Aden Muhumed Ahmed

It was in the year 1997 when my father took me to Somalia to visit our grandfather.

As we stayed there, I and my nephew went to fetch water from a well. Soon after we reached it my nephew threw his shoe into the well. He looked at it and tried to get it back but he couldn’t. Thoughts engulfed him and he feared from his parents that if they find him shoeless they would torture him. As I was looking at him he fell or dumped himself into the well and I remained there alone. I also started thinking about him. If his parents missed him they would accuse me of throwing their son into the well. Time came and went, now I also put on my shoes and prepared myself to also dump myself into the well, but with good luck the well water overwhelmed the edge. Then the water threw the boy up and returned back and again he was thrown. Now some people went in the well and saved the boy.

In short when I remember the day I feel like strangling myself and I knew that Somalis never knew the wisdom which says “Wait before you criticize” but only knew the hit and run straying bullets.

Happening Now

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

  • The poetic documentary Songs Still Sung: Voices from the Tsunami Shores, written and co-produced by Takako ARAI and creatively subtitled into English by a class of UI students of Japanese, will be screened at the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, on-line 10/7-14/2021.

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