3,5 years in Hamburg
You come from many different places – what led you to Hamburg?
I was born in Paris and come from Somalia. I used to live there until the civil war started in 1991. My family moved to Paris temporarily, thinking the war would end soon but after two years and no end in sight, we made the big move to suburban Southern California. That’s where I did the rest of my formative years plus university in Los Angeles. After graduation and much traveling, I found myself working in Boston. From there I moved to Hamburg, where I intend to stay.
What is Hafenlesung? Why should we all come next time?
Hafenlesung is the only international reading series in Hamburg. I came on board earlier this year as a co-host and co-organizer. Found in Translation is the collective that coordinates the reading and it consists of me, Jonis Hartmann, Tomás Cohen and Hugh James. We are all writers, poets and artists. We do about four readings a year, around seven readers from varying domestic and international backgrounds reading in their mother tongue with German translations. It is a celebration of literature, of art and passion. We always hold it at Golem and the audience is the most welcoming, interesting and artistic people you will meet. It is a true diversity. Our next one is December 15th. Don’t miss it!
What kind of stories do you write? What’s your latest (or best) work, and where can we read it?
I am a short story creative non-fiction writer. Yes, I agree it’s a mouthful! What it means is I tend to write shorter stories pulled from real life in a creative, poetic way. I generally write about identity, culture, family, and internationalism. I have recently had my short story titled “Goodbye” published in the book collection “My Old Man”. You can buy it on Amazon. I am also a freelancer who writes English articles for various startups and businesses.
Photo credits: Gunnar Nicolas