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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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?
I am a lady live here
my country is very small
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.
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
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