By Saciido Shaie, Engage Minnesota
As a young girl full of hope, I lost that hope the day I left my country of birth, Somalia. I want to share how I came to the US and left Somalia without my choice.
I remember leaving my home not looking back, not knowing what was going on. The only thing I knew was that something awful was happening and that people were dying, yet I didn’t know why. I was very scared, confused and did not know what to do.
As my family and I left with my aunt’s car, my eyes were glued to the window. I watched the people on the street. I saw injured people crying for help on the sidewalk, yet no one was helping, everyone was running. But one thing that I can’t ever forget was, as I was watching people on the sidewalk, running, carrying backpacks, and carrying their babies on their back, walking without shoes, there was a child maybe one-year-old sucking his dead mother’s breast. This made me cry for many days. I remember looking at the baby, and telling my mother to stop the car so that I can help the baby. I remember how devastated and shocked I felt. I still remember the red shirt he was wearing.
You see, it is not easy to forget such incident, how can I when I still see the sand and the dust all over his little face and the tears and the horror on his face. How can I forget the cry and the scene as if I am rewinding an old horror movie? But make no mistake, as it was, and still is a reality of my past that hunts me down up until now. I wish someone heard me when I called my mother asking her to stop the car and didn’t.
“Mom, please stop the car,” I keep repeating the same cry, and I thought maybe my mother didn’t hear me at all. Then again, I said, “mom, the baby, please let’s help him.”