Somali Sideways - Noor Ibrahim

(Picture from Somali Sideways Facebook, Click to view)

Here we have Noor Ibrahim at the #‎WallaceCollection, #‎London.

"I don't normally share my personal experiences, however, having read so many inspiring stories, here is mine; I grew up in a small town called Prinsenbeek in Holland where we were the only Muslim family. After 12 years my mother realised we were losing our identity and culture as we could barely speak Somali let alone know anything about our history and culture so she decided to embark on a journey to Hargeisa in 2002 for a family holiday. After 2 weeks in Hargeisa, my mum sat me and my brother down and informed us that we won't be returning to Europe as she wanted us to learn the culture and religion and I actually still remember to this day how I reacted, I literally left the room crying as it took me about 3 days to digest the news. Once my mum and my younger siblings left Hargeisa, I sat down with my brother and assured him that it's only going to be a short time and we will be fine as long as we stick together. After few weeks I was still struggling to come to terms of with my new surroundings and had hardly made friends as we struggled to speak Somali and we felt lonely and extremely homesick, missing our friends and family back in Prinsenbeek. I was struggling enormously as I used to cry in the toilet, but I realised I had to stay strong for my younger brother as he needed me during this difficult period. After several months we managed to get accustomed to our environment, built better relationship with our families especially my grandmother as well as also making friends and slowly starting to learn Somali and gradually adapted to our new surrounding. Looking back now, I am very thankful for my mother to have the foresight and the courage to leave us behind in order for us to learn about our history, culture and truly understand how lucky I am to have so many opportunities unlike many of my peers back home. Something that started as a holiday for few weeks turned out to be a life changing 2 and half years experience which has changed me to the person I have become today. I will always be thankful to my mother, for the ultimate risk she took as I now know without that experience, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I love you mum and I always will". #‎SomaliSideways.


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