Mar 7 2017
SLnnews-Hawa Jama Abdi:A recent graduate of the Somaliland Brail Centre with one of the highest marks on record, Hawa has never let her blindness stand in the way of her eagerness to learn. She is currently working on a diploma in journalism, and hopes to gain a PhD in the future, whilst the humanitarian work she undertakes in her country helping blind young people is an inspiration to us all.
Hawa Jama Abdi – One of the Winners
The International Somali Awards is an event honouring the greatest achievements of the worldwide Somali community and promises to be one of the most important events of its kind ever staged. An innovative, unique and prestigious event,
Look below The Somali Faces Story About Hawa Jama Abdi
“I was born blind and I faced a lot of difficulties growing up. The Somalis have a saying: ‘For one to become blind, there is no fault in that but there is a fault in becoming blind in a community full of blind people’. My family and the Somali people that I interacted didn’t know the proper way to raise or approach a blind girl. As a result, I became self-dependent and quite isolated. During my younger years, we lived in a village called Higlale, close to a large well. On a given morning, I accompanied my mother to collect some water from the well. As we were approaching the well, my mother saw from afar two figures approaching the well from the opposite direction. We sat near the well and waited for them. You see, I love plants and flowers, though I’ve never seen how they look like, but I love caressing them, gently stroking them. So whilst we waited for them, I plucked lots of flowers, as many as my two hands could hold. When the two figures approached the well, they turned out to be a distant relative and her son. After greetings were exchanged, my aunt said in a jokingly matter: ‘Who is this beautiful girl sitting next to you, is she yours?’ Before my mother could reply, she answered her own question: ‘Is she the blind girl’. My mother replied in the affirmative. I got used to being referred to as the blind girl and I guess over the years, the hurt feeling dampened so it didn’t bother me much. But suddenly, once he heard that I’m blind, the son started walking towards me and sat next to me. He took the flowers that I held in my hands and patiently told me their names, their colours, where they can be found. I was taken aback for no one has ever done that for me. He asked me…”
“He asked me a single question: ‘do you love greenery?’ I instantly replied yes, not hiding my excitement. I added that I love all the types of flowers that this world offers. He promised me that he will take me as many places he possibly can, full of flowers and greenery. From that day onwards, he took me to the most beautiful places and we spent a lot of time together. I fell in love with him but since I was a young girl, I could not tell him. I kept thinking, in time I will disclose it to him. Unfortunately, we had to move and we left the Towfiiq district in Mudug to Galkayo. I was heartbroken but I tried to move on. After a while, I randomly saw him in Galkayo but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him of the love that I carry for him. So we left it at that. In 2009, we saw once again in Hargeisa and I told myself that I’ve been given another chance to tell him so I did. I told him of my love for him and he replied with a question that bothered me to the core. He said: ‘How is possible for you to love, considering that you are blind and can’t see me?’ Even though I had every right to get angry and leave; I tried to remain calm and explain to him that we, blind people, are capapble of recognising love. In fact, you don’t need physical eyes to see and experience love. Love is experienced through the intuitive knowledge of our hearts and I see and recognise it with the eyes of my heart. He wasn’t in love with me but I tried to show him my love at several occasions. I wrote several poems for him and remained patient and slowly he fell in love with me. In the end, however, we didn’t end up together and that’s God’s will. But know that beauty and love’s not experienced through your physical eyes. It’s experienced through your heart and I tell others who have been in my situation and are blind, if you experience love, don’t let your disability deter you from pursuing it. Everyone is capable of love.”