I am listening to poet and journalist, Mohamed Hassan, on National Radio, and his short video piece on the terror attack (you can find this on his Facebook page), and again his poems, because local poets are sharing links to them on social media. Like everyone he is lost for words, lost in the way words stretch and struggle at a time of such human catastrophe. And like so many Aotearoa Muslims he speaks.
This week my blog has faltered, my normal blog features have stalled – my internet was down all day yesterday but, more than that enforced silence, my blog felt numb mute wrong.
When such an inhuman ignorant incomprehensible event wounds the hearts of communities, of a country, it is hard to know how to continue. Many journalists and media platforms are bringing us Muslim voices, are questioning how media questions and presents a terror attack – its terrible effects, its deep-reaching context and the ongoing issues, a desire for unity.
We are what we speak.
Poetry is such a little thing, a little drop in the massive seas of human endeavour – yet like stories – poetry connects us to human experience, to how we live and love and mourn. It is a window, it is a balm and it is an eye-opener.
This is a time to reach out and make connections, to listen.
Mohamed Hassan ‘The Muslim Women Who Raised Me’
Mohamed Hassan ‘(un)LEARNING My Name ⁄ Spoken Word’
Mohamed Hassan ‘Secrets of the Sea – (for Alan Kurdi)’
You can also listen to Mohamed at Radio NZ’s ‘Public Enemy’s’ series: This series looks at the growing Muslim communities in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and how elections, counter-terrorism policies, war and xenophobia have impacted their lives.
In this episode, Mohamed Hassan looks at how the events of 9/11 kicked off an ‘us versus them’ attitude around Muslims in the West.
He speaks to Muslims living in the United States and in New Zealand and gets their perspective.
Heard this again the other night and it is essential listening.
Mohamed Hassan is a poet and journalist from Auckland, and co-founder of the Waxed Poetic Revival.