Wait, what’s going on?
This year we are launching The Arraweelo Project.
The Arraweelo Project is a collection of experiences, adventures, and stories as told by Somali women. The need for the collection came about after reading countless articles and books on the Somali experience as interpreted by people who have no claim to the culture or understanding of it. Many of those pieces were zealously fixated on violence and centered the experiences of complex, multifaceted women on their relation to men.
On a more personal note, Somali culture has a deep history of oral tradition. We don’t have designated storytellers because everyone you meet can tell you a tale. Stories passed down from generation to generation are preserved through war, poverty, and sickness.
Every person has that story that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and has you feeling like you were there with them. Stories have the power to motivate, enlighten, educate, and inspire those who have the privilege of hearing them. And they can even have the same effect on those who share their stories.
The stories are lost when we find that we are unable to share them. Sometimes we stay silent because we are afraid of what might happen when we share them. Sometimes we stay silent because we lack visibility. Sometimes we stay silent because of shame.
But whatever our reason for staying silent, one thing that is certain is that the story is lost. The only way to preserve the story is by sharing it. Whether that be in a journal, with a friend, or in a book. Our stories make us who we are. They shape the tapestry of our lives each time a material is woven in.
This collection will have a wide range of experiences and emotions. We will explore subjects such as identity, grief/loss, heartbreak, motherhood, first love, gender, abuse, race, education, relationships, mistakes, addiction, mental health, childhood, careers, friendship, marriage, culture, health, discrimination, religion, art, family, and much more.
Here’s how it works.
We accept submissions in one of two ways. You can send a story to firstname.lastname@example.org
You have the right share your name or keep it anonymous; it’s 100% up to you. For a list of complete guidelines, check out our submission guidelines.
I am also interviewing Somali women in the Twin Cities area. Contributors still have the option to remain anonymous. Stories are then written and composed by me. If you would like to know more about the process or would like to request an interview, send an email to email@example.com