Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Daljir: A Poem

By Mahamoud Haji
Translated by Faisal Roble (Somali version)

Mohmoud Haji, an acclaimed Somali poet and a fiction writer composed Daljir at the height of cruel shelling of Las Anod, his birthplace, by the unrestrained troops of Somaliland. The words of the poet hanker back to his heritage of fighting back against local and global injustice. He relishes on the memories of the Dervish gallantry that challenged the colonial soldiers of Great Britain in the 19th century. Without fear of the current enemy, the poet shows through his words the resolve of his people to fight for justice, equality, and freedom for both for his hometown and for all oppressed Somalis.

I am an honest patriot 
Equality is my portrait
A vigilant Dervish I am who fights for freedom
My heart is laden with love and well wishing
My heritage is shepherding 
The flock until my last breath 
Stops, I say no to bullying,

That who seeks to fight me
That who provokes me 
I know how to answer 
All of them with a vengeful war
I am the one that teaches them
lesson of history that carries the Dervish’s hymn,

Metallic defense I am
For our country and for all Somalis
From the Dervish days
Onwards, I paid sacrifice without complaint
I am the one who accepted to bleed
for the greater good,

I am a wall made up of an iron
Like unbreakable mountain
I am that one who refused  
Defeat, and I remain ever solid 

I suspended my priorities to advance 
The greater good by continuing the struggle
I am the wall that fends off for our community
Lest hundreds of warriors don’t sway me
I defy hunger and worldly need I am strong and study forever like

I am the protector of the oppressed
To defend you like a shield
I will not give up until death
Takes my last breath,

You poor Duale, let me explain to you 
Why they are killing me is for my defense for you
To silence forever the power of my patriotic words
They are killing me not because of personal agendas
But because I adhere to our national ethos,

My jaw is broken for my stern protection of our Land
My home is invaded for my commitment to nationhood
For that I am willing to sacrifice
So I fulfill the national promise,

You poor Daule, they are killing me
And, they are harassing me 
Not because of any crime
But because I call for togetherness that they don’t approve, 

My only crime is because of my wish for our country
That together we all stay
Under an inclusive banner where the norm is equity,

For that though, I am ready to take the bullets
Also punches on my jaws
I am the guardian of our culture 
Mine are responsibilities for defense  
Of our heritage as well as our religion
I said no to destruction and disintegration
I am not willing to accept destruction and disintegration.

Read the Somali version Daljir

By Mahamoud Haji
Translated by Faisal Roble

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