Somali Sideways - Yasmine Samatar

(Picture from Somali Sideways Facebook, Click to view)

Here we have Yasmine Samatar at the #SaatchiGallery, #London.

"There was a time in my life where I felt everything — the pain of an internally displaced father in the DRC, the unexplained ease underwent by a newborn after seeing his mother for the first time, and the sheer happiness of a woman who just won the lottery. I am American by birth, Somali by blood, and Muslim by heart — but my emotions knew not arbitrary borders. The smallest act would erupt a tornado in my heart, an earthquake along my spine, and a tsunami amongst my thoughts. But, in 2012, I was robbed of my paroxysm of emotions after experiencing a terrible awakening. The shock brought on by this incident would only allow me to fall asleep after listening to Ayatul Kursi. Every single night for 114 days, the beautiful, soothing words of the ayats would be my lullaby as I repressed everything into my dreams. And suddenly, on that 114th day, I stopped feeling entirely; I had grown numb. It was as if I had subconsciously turned off a switch that rid me of all my positive emotions - leaving me to wallow in anxiety and fear. I was broken, shattered, robbed of this passion I once loathed but, nonetheless, grew to be a large part of me. As a catharsis, I became a nomad and took to traveling and photographing new parts of the world in order to trigger, and coax out, passion and excitement. Over the past two years, I lived in Reims, New York, Washington, DC, and now London for my postgraduate studies. I traveled throughout France, Prague, Barcelona, Bologna, Florence, Amsterdam, Budapest, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar, amongst others — reciting Surah Ad-Dhuha along the way. I am still searching for my missing piece, but Alhamdullilah my loved ones are well, I've encountered amazing people in life and all its intricacies, and I am starting to feel the tickling of my passion peeking through. Insha'Allah, we'll stumble back into each other's arms soon — full throttle — along one of my many roads not yet taken". #SomaliSideways.


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