Monthly Archives: June 2010

I remember you…

I remember you…

you with the beautiful eyes

and a smile that made my heart stop

the bringer of sunshine to my cloudy world

remember your scent, assaulting me

forcing me to look up and take notice

I remember you…

with the sweet words like soft caresses

with each stroke breaking down my walls

defenses crumbling around me

gladly falling into an upward spiral

completely lost, forever captive

into the sweetness of your mouth

drinking deeply from the pools of your gentle touch

I remember you…

with your cruel words, and sword edged rebukes

burning me with the fire of your rejection

turning to ashes the evidence of my surrender

tearing to pieces the open doors of my heart

turning to bitter acid, the pools of tears

flowing to my feet,  a river of regret

I remember you…

you came, you saw, you destroyed

riding off  to the sunset

on a horse of my innocence

in the wake of your destruction

no backward glance to the empty shell

yearning for just one more taste, one more look, one more touch

I remember you..

less human, more devil

less giver, more destroyer

you shouldn’t have, but you did

and I remember you…

© Aisha Ali

Open letter to Ayan Hirsi

Dear Ms Hirsi,

I don’t know you. You don’t know me either. However, in today’s world of internet and what not, it’s hard not to know of you.

Let me start this off by saying that I have not read any of your books. Just a lot of reviews and interviews. I don’t know if that gives me enough authority to respond to you. But ever since I was asked about my opinion on your thoughts few weeks back you have been on my mind.  I feel that I owe myself and many others like me an answer.

But first let me tell you a bit about myself.

I am a Muslim woman by birth.

By that I  mean that I was born into a Muslim family. And my parents like all other Muslim parents made sure that I was educated in the matters of my religion. And as you know, Islam is a religion that is entrenched in the culture. So I was raised in an Islamic environment as well. I suspect this is more or less the kind of upbringing that you went through while you were living in Kenya

Second I’m a Muslim woman by choice.

This is the most vital part of my letter. According to what I’ve read, you are fighting against Islam and it’s subjugation of women. How if women in Islam had a choice she wouldn’t choose a life of cover up and modesty. Well I’m here to tell you that I made a choice. I’m not going to pretend that I am perfect in my religion. But I choose to be a Muslim every single day. And guess what Ms. Hirsi, I am not alone. My cousin used to be what you would call a “westernized” woman. One day she changed her life. And I envy the kind of contentment she got. She made her choice. And there are thousands even millions of women all over the world who make this choice.

The aim of this letter is not to try to paint perfection in the way matters of my religion are handled. All I’m saying is that women like me are tired of being constantly portrayed as weak and brainwashed with no sense of self-worth. We are proud of who we are.

So, Ms. Hirsi,  you want us to let you live your choice? Then please allow us ours!

Sheria ni Wanne

(As performed on 9th June 2010 at the Kwani Open Mic)

Sheria ni Wanne

It would be hard to miss the woman

Standing by the corner

Alone and detached from the crowd

Seemingly untouched by the excited chatter around her

At first glance, there’s nothing remarkable about her

She does not cut an admirable figure

Slightly bent, leaning heavily against the wall

The wind blowing her loosely tied leso

This is not an extraordinary woman

But despite the controlled chaos around her

It’s hard to miss her

“Huyo bibi harusi anaingia

Hoye hoyeeee

Shangwe na vigelele”

She seems old and frail although she’s barely forty

Looking at her standing still, you are first hit by the desperation,

Then the fear, the anger, the bitterness and hopelessness

That seems to permeate from her into the air around her

Yet she hardly moves,

It would be so easy to ignore her

She looks around her with accusing eyes

The people around her almost like strangers

Yet she’s lived with them for more than 20 yrs

“Ywapi mamake harusi aje hapa tuhangaike naye

Hoyee hoyeee

Shangwe na vigelele”

Snippets of conversations chase after her

Making her wish she could go deaf for just one day

Silence her world and give her peace

But she has to stand and swallow her shame

While her whole world crashes around her

She remembers the day she was worthy of being called mke

When the singing and joy had been for her

Not an old hag past her sell by date

“Mke mwenza bwana katwawa

Naatwawe mwana kutwawa

Bendera yangu ninayo mwenyewe”