Somalis don’t want favour, but demand ‘fair treatment’

Abdi Mohamed – On the evening of the 5th of April, many people patiently queued up to enter the City Academy‘s Fielden Theatre to attend the Bristol mayoral question time on race equality organised by Black South West Network (BSWN) and Up Our Street in association with BCfm Radio. The striking feature of the hustings was not about how the 250 capacity seated was filled, nor was it about the non-partisan organisers’ outstanding event planning skills and experience, nor was it about the eloquence of the chair, but it was about the quality of the questions and the answers given by the mayoral candidates.

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Audience – Bristol mayoral question time on race equality

The prospective mayors tried their best to answer a range of questions about education, employment and housing, amongst many – vis-à-vis with tackling inequalities – apart from a very simple question about the single largest BME group in Bristol.

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Codkaagu yaanu ku ciilin; dooro qofka dantaada ka shaqeynaya – Doorashooyinka Bristol May 2016

Tafatire (Editor) – Dadka reer Bristol waxay 5ta May u dareerayaan doorashadii maayarka ama Duqa Magaalada, waana markii labaad ee ay doorasho noocan ahi dhacayso – waxa kale oo isla maalintaa la dooran doonaa 70ka xildhibaan ee golaha deegaanka iyo hoggaamiyaha ciidanka amaanka (Police Crime Commissioner) ee gobolka Avon & Somerset. Haddaba bulshada qaar ka mid ah ayaa maalmahanba isweydiinayay habkan maayarnimadu siduu u shaqeeyay ama wax u qabtay, isbedel intee leeg ayuu keenay iyo hogaamiye noocee ah ayay u baahanyihiin in ay doortaan.

Bristol waxay maayarkii ugu horeeyay dooratay 2012kii, laakiin habkan maamulka maayarnimadu wuxuu keenay fursado iyo caqabado labadaba. Habkani wuxuu golihii siyaasadda magaalada laga hagayay ka dhigay mid ka maddaxbanaan isqabqabsigii iyo xafiiltankii xisbiyada siyaasiga ah. Dhinaca kalena, wuxuu bulshada deegaanka ka caawiyay in ay ogaaadaan oo gartaan cida magaalada ka talisa taasoo aan hore u dhici jirin. Warbixin sannadkii hore (2015) ay soosaartay jaamacadda Bristol ayaa sheegtay in “maayarkii dadku tooska u doorteen uu isbedel weyn ku sameeyay muuqaalkii hoggaanka magaalada.” Dhinaca kale marka laga eego, maayarkii la doortay wuxuu hoos u dhigay awoodii xildhibaanada golaha deegaanka. Xildhibaanadu “si taban ayay u arkayeen, halka hoggaamiyeyaasha bulshada, ganacsatada, iyo ururada bulshadu ay isku raaceen in hab-maamuleedka maayarnimadu uu dantii Bristol si fiican uga shaqeeyay.”

Si kastaba ha ahaatee, habka maayarnimadu danta bulshooyinka magaalada degan si siman oo isku mid ah ugumuu shaqayn.  (more…)

The only time I feel included is during the election campaign, says Somali voter – Bristol mayoral election 2016

Abdi Mohamed – Bristol is going to the polls on 5th May to elect its second mayor in less than four years – and 70 councillors at once for the first time. But in community circles, voters have been trying to understand how far has the city travelled with the mayoral system and what kind of mayor do they want to elect.

The mayoral system has, of course, brought both opportunities and challenges to the city. In addition to creating a platform that is not attached to party politics, it has enabled local residents recognise the leadership of the city. A 2015 study report by Bristol University found, “a directly elected mayor in Bristol has led to a dramatic increase in the visibility of leadership in the city.” On the other hand, having a directly elected mayor has reduced the power of the councillors. They were “less positive than from public managers and leaders from business, community and voluntary sector who agreed