Written by

Suzie Eisfelder
November 11, 2014

I adorn artwork, this artwork is much treasured and has been sold well through the Bakaara Market. My artist intends her artwork be for the people and left for the people to see and be inspired, Keinan had other ideas. He took one of my artwork to sell in the Bakaara Market. It sold well, just like my artist’s father’s work, Keinan took more from the streets, my artist did not know he was doing this.

One day my artist took her father’s painting to Bakaara Market to sell. They asked for more by my artist. They did not know they were talking to her but assumed the artist was a boy. There was an innocence in the artwork, they said. People had tried imitating them, they said, but we can tell the difference. There is even a belief Somalia can change in them, they said.

This both annoyed my artist and made her happy. She was annoyed as her works were designed to be left out for everyone to see not be stuck in people’s homes. She was happy to get the recognition her works deserve. This is all very dangerous for her as al-Shabaab thinks artwork is unIslamic, she could be taken away.

I hope she will continue, she provides hope for Somalia and money for her family. Her father and her brother have not returned. Life is hard is Mogadishu without men in the family, life is especially hard with al-Shabaab.

Through My Eyes: Amina by J L Powers
Through My Eyes: Amina by J L Powers

Ed: This book is a powerful voice, it shows the conflict in Mogadishu and by extension, Somalia through the eyes of a young girl. Here is a link where you can buy it (I will receive a small commission with your purchase.)

  1. The Through My Eyes books are such a great middle fiction series. Sharing stories set in various conflict zones from a child’s perspective really brings home the message that war isn’t just about soldiers and military battles, but about the everyday family lives and culture that is impacted by fighting and military decisions.

    I have all of the books in the series for my children and I think that every school library should have a set.

    1. Yes, and yes! I so agree with you and that’s one of the things I would have said had I scribbled a few words rather than doing a Mondayitis.

      Perspective is what is needed here and this kind of book can do that. It can also give long term education on how other people live through these events. I’m wondering how society would change with children growing up reading such books.

      1. I know that books such as these have helped my children to listen to news reports about conflicts and major issues around the world, including events like the Ebola outbreak in Africa and think more deeply about the information we are given including what isn’t being said.

        Malala Yousafzai’s recent book, and her story in general, is another great way to help children gain a sense of perspective and deeper understanding of social impacts of conflict and political unrest in a way that they can relate to.

        1. I have such a high regard for Malala Yousafzai, I feel quite humble compared to what she’s accomplished in her life.

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