In Somalia, there is no weekend, Friday is the day you (sic) off. In the morning we go to the beach swim in the sea have lunch and then come home and rest and then to cinema. But Saturday and Sunday you go back to school, you finish one o'clock, and then three o'clock you go to learn the Quran.
I have fond memory (sic) where I was born. I had happy childhood. I had five sibling (sic). My dad was policeman and my mom used to sell stuff, clothes, toys. And my grandmother used to look after us.
In those days, policeman wages wasn’t (sic) enough for (sic) family that’s why she had to go out and support him and work. Later, she found out that he was having a relationship with another lady, she lost it. Every single day she wore ripped clothes to embarrass him in (sic) office because she wanted him to divorce, and then, they divorced and that’s where everything broke.
He left the house, she left the house, we end up staying with my grandma. I was ten, all of a sudden your world collapse (sic) around you. I got married very young because I wasn’t happy at home.
Those days it’s normal to get married when you (sic) sixteen. And I had my first child when I was eighteen. When I had my second child, the war started two weeks after I had her. One early morning, there was a lot of gunfire outside the house, my daughter got shot.
The bullet come through to the roof and went into her thigh. She was bleeding and crying and I was so shocked, and when I touched her leg, I could feel the bullet. Absolutely no one is there to help you.
We walked 30 kilometer (sic) from the city to the next village. People are running for their lives. You can even see people getting shot in front of you. It was the worst day of my life, but you have to be strong for them.
You have to just at least try, if you die you die. We have been walking day and night, everyone is running for their lives. No hospital, no help. It was terrible. It wasn’t easy to leave the country because there was no airport.
We stayed outside (inaudible) about a month and it’s not safe. When you go to sleep you don’t not if you’re gonna wake up alive because there’s guns there violent (sic) there’s looting everywhere there is no law. After a month my mom said we’re gonna find you someone to bring you to Kenya.
My step dad ask (sic) his friends to loan him some money. Me and the girls after three months we traveled to Mombasa. A lot of people got killed when we were traveling because every control border someone wants money and if you don’t pay them, you are finished.
And we are just a small aircraft and we find our way to Kenya that’s when I had the most relief. She needed to get operation done because the bullet is (sic) so big it, was the size of your finger. And we went to big hospital and she had (sic) operation done, and the they put (sic) in a jar, my heart broke when I saw that bullet.
Say why didn’t that happen to me? Why did it happen to her? We stayed there about a year and a half, and then one day my step dad suddenly died on (sic) car accident. He went to work and never came home, and the we had to start another journey to leave Kenya.
We came (sic) London in 1993. New country, new language, now what? Where (sic) you start? where (sic) you go from here? All I knew is that we were safe, but I was also scared what kind of life we gonna have here, and how do I start all over again?
My mom knew someone who (sic) related to my step dad. She helped us, slowly, we find a house, but it wasn’t easy. If someone speaks to me I don’t know how to reply, how to say anything.
First I tried to put the kids to school, while they (sic) at school, I went to college. Slowly, slowly, life begins. I met a lot of people at the college, everyone got (sic) their own sad story, and everyone was so grateful to be here.
In Somalia in your own home, you’re not safe. Life doesn’t mean anything. I don’t actually have anyone in Somalia now, they’ve all gone. Aunties, uncles, cousins, wiped out.
That’s why I count my blessing (sic), and be grateful that my children don’t (sic) die there. Even now, it’s not safe, people are dying every day. That’s why I would never want to go back there.
I am so happy and grateful to call here a home. This is my home. The life I had and the life my children have is completely different. I dedicated my life to the children to get the future that I didn’t have.
I just wanted for them to be happy, and to have a good life, and good careers. Salusbury has been my family. They were (inaudible) they helped me above and beyond. They are my family.