TinyLetter of the Month: Jamila Osman, “Notes from Ramallah”
“Writing these letters is my way of laying siege to the silences that I have learned to harbor.”
These days hope feels like a toy for children. To me it is losing its appeal and allure. I tell them about Somali refugees fleeing their country by boat and drowning in the middle of the ocean. I tell them about family members that have spent years languishing in refugee camps waiting for a country to accept them, family members who have died in refugee camps waiting for a country, any country, to accept them.
I feel this urgently as I travel throughout and learn from Palestinians living in the West Bank. A refugee understands the rights a people have to their ancestral domain. Settler colonial logic sees colonization as the beginning of history rather than a disruption of it.
//A devastation of the natural order of things//
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Jamila Osman is a Somali writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in The Toast, Boaat Press, Tinderbox, The Establishment, and Pacific Standard, among other places. She is a public school teacher, and facilitates poetry workshops for incarcerated youth.
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