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If you want to understand me
You have to get to know me
If you wanna know me
You have to know my history
So let me tell you my story.

You see Ogadenia is where I am from.
That’s where my ancestors use to roam
But now it feels like a funeral home
And all I seem to hear is the cries
For all the people that have lost their lives
Chemically bombed like they were flies.

And the world doesn’t hear
Not because of fear
And it seems my own people don’t even care
So tell me how that’s fair
When you’ve got an occupation with a mission for destruction of a nation that’s a massacre.

So don’t tell me that’s not a genocide
When my people are so terrified
Of all the killing, and jailing, and burning, and looting, and raping.
Coupled with famine and cholera. What a recipe for disaster.

Never having a voice
Not because of their choice
And that will never be televised
Cos it’s hidden from the rest of the world
But don’t say you’ve never been told

Cos what I am telling you is the truth And all I have is my faith
That one day I will reach my victory Then you will wanna know my history So quick to forget yesterday
And how you use to stand by.

When my people were massacred
When my people were massacred
When my people were massacred.

– Yahye Sheikh Abdi

Sooner Comes Their Doomsday!

With live bullets they kill
They mass arrest & jail
They torture & beat
Inhumanly they treat
They maim & terrorize
And then
They use propaganda to demonize
They give all kind of names
Calling peaceful protesters
‘Anti peace and violent’
‘Anti development’ and ‘destructive agent’

The victims of state terror
They always blame
That way they attempt to play the game
We won’t buy what they say
Must they know that
Sooner comes their doomsday
Then the oppressed people
Will have a bright future
In peace they will live
Freely and happily together!

– Milkiisaa Cimdeessaa

Poetry, Music, Art are chunks of immense Freedom.
That’s why the first victim of every oppression is Art.
They cage Art because this way they cage Freedom.

With Art
We unleash

– Sculptured Chaos

Nothing has any worth
If there is no heart
If there is no soul
in it.
Believe me

– Sculptured Chaos

Fruit barring Trees

Names, names, names
None applies.
Ask the singing leaves without the branch
Form and re-form, re-reform and form
The formless form is me
Ask the wingless birds flying high
The quite storm brewing underneath
Could erupt to strip me nameless
Only then, Shall I arise!
Like uninterrupted white smoke
Straight to the heavens
Road map to the higher being
Accessing the subliminal
Ask the confused and misguided spirits
Call, and call my name
Recognition failed,
Call, and call my name
Recognition failed,
Call, and call my name
Recognition failed, just a name calling…
Unfamiliar, uncharted and mute
Recoiled back to the core…
Folded neatly and stored in my sound box
Pressured and muffled.
Yet, sounds carried by trees barring lifeless fruits
Perfect displays of Cain and Abel’s gift
Forbidden to be consumed, halos’ of angels
Eyes far and near,
Forbidden fruits, forbidden truth
Eve’s original sin, lost treasures
Hanging, to be called home
So call, and call my name…
Call, and call my name…
Musical leaves, playing in the wind
Swaying and swaying to my way home
I shall be harvested soon
So, call, and call my name
It is all I have now,
Call, and call my name…

A poem by Najat Hamza, in rememberance of Salahdin, an Oromo university student found hanging from a tree during the ongoing Oromo Protests in Ethiopia.

I am
I am a man
Living in dark
Waiting for light
Swimming with sharks
Looking at a boat
I am a man
Given food
But hands tied
Opened appetite
Salivating by smells
Suffering of starvation
So terrified by death
Still trusting on rise.

– Daniel G. Areri

There is a door I’ve never opened
It’s been too painful
To even be close.
But you were inside of the room
Where I did not dare to go
I could not understand
And you could not understand how I could not understand
But how can one understand that someone
Can be inside of a room
Of which I cannot even approach the door?
I tried a few times
But it is beyond comprehension
That someone could do like that to you
Yet, I said
“I will go with you”
into the room, if you want
But you didn’t want to go.
You wanted to forget, even if impossible
Maybe I should still come with you
This is Your fight
But your fight has become mine
So for you
I would open the door
And go inside.

Melody Sundberg


Do Not Chase Me

You, the big man!
You, who has all the power,
Given to you by betrayals of gangsters and traitors
Who sell us out to the enemy,
Whose mission is fulfilled by agents.
Your money, happiness and power won’t be endless.

You greedy man, you selfish man!
Why do you follow me?
Why do you surround me?
Why do you follow my every step?
Why do you control my every move?
I am proudly confronting you, to not be deprived of my natural rights.

Your nightmare means nothing for us, we are out of there now.
Our aim is freedom, because freedom never harmed anyone.
Let us live with Humanity, Justice and Equality!
Stop following me; don’t chase me. That is to violate the law of nature.
I call you a thief, you and your gang of thieves.

Forget about dreaming that I would sing for you.
No, never. Rather, I oppose you.
As long as I’ve had a language to speak, you have imposed silence on me.
But, I am still screaming and shouting to be heard and remembered.
You deprived me of my natural rights
Your fantasies and thoughts make you confused and perverted
You trust your weapons; you trust your muscles,
But I will never die.
You don’t have the power to make me not believe in justice.
I trust the power of the people.
Yes, the power of the People.
No one can stop them; they will send you to hell.
You, Big man,
You, corrupted one, you gambling and bribing one,
You can scare me; you try to destroy my life,
But I have never raised for you a knife.
My courage is my pen; my weapons are ideas.
My power is with my people.
I preach Love; I declare Justice and Freedom.
I struggle for better times.
You wondered if I would be your messenger,
But, let me assure you: I never think of being disloyal to my people.
You might undermine me more and more,
But I proudly believe that love will bring this to its end.
Though I have been deprived of my humanity,
I am not a lesser human, as you thought.
Go ahead, and we will see what will be.
I won’t be under your knee; I love to live as free.
If that is a crime that makes you chase me,
You are ridiculous!
So stop following me; do not be mad.
You couldn’t destroy my peace of mind.
Yes, you made millions disappear; you pushed them to flee.
You made many disabled; you killed thousands of innocents.
However, I do not fear that you would kill me,
Even if it is in your hand to do so.
You couldn’t kill my ideas; the seed is already planted in the hearts of my people.
Because of that, I won’t surrender.
My life is not more precious than the lives you have already taken.
I am not more special than our heroes and heroines who have fallen.
Now leave me alone, stop following me.
Don’t chase me in your dream.
Don’t follow me like my own shadow.

Caalaa Hayiluu, March 2012
Published with permission

The Very First Day

The very first day they jailed you
Your body was in a tiny hole with your heart still at home

The very first day they brought you that prison meal
You were chewing pain, but tasting home

The very first day they tortured you
You were bleedin when they were cursin you for not brakin

The very first day they took you away
You were tryin not to see the loved ones cryin

The very first day they let you out from the cage
You were wonderin whether that very first day will be comin again, with you bein chained

The very first day they let you leave
Your body was home but your soul was in the prison hole, waitin for those who still didn’t got home

That very first day should not be the very first day for any human you know
That very first day should just be the last day

– A, 2015 for Untold Stories