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  • Writer's pictureSarah Taal

Poetry Workshop: The Hope Women’s Group and Malka Al-Haddad

In May 2018 Iraqi academic, poet and activist Malka Al-Haddad—author of Over land, Over sea, poems for those seeking refuge and Birds Without Sky Poems From Exile—held a poetry writing workshop with the Hope Projects women group. The Hope Project is a vital organisation who provide legal, housing and financial support to destitute people seeking asylum. The Hope Womens Group meet weekly to discuss experiences, share ideas and provide women with a safe and friendly environment to learn from speakers, express their creativity and individuality. On this particular week, the Hope women, with Malka’s guidance, explored their lived experiences of the asylum process (see below). Through their poems, the women highlight the emotional, psychological and physical impact of the current system.

At Malka’s upcoming book launch for her latest publication Birds Without Sky Poems From Exile (on the 15th of September from 2pm at The Meena Centre), a selection of the Hope women will perform their poetry.

For any questions about the book launch, please contact Sarah Tierney:

I am power

Like a president of my country

I am strong like someone climbing a mountain

I am shining like stars at night

I am big like elephant

Love each other

Free from Asylum to Refugee

Looking up one day God will open or doors

By Immaculate

My Home, My country,

A land of Milk and Honey

Yet I am Hungry

A land of Hope

But I am Lost

A land of Destiny

But racism has eaten deep

A land of Plenty

But corruption has their name

A country but lost in Transit

I seek for protection But

No place to call a home

I am Me

I want to be free and want to be heard

But who would give me a home?

By Bridget

I am a lady live here

In Birmingham

my country is very small

and quiet.

My family are friends are here and abroad.

I went thought a lot in this country since I came here,

my life is upside down

Home office and friends around they are not giving me a break.

My friends are jealous.

Home office to are driving me crazy

my life is not sweet here and abroad are just hell.

God will give me job one day, me and my kids.

By “Unknown”

I am a beautiful tree

lost in a forest

a forest that cannot allow me to bear fruits

I am seen just as any other tree

no one seem to see the potential

sweetness my fruits can provides

within me I know I can

I can produce fruits

fruits that can make a differences

a difference that can bring back my identity

remember I am beautiful tree

By Charity


I have two hand but I have been reduced to a no hand somebody

I have eyes yet blind

I am a bee looking like a snail

I am straight but crooked

I am myself but made to live a disguised life

when shall I come out to present myself as I really am

I used to feel real sunshine

but now a comoflash

By “Unknown”

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