeeyo passed away. To find out that it was Hooyo who found Ayeeyo.

On the morning of the 23rd day of Ramadan, Ayeeyo (nan) would be given her warm water for ablution for her morning prayers. This routine for every prayer was in place for the entire 22 years she lived with us. On this particular morning the youngest out of the family gave her the water. Ayeeyo asked for a warm cup of tea too, to be prepared. Her tea arrived to only find that she requested the water for her ablution be reheated. It was warm, but my sister did not make a fuss and did as she was asked. She made prayers for my sister and told her everything was ok she may go.

If only my sister knew, she was the last person to exchange dialogue. Hooyo usually checks on Ayeeyo in the mornings as soon as the sun has risen. That morning she walked into the room and tried talking to her mother, no response. Ayeeyo according to Hooyo, looked asleep. Hooyo tried moving her and still no response. Her skin was still warm, and the texture as smooth as a baby. The room scent was normal, whilst her body lay curled up like a ball. Nothing strange at all, everything seemed normal. The only difference was her prayer mat still lay underneath her head. She usually due to old age would pray siting on her bed. Once prayer was complete she would neatly fold her prayer mat and place it near her pillow. But this time as lay quietly fast asleep with the prayer mat beneath her.

Hooyo before taken ill would volunteer to wash the female corpse at the mosque. From her knowledge she stuck two fingers in between the ribs. A tiny sound effect left the mouth, the same sound as a light sigh. Hooyo had just released the last air left in one of the lungs. It was then she realised her mother was to never awaken again. Hooyo quickly screamed out loud, startling everyone in the house. “There’s a corpse in the house.” Everyone rushed to the room of Ayeeyo. My young sister leaped on to the bed frantically searching for a pulse. She quietly buried her head on the lap of Ayeeyo. Hooyo began to drop a tear and was comforted by my brother who gently took her out of the room. Immediately the Imam who lived near walked into the room. Everyone stood round the body which had been fully covered waiting for the ambulance to take it away. “SubhanAllah, look she still has her prayer beads in her hand.” The Iman emotionally pointed out. Then an out burst of tears streamed down his cheeks. He was making prayers requesting that when his time is up that he is taken in remembrance of his Lord.

I later asked Hooyo why she referred Ayeeyo (nan) to a corpse. She politely replied. ” My mothers soul had been removed so she was no longer present, lay there in front of me was a corpse. A beautiful corpse that carried a tear drop in the corner of its right eye.

On the day of the funeral, I, Hooyo and sisters went into the room Ayeeyo lay. She was getting ready to be washed. Hooyo normally helps wash the corpse but not this one, she was not ready. Bravely my older sister decided she wanted to help the two women washing my nan. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dead body. As we all stood my Hooyo and the two women began describing my Ayeeyos corpse. It was soft, smooth and warm even thought it had been in the morgue. Normally a body would be all curled but Ayeeyo lay lightly and straight. Even more beautiful was the radiant colour of her skin. It was bright and significant that you could not stop looking MashaAllah!! I took a closer look and read Quran and said my goodbye in her ear. As I slowly returned to straighten my posture I froze. “Look, look at Ayeeyos right eye.” I announced. It was the tear drop Hooyo mentioned, it was still there. It looked moist and fresh, as she lay there looking beautiful with a smile. We touched the tear but it did not wipe away, it stayed.

I was later to witness that the same drop Hooyo noticed was the same tear drop she too carried weeks later. Hooyo, stood there that day whilst her mother had her last wash. Unaware that she too would lay on the same table weeks to follow.

Mother and daughter, known to me as Ayeeyo (nan) and Hooyo (mother) past away 15 weeks to the day apart. In the city no other funerals took place. So the entire community witnessed one family put two mothers at rest side by side. Remained as they both was put to lay at rest, were their identical tear drop in the corner of their eye. An emotional rolls costar ride soon to be shared.