I have met many people, young and old, men and women, of Somalian origin who are so tired of the negative media picture of Somalians, the problems in the group as such, instead of all the good things. At Sevedsgatan 12 here in Malmoe there’s an association called Hidde iyo dhaqan. They are working for building up a more nuanced picture of national and individual Somalian pride, affirmative pictures and self esteem. They have existed since 1995 and can be reached at http://www.hiddeiyodhaqan.com, or +46 (0)70-745 66 87. They have since July 1st 2011 something called Voices of our own Pictures of our own where they present affirmative pictures of Somalians in different situations: cooking, getting awards from the Swedish king, singing, performing, being proud guards, taking care of their children. There are pictures of Somalian women reading and proud Somalians running. I visited Hidde iyo dhaqan this summer and recieved some information about them which I now present. I can fully understand that they are tired of being presented as problems. Who shouldn’t?
In 2003-2004 many Somalians in Malmoe moved to England, mainly to Birmingham, Leicester and London. Some of the Somalian youngsters I was teaching asked for my assistence with letters of introduction. Between 2004 and 2008 some of the young Somalian adults that I had been teaching three to four years earlier also came to me and asked for letters of introduction. Within that group I have met so many nice, intelligent and competent people of both sexes. There were some of them that I loved talking to, and several of the Somalians who got my help to move on have done well and succeeded in reaching their goals. I think of Cisse, Zainab, Hanan, Hodan, Hani, Abbas and Moussa. Cisse studied medicine and Zainab became a nurse, to take two examples. Of course there are others as well, and in my heart they are all still very dear to me. Others may not have been as successfull as the others, but I know that they’re trying.
These people didn’t need some white patriarch patting on their head teaching them to become good, white Christians. Of course not. They just needed help to move on in the right direction. I for one am completely aware of that they are strong, intelligent individuals who can take care of themselves and have every right to feel proud for being who they are. Moreover we mustn’t forget that we all on this earth have ancestors of African origin. The problems with integration and the effects of that has more to do with blockations in the Swedish bureaucracy, and blockations in our own heads. We can’t continue with blinkers for our eyes. We must keep a vivid mind and find better solutions. In England and the USA the Somalians have succeeded in becoming integrated much quicker than here in Sweden. That’s why we must reconsider and listen to voices from associations like Hidde iyo Dhaqan.
Anders Moberg, November 17th 2012
http://www.hiddeiyodhaqan.com is the address