I really struggled but strived

“My father was killed when the civil war erupted in Somalia. My family tried to stay amidst the war, but it became unbearable, so we fled to neighbouring countries. The journey was long and arduous. We first arrived in Ethiopia, then walked to Djibouti, from there we took a boat to Eritrea. We were captured by Eritrean soldiers, but they accepted as refugees and settled us somewhere remote. Eritrea became my home and where I spent most of my life. However, since there weren’t many educational opportunities and I was the eldest child, I decided to work and became a gold miner. It was a tough job where, for many weeks, you wouldn’t find a single stone. It was frustrating. Eventually, my family were resettled in Australia, and I felt like my real life was about to start. I’m not going to lie to you, I only used to see white people on TV, but that changed when I arrived in Australia. They were extremely welcoming, but it was still confusing as I had to adapt to the country’s environment and lifestyle. I barely knew English and this was reflected in one moment that made me believe in humanity. It was raining heavily and my mother and I got really lost. Our clothes were soaking wet. Suddenly this car parked near us and this woman stepped out, gave us an umbrella to protect us from the heavy rain. The next day, I made known to my case manager my intention to go to school. The system, unfortunately, put my mother and me in the same class. I felt that this wasn’t right because I completed some level of education back in Eritrea, whereas my mother never went to school. After presenting my argument to the case manager, I was moved to a different level. But I felt like I wasn’t moving fast enough, so I dropped out of school altogether. For six months, I stayed at home. At night I went out with some really bad crowd and slept during the day. I felt demoralised and then it suddenly hit me: I was the oldest and supposed to set an example for my younger siblings. On my way to do something, I met this complete stranger and poured my heart out with the limited English I knew. She directed me to a particular college for drop-outs and mature students. I wrote down the name and Googled it. I made an appointment and took an entry test. I failed the English part, but they still allowed me in to prove myself. It was a rough and challenging journey. At times I felt like quitting, but I persevered. I told myself that I’ve been through some challenging experiences, and it’s akin to the Somali character to give up. At times, I would sit at the library day and night to complete a simple 300-word assignment. In the end, I passed with distinction. Everyone was gobsmacked. I applied for a medicine course and got accepted. I, however, quit the course because seeing dead bodies and blood really made me depressed. I then did some more research and enrolled in a public health degree which I believe will really help me contribute back home. I graduated last year and have already started my postgraduate studies. I’m more determined than ever, and I’m thankful for all the people that crossed my path and pushed me in one way or another.”
 
 

“Aabbahay waxa la dilay markii dagaalkii sokeeye ka qarxay Soomaaliya. Qoyskaygu waxa ay isku dayeen in ay sii joogaan dalka, balse way u adkaysan kari waayeen, sidaas darteed wax aannu u qaxnay dalalka deriska ah. Wuxuu ahaa safar dheer oo rafaad badan. Markii hore Itoobiya ayaannu nimid, haddana ilaa Jabuuti ayaannu u lugaynay, halkaasna doon ayaannu ka raacnay ilaa Erateriya. Ciidanka Erateriya ayaa na qabtay, waxayna noo aqoonsadeen qaxooti oo waxa ay na dejiyeen meel miyi ah. Erateriya ayaa hoy ii noqotay, halkaas ayaanan noloshayda inta badan ku qaatay. Si kastaba ha ahaatee, maadaama aanay jirin fursado waxbarasho, aniguna aan ahaa ilmaha ugu weyn, waxa aan go’aansaday in aan shaqo tago, dahabkana buuraha ka baaro. Waxa ay ahayd shaqo adag, dhawr toddobaadna aanad helaynin dhagax keli ah. Way i dhibtay. Ugu dambayn, qoyskaygii waxa ay degeen Ustareeliya, waxaanan dareemay in noloshayda dhabta ahi hadda bilaabmayso. Been kuu sheegi maayee, markii hore waxaan Tv-ga ka arki jirey uun dad caddaan ah, laakiin markii aan Ustareeliya imid ayay taasi is beddeshay. Dad aad u naxariis badan ayay ahaayeen, laakiin khalkhal ayay igu keentay maadaama aan ku khasbanaa in aan nolol iyo degaan cusub la qabsado. Afka ma aqoon, balse dhacdo igu dhacday ayaa i tustay bani’aadannimada dadkan. Roob weyn ayaa da’ayay, aniga iyo hooyadayna waannu lunnay. Dharkayaga dhan way qoyeen. Si kedis ah, baabuur ayaa noo joogsaday, gabar ayaana ka soo degtay, waxay na siisay dallaayado aan roobka iskaga dhigno. Maalintii ku xigtay ayaan go’aansaday in aan iskuul bilaabo. Nasiibdarro, nidaamka dalka ayaa aniga iyo hooyo isku fasal na geeyay. Wax aan dareemay in aanay sax ahayn, maadaama aan anigu wax hore ku soo dhigtay Erateriya, hooyana aanay waxba hore u soo dhigan. Markii aan maamulka ku qanciyay dooddayda, waa la iga wareejiyay fasalkii. Haddana waxa aan dareemay in aan si gaabis ah u socdo, sidaas darteed waxaan go’aansaday in aan ka baxo dugsiga. Muddo lix bilood ah guriga ayaan iska joogay. Habeenkii waxa aan raaci jirey dad aan wanaagsanayn, maalintiina waan hurdi jirey. Rejo la’aan ayaan dareemay, markaas ayay igu soo dhacday in aan reerka ugu weynahay, tusaale fiicanna aan u noqdo walaalahay iga yaryar. Go’aankaas aniga oo ku socda ayaan la kulmay gabar aanan aqoon u lahayn, afkii yaraa ee aan aqaanayna aan si niyad ah ugu warramay. Waxa ay ii tilmaamtay dugsi ay dhigtaan dadka waxbarashada ka dhacay iyo dadka waaweyn. Magacii ayaan qortay, waxaanan ka baaray Google. Ballan ayaan ka qabsaday, imtixaan ayaanan u galay. Qaybtii afka Ingiriisida ayaan ku dhacay laakiin haddana fursad ayay i siiyeen. Waxa uu noqday safar adag oo dhib badan. Mararka qaar in aan ka tago ayaan ku fikiray, haddana waan u adkaystay. Waxaan is iri dhib badan ayaad soo martay, Soomaalidana in ay niyadjabaan oo is dhiibaan lagu ma yaqaan. Waxa dhici jirtay in aan mararka qaar dhex fadhiyo maktabadda habeen iyo maalin si aan dhammeeyo laylis yar oo aan ka badnayn 300 oo erey. Ugu dambayntii, si cad ayaan u gudbay. Dadkii oo dhan way u qaadan waayeen. Waxa aan codsaday kooras caafimaad ah, waana la i aqbalay. Balse waan ka tegay kaas, maxaa yeelay waan u adkaysan waayay in aan arko dhiigga dadka dhaawaca ah iyo maydka. Markaas ayaan baadhitaan kale sameeyey, waxaanan bilaabay caafimaadka guud ee jaamacadda heerka kowaad, kaas oo aan rabo in aan dadkaygii dalkii joogay uga faa’ideeyo. Sannadkii hore ayaan dhammeeyey, imikana waxa aan bilaabay jaamacadda heerka labaad. Hadda way iga go’an tahay, waxaanan mahad weyn u hayaa cid kasta oo saamayn ku lahayd jidka aan maanta qaatay.”

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