Where is the moon?
Last preparations at full speed
The Eid morning
The Eid prayer
Shaytan is free again
Good food: a matter of costs!
Meat: a must have!
What are the benefits of fasting in Somalia?
More effort vs. fresh food
The heat vs. short fasting times
Food: necessarily fresh!
No unnecessary weight gain, as there is less junk food!
More thirsty – You’ll drink enough!
Many ways to feed the poor
Many helping hands
No loneliness anymore!
A special time for children
More motivation for worship activities
Next Masjid around the next corner
And, have you got the taste? If the flights here would not be so expensive (about 1000 Euro per person), I would smoothly open a travel agency, believe me! With Ramadan specials, camel rides, camel-milk-cure, etc … But what is not yet can still come. The less riots are here, the more people will come here and so the airfares will sink, in shaa Allah.
When and why did you emigrate to England?
England was closest to me, where I do not feel my soul constricted. Here there is no such racism as in Germany, alhamduliLlah.
England is an incentive for me to reach my highest potential. And we have this freedom here as Muslims, alhamdullilah.
How long have you been preparing for your Hijrah?
Walk your way slowly if you want, but always have your goal in mind and work towards it!
I cried for days and my patients and friends with me. But I had decided. I wanted a better future for my children. And I absolutely could not imagine these in Germany for my children. I wanted to spare my children this rejection and racism. And I wanted them to make something beautiful out of their lives, despite abaya and headscarf and with Islam in their hearts.
How was it for you to emigrate as a woman on your own with children?
When we settled in Birmingham, we were really happy. Of all the cities I have lived in, I would recommend Birmingham to everyone again.
Which cities can you recommend for new migrants?
Birmingham is very good for the beginning. There is a huge Ummah [Muslim society]- even a German sister club – and there is really everything for Muslims: shops, fitness, Islamic schools, Qur’an classes, etc. It is called “The Mekka of Europe”- very open and international! At Eid [Muslim Festival] there is a huge festival organized by Muslims, to which even people from all over Europe travel to. More than 10.000 Muslims pray together on the ground at Small Heath Park. If you are looking for a strong feeling of unity, it is best to go there. The only downside is the garbage and the rats, who take a tear even from cats.
Nottingham is well-suited for those seeking a high standard of education. Although fewer Muslims live there, and society itself, including the Muslims, consists mainly of academics. It is very clean there and the schools and universities have a very good reputation. Sisters there are highly educated and very intellectual. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Islam boarding school for girls, because there is a lot going very wrong and children there rather learn to hate Islam – instead of learning to love it, through their way of extremism.
Leicester is also known for his high Muslim share. Lifestyle is a mix between Birmingham and Nottingham.
Leeds– the suitable city for those, who prefer a big and clean city. There are many Pakistani’s and Arabs, but „Niqabi’s“ are much more found in Birmingham.
Bradford is also a good place for Muslims. The nature is beautiful there and there are also many Muslims. It is not as clean as in Leeds, but the rent is very cheap. There I finally ended up.
Which schools can you recommend there – Islamic or state?
How long does a mother have maternity protection? And at what age do children have to go to kindergarten?
How can you avoid forced vaccinations if you are a total opponent of it?
This is not welcome here. However, I have learned to only say that one sentence. „You can not force me!„, Then you are taken out of the vaccine system.
Do I have to speak perfect English to get by?
On my wall hangs a large self-written picture. „My English is excellent, alhamdullilah.“ Such affirmations can do wonders if you read them every day, in shaa Allah!
Do you regret your decision?
I have not regretted my decision to leave Germany for a single minute, alhamduliLlah! For here, as a Muslim, you simply have a more self-determined, free and carefree life than in Germany.I can develop freely here and that is very important to me personally.
England is not far from Germany. Do you miss anything from your home country?
In England I am even more respected as a German than in Germany. In Germany I am not even regarded as fully fledged Germans. Whereas, as a therapist from Germany I have more chances to win patients, because Germany is regarded as a country of very high quality – not only by the Muslims, but also by the English.
What tips would you advise your brothers & sisters in Islam when it comes to Hijrah to England?
- Be prepared in any case, trust in Allah, and then progress to action!
- Do not expect anything from others, just from yourself! That means, take care that you find work there, looking for the best opportunities- it’s in your hands to become succesful!
- The standard of living of local Muslims is rather high, so see this as motivation to make the best out of you!
- Also, trust in Allah – if you purposely do the Hijrah, He will never let you down!
