Below is the poem written by Brother Awil Jama (with his Note) regarding the condition of the Somali youth. Although Brother Jama wrote this intending for the Somali youth, I feel that this poem in general addresses the issues concerning all Muslim youth- Somali, Pakistani, Arab etc.
Leave your comments below about what do you think of this poem. Thank you.
Somali Boy- A Poem
By Awil Jama,
Walking on a land where the surfaces are bound with desires and obsessions.
Where a Somali boy has no power or control over his own desires and destiny.
Blind to the need of self-discipline and self-respect.
Just left on the corner of the dark allies and streets
No hope or support but just the option to fail and self-destruct
No Hooyo* or Abo** to give him a helping hand just excuses and false hopes
His mother and father his adversary, nonexistent to him.
Disobeying them like it was a commandment.
Meant to be either a criminal or statistic
Music is his scape-goat, his love and his wife
His tongue memorizes the raps of Gucci Mane and Drake.
“I’m more than just a number, Kush is my cologne”
His education streams from B.E.T and MTV television
His heroes are Lil Wayne and Jay Z
Who teach him to not love those hoes and bitches
Give them no respect or true love
Use them and dispose of them like condoms, left on beds and allies
His place of residence the club or streets, his prison always the Masjid.
Nightly session at the shisha bar, looking for the next pretty sister to poke on.
He frenzies for weed like it was antibiotics
Sipping on liquor like it is water
Always get the liquor ready and never short on the Mary J
Popping pills like a crack fiend.
Won’t stop packing those cigarettes in his mouth
Chewing khat like it was bubble gum
No need to stop or question his motives
Qur’an foreign to him like Greek Mythology
No need to know his qabil(tribe), just gang affiliations
Islamic identity just another identity
Muslim by name, Somali by default.
Makes money by all means necessary legally or illegally
Just so he can buy another joint or cigarettes, when he should be buying a
His occupation is unknown but always seems to have money by the numbers
No need for higher education just a need for a higher dose of that “Mary-J”
No future plans just late night plans to party party”getting wasted”
Somali boy always seeking the new cool thing even if it is the most un-cool and destructive thing.
Brother Awil Jama’s Note:
The poem highlights the issue/problems that Somali youth are facing nowadays. I named the poem Somali boy because many Somali youth are simply boys, they haven’t become man yet due to the fact they are still indulgencing in childish behaviors. Somali youth are dealing with identity crisis, no supports from parents, big gap between parents and youth, criminal/violent actions, drugs, alcohol and female temptations and employment struggles, inability to stop listening to destructive music that blackens their heart, mistreating their Somali sisters and lack of higher education, lack of Islamic education and inability to get married.
Although the youth are faced with all of these things they can overcome them. Just by returning to Allah (swt) and ask him for guidance and patience. Struggling to please Allah (swt) and taking baby steps to discipline themselves and leave their bad habits alone. Seeking advice from parents, youth leader and Imams can point them to the right direction to start changing their lives for the better.
I hope this poem brought you closer to the reality of daily living for many Somali Youth in North America. I hope you have benefit and have been enlightened by this poem about what it’s like to be a Somali Boy. If you are parent/adult reading this poem, please try to understand what they are going through and give them help and guidance. If you are Somali youth reading this poem, please try to correct your mistakes and return back to Allah (swt).
Change is just one Du’a away. I wrote this poem just to reflect what it’s like to be Somali youth in America, so please don’t take any offense to it. If you do, please forgive me and make dua for me to get better.