And whoever emigrates in the way of Allah, will find some refuge and aid on earth. And whoever leaves his house and emigrates to Allah and His Messenger, and death overtakes him, whose reward falls to Allah; and Allah is forgiving and merciful.(Sura 4, verse 100)
Those who call the angels off while doing themselves wrong (to those) say, „What were you in?“ They say, „We were oppressed in the land.“ They (the angels) say, „Was not Allah’s earth far, so that you could have emigrated to it?“ But those, – their sanctuary will be hell, and (how) evil is the outcome! (4:97)
What does rainy season mean in Somalia?
The term rainy season is also somewhat misleading in Somalia, because even in these months falls only low rainfall. Rainy season in Somalia is the period of occasional rainfall and NOT persistent rainfall typical of other tropical regions.
What if the rain stops?
Developments in recent months show that the famine could be even more devastating than it was six years ago. Six million people are at risk of famine. One million people are already fleeing the drought. By the end of the year it will be two million. And in the coming months, when the rain stops, a complete crop will fail. The livestock will become extinct.
That’s why you can see at the corner of every small or bigger city camps with thousands of drougth- refugees.
How do the Somali’s deal with the drought?
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, „The Muslim will never endure exertion, sickness, tribulation, sorrow, evil, or harm, even if only a thorn stings him, without Allah making it atonement imputed for his sins. „(See Hadith no. 540)[Sahih al-Bukhari, chapter 68 / Hadithnr. 5641]
And we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.[Sûrah al-Baqarah (2): 155]
How did I live in the drought, as a Westener?
- During the day, the tap water was gone very often when you most needed. It came only in the evening or at night at the latest, in which we could then fill vats with water. Actually, I was amazed that groundwater could still be found at all, which was directed to the houses in the city. But in the daytime we had to bring extra water from our wells to our toilets, showers, laundry and dish washing as soon as our supply of the night was empty. Not an easy task – especially in the hot season – but still a luxury, if you think more carefully!
- If it came up very extreme, we could not get a supply of well water. Then we had to wait a few days until it was brought in the middle of the night. Since the well water was taken from (groundwater) reservoirs from the surrounding areas, people had to wait for it, because during the day it was given to the needy animals. But in such a country you do not give up so easily – there is a solution for everything (most of the time)! Often we then brought water in these yellow containers from my sister-in-law’s well by car.
- After all, we had continuous drinking water, which was filled with a tank truck in large 100-liter containers. Of these we had 2, but after one of them broke down and the tanker had to come every few days, they had brought us a huge container!
- At times there was hardly any choice of vegetables on the market, let alone fruits. Then you have to be content with the main food. Which kind of vegetables were available varied from day to day: today there were carrots, tomorrow lemons; then no carrots, but white cabbage, etc. Also, the meat prices had risen extremely (no wonder, since the animals died away).
- Once, unfortunately, I experienced also a cholera case in our home: a new housemaid, who was still fit in the morning, suddenly started vomiting in the noon. She said that came from cleaning the toilet and just kept working. Until she folded up on the floor at midday. We thought it was just an upset stomach, gave her lemon water, and wanted to take her to the hospital in the afternoon. Thankfully, her mother came and they went alone without our knowledge to the hospital. That’s what saved her life, AlhamduliLlah. In the afternoon, my co-sister found her half-dead in the hospital, put on tens of needles. After all, we were able to make up for our mistake by paying her the medication. Cholera occurs very easily as soon as sufficient hygiene due to lack of water is not guaranteed. Then you have to act very fast, otherwise the death will be faster in front of the door than you can imagine…
Everything is relative!
What if it rains?
What is „snow-free“ in Germany is called „rain-free“ in Somalia
Rainy season is fun- time!
This peace afterwords …!
But: Nature, agriculture and livestock have not yet fully recovered. This will only change, when the rain-loving camels give birth to their children. Then again the camel’s milk and the other things will flow, in shaa Allah. However, the thousands who have lost their homes and their possessions need still our support.
As salaamu alaikum and Hello dear friends,
Yesterday I had a very exciting occasion, which I want to share with you. It is about a short, but very nice meeting with a sister from Turkey! Actually it was not only her- her business-partner came to visit us as well- they came to Somalia for the second time.
I´m always glad to meet new people, especially those from outside. So we introduced each other and then I asked her:
„How come, you came to Somalia?“
Dilan answered, that she had a friend in the United States who is originally from Gabon, but had lots of Somali friends. He told her about Somalia and it´s possibilities to invest in. She got to know many interesting projects and decided to have a look at it by herself. Her main dream is to give Somali children a better future.
A foreign woman dares to come to this dangerous country? You might ask yourself. Yes, indeed- and she fell in love with it! She returned safely and happy back to her home and had a mission: She want to help the country to develop and to show the world, that Somalia isn’t a country to be afraid of!
The best thing I got to hear from her: „Not only Somalia needs us- we need Somalia as well!!!“
That is a very inspiring statement! We need Somalia!??
If you really know this country, you immediately understand it: Somalia has already everything- it needs only people to help digging the treasure out! Somalia could be a very rich country, if there would be more people who discover it and assist the Somali´s with their projects. Because ideas and possibilities are there- missing are investments and some professional guidance.
Thank God that there are people like Dilan, who have such a good heart. By investing in the country she automatically invests in the childrens´ future as well!
After our meeting my husband went with this nice people to show them some of his projects. One hour later they flew together to Istanbul, where there will happen a big Somali Business Conference, in shaa Allah.
Isn’t it nice to hear something positive like this? Isn’t it heartwarming that there are people and especially a woman so engaged to make the world a better place?
May Allah reward Dilan and all others, who believe in a better future for Somalia and give their best effort for it´s development, amin!
With best regards,
…Or the first step into another world.
So many questions….
As you can imagine, such an open-length journey is extremely exciting. What do you take with you? What can you leave out? What at all is existing in a country, where there has been more than 20 years of civil war? These are just a few of the innumerable questions that were buzzing around in my head.
Summer 2010 – The beginning of an unusual story
The first test
Two opposite stations
Let’s start the adventure!
The aisle was so crammed full of travel bags (down to belly height) that even the captain and his crew struggled to get to the cockpit!I asked my husband: „How can we find the Exit in case of emergency?“ My husband who was struggling to calm down the kids, answered very calm and relaxed: „Sweetheart, there is NO EXIT in this plane!“ He looked somehow amused about the whole situation, while I was not believing what I see!
Welcome in Somalia !!!
Somehow everything looks a bit surreal: on one hand, fairly high, barren mountains, which are almost threatening, and on the other hand, the beautiful, turquoise-colored sea. In addition, the heavy wind almost blows off your clothes. The heat there (in the summer above 40 degrees) is not much different than in Dubai, but the fresh hot breeze makes it bearable, at least in the Evening.
You really have a lot to wonder when you arrive in Somalia for the first time!
The first night in Somalia
The road between Bosasso and Qardho- adventure for itself!
On the way from Bosasso to Qardho you pass many mountains that really do not carry any herbs and therefore look so unreal; you pass as well on dry riverbeds that suddenly produce beautiful tall trees; as well as the semi-steppe, which has room for many camels and other grazing animals due to its dry, almost silver bushes. Not to forget the frequent roadblocks where soldiers stop you with a taut rope or another object to earn a few cents for the next meal. Sometimes you come across a village that consists of a few simple houses or self-made huts, in which no mosque may be missing.
I love this route until today.
I prayed at every roadblock and tried to avoid the glare of the soldiers. My husband had been given a gun license because of me (like my bodyguard), but these sparsely paid, often khat-chewing soldiers are sometimes unpredictable.
Meeting my big family!
I suddenly realized that I can not speak the Somali language at all.
„Why especially Somalia?“ Or: My Way to There.
„You live in…Somaaaliaa?!? Why???“ and „Whaaaat, how come…???“ – These are maybe the most common questions I have to answer, when I meet someone new. Yes, especially Somali people are surprised by hearing that a German sister moved BY CHOICE to this country, where most of them fled from!
To answer you these questions, I have to go back to 2009, when everything started…
Once upon a time…
In the beginning of 2009 I was a fresh Muslima (only half year old, alhamduliLlah!). I had a very good friend, who came originally from Mogadishu, capital city of Somalia. She praised her home country so much: how beautiful this city has been (before the war), how fertile the earth, how tasty the fruits (no banana is like theirs!), how beautiful the ocean…and last but not least: how freely you can practice the Deen (religion, way of life) nowadays!
Moreover I could see in multiple videos from the Internet, that beside all that ongoing chaos, there was still a life going on in that country, which I was fascinated of.
Slowly but surely I developed the desire to move to such a country like Somalia. Because in Germany, my own home-country, I got insulted openly and some of the people told me to „go home where you come from!„. Through my Islamic clothes I became a stranger in my own home/city/country!
From all the Islamic countries I could go to, Somalia attracted me most. There you are nothing special as a Muslima, even with a full veil. The life was still a kind of simple, which doesn’t distract you from more important things. It reminded me on the history of the first Muslims, who used to live very simple and honest. At the same time, it still has a kind of mix between Arabian and African-flair, which makes life a very relaxed (and for me suitable) experience.
Not sooo easy…
Out of this fascination, I went together with my Somali friend and her German husband to Dubai, where we wanted to travel further to Somalia. But we were not very well financially prepared, as we did not evaluate what such kind of big shift needed. So I decided to go back and make a better, reasonable plan for this important venture.
Searching for Mr. Perfect
I realized that before I travel to Somalia, I needed to establish a family life. Because if you travel alone, you are an open victim to all. Beside that, together you´ll be stronger to face every difficulty in life. For that, I needed someone who understands my background and who had the same imagination of life.
There were some other chances for me to get married with from different nationalities, but I couln’d imagine that an Arab or other African would choose Somalia as our new home. That’s why my heart and mind sticked on the Somalis.
Since in my town I knew beside my friend only one Somali family, my friend asked her (half-) sister in Denmark, if she could search for me a suitable “Somali“ husband.
It might sound strange to some of you. The Muslims might think: „What? wasn’t she too shy for searching a husband by herself?“ But I didn’t have a choice, since I don’t have a Muslim family member who could have helped me with that huge task.
For a Non-Muslim it might even sound more strange! „What? How come, she let other people search a husband for her !?“- They may ask themselves. For your information the Muslim marriage is similar to a „blind date“ from the Internet: you or someone close to you keeps the eyes open to find a suitable match for you. If they found one, you and the potential husband may talk to each other, in order to see, if you have a common understanding of the life, character, goals, etc. The only difference is, that a Muslim can only have a “physical“ contact and relationship with the other gender after they married.
However, my friend got the contact number of the Somali Imam in her sisters city. The Imam him self got the information that he will receive a call from Germany. My friend introduced her self to the Imam and asked him, if there was any suitable „match“ for me. After few weeks of search he found out, there wasn’t. He found some brothers but non of them was ready to move back to Somalia in the near future, which was my condition!
My friend knew that the Imam himself was living between Europe and Somalia as he already moved some of his children back to there, while he is preparing himself and the rest of his family to move there soon.
Suddenly my friend got the idea to ask that Imam himself, if he would be interested in me. He answered, that he was focusing on finding someone else for me, therefore he needed to get a bit time to rethink in order to change his mindset concerning to this issue. He mentioned that he had already 2 wives and a few children.
Around two days later, he gave us the answer: If I don’t mind about his big family, he would like to get to know me!
In the beginning the idea of the sister was a bit astonishing for me, but I got exited after when I got the answer of the Imam. The good thing with this brother was, that he had all his bigger children already studying in Somalia- so it was like an „insurance“ for me, that he really would move there after his study. Moreover, he was educated in worldly things as well in the religion. All of this and more made him really interesting for me.
Closer to my dream…
Finally my husband came all the way to Germany. It didn’t needed much time to feel that we would be suitable for each other. So after a couple of days we got married. That was in the End of 2009 and I never regret my decision, thanks to God (alhamduliLlah)- now I had someone to share my dreams with and make them come true!
Our wedding was simple and easy, but also very multicultural and emotional. Even my beloved parents and my Grandma were present!
One month later I moved to Denmark and got to know the other wife of my husband. Actually I got to know her already before, when she welcomed me on the Phone into her family! We became best friends up to now (yes, we are only two right now)! Beside that, we made some nice trips to England (second home) and Canada (huge Somali Islamic Conference with 6.000 people, where my husband was a main speaker). I felt like conquering the world!
…or not yet?
It was spring-time 2010, when we started to plan our travel to Somalia. But my in-laws were worried: „It is too dangerous in here for a white person, therefore I shouldn’t go there!“
My dream seemed to burst. Tears were falling from my eyes.
This encouraged my husband to give all his effort in order that I´ll be able to travel with him anyway in order to keep his promise as well to make my dream come true and our wish and plan fulfilled. He was not in doubt about that I will fit to there.
Let´s get started!
Despite all of the skeptical messages coming from Somalia, we took finally the decision to travel together.
When my experience to travel to totally new country is not so wide I couldn’t define what to take, what to not take, what’s important and what’s not.
The preparation for the travel was another challenge for me, as I was about to give up from a whole life that I knew since my childhood and choosed to face a knew, unknown one that I had no clue about it.
In this article you got to know my prehistory and my reasons for getting that “crazy“ idea to travel to Somalia. It was out of my wish to be able to practice my religion freely, without being told I should go back to my country! But the world is much bigger than Germany, so I had to take the necessary step to change my surrounding…
If you like this article or want to comment or even share it with the world, you are very welcome 🙂
To be continued (in shaa Allah),
Khalisa from The Germali´s
As salamu alaikum and hello dear friends,
Since English is the no.1 language in the world and many of the Somali people, which I would like to reach, are not only in Germany but in English- speaking countries, I decided to write some articles also in English language. From now on, the world can get to know me- and my team from Germali´s, in shaa Allah!
Even though I speak and listen to English language every day (I´m jumping between 3 languages), it´s not the same for me as in my mother tongue, but I found it´s necessary to take one step further. Only with training you can improve, as they say: practice makes perfect 😉
To our English-speaking readers
I would like to introduce our team from the Germali´s:
She is the fire- giver for this blog. It was her fascination about my story (as a German in HER country), which inspired us to develop this blog. Grown up in Germany, but with Somali roots and currently studying in England, she used to live between these 2 cultures: on one hand, the perfectionism of German culture, on the other hand the relaxed, African lifestyle of the Somali´s- very interesting mix by the way! Even though she is very busy most of the time, she will always remain as the inspiration of this blog. Hopefully she will join us in writing articles for you, in order to broaden your horizon as well as inspire you in different ways!
She is my constant supporter and motivator. She does not have direct German ties, but is from the German part of Switzerland (so almost the same!), with Somali roots as well. Fartun lived almost her whole live in that German-Swiss part, so that she felt like a stranger, when she came to Somalia last year. Therefore she is the only team-member, which I´ve personally met– in Somalia! I´m looking forward for her moving once to here, so that we can enjoy more of her articles (in shaa Allah).
She is like me a German sister, married with a Somali and has „Germali-children“. Even though she is married longer time, last year was her first time, when she dared to come to Somalia. It won´t be her last time visiting this county I hope, so in future we will here from here as well. Furthermore, she was the one, who organized the wonderful drawing by lot, when our blog reached 3.000 views (not long time ago lol).
That´s me, German muslima, married to a Somali and also having „Germali-children“, alhamduliLlah. 2010 was my first visit to Somalia, which got only interrupted by 3 visits to my home country so far. Since 2013 I´m settled in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland state of Somalia, enjoying my religious freedom, which I was missing in Germany. You will get to know much about my life as a German in Somalia, how it is to live in a big family, and much more!
What do we want?
Together we are the „Bridge-builders“ between Germany/outside-of-Somalia-world and Somalia. This aim we want to reach by giving you a multifaceted view about Somalia- by building a bridge between both worlds. That means, we want to give you more differenciated impressions than just the usual side, which is in focus world-wide: poverty, drought and war. As we know, these are the 3 things, everybody get´s in mind when he thinks on this country.
But there is much, much more to discover in this beautiful country! When you come here with 0 expectations, you will be surprised like me in the beginning- how the people managed their life, their schools, their businesses without even a proper government! You would be surprised about the overcrowded schools, the many universities, the very nice shops, and much more.
Beside that, the infrastructure is growing so fast, that after one month absence you will not recognize some streets anymore, because of the new houses and shops!
Furthermore we want to encourage the people outside of Somalia:
- The Somali people from abroad– to learn some positive sides of the country, to show their kids their roots, and to encourage them to give some contribution to their home-country. Because it´s easy to blame the countries´mistakes, instead of changing something. So, it is much more important to ponder: what can I personally do, in order that the country can improve? If you say, „But I´m from Mogadishu, it´s too dangerous there!„, I can tell you, that Somalia is much bigger than that…!
- For Non-Somali´s (especially Muslims): to discover a possible Muslim country to emigrate to, since in Somalia you can freely practice the Deen (religion, way of life). We are ready to help all of those, who are seriously interested, to find a place in Somalia.
- For Non-Somali´s (especially Non-Muslims): to widen their horizon, to learn more about an undiscovered diamond, where there are thousands of investment-possibilities.
In the end, we are all from Adam and Eve, and the borders in the world are only man-made. So, why don’t we look over the borders?
We hope, you´ll enjoy your visit on our blog. We appreciate every inspiration for our further work or comments. Also we would be very glad, if you support us by liking and sharing this blog.
Thank you very much and see you soon (in shaa Allah) 🙂
Khalisa from the Germali´s
What does it mean- „The Germali´s“?
This name is a combination between the two nationalities, which are connecting our Admin-Team: German and Somali –> The Germali´s!
It was really not easy for us to choose the right name for our blog. Honestly, it was easy for our heart, but not for our mind: Other names like Gersom where probably more understandable for Somali- poeple, since in Somali language „Germal“ means „German“ already and could lead to misunderstandings! But our feeling told us, that „Germaaali“ sounds most nice.
Since we are women, we followed our feelings and there we go: We´ve got our Blog-name 🙂
We hope you enjoy our „nation-connecting“- Blog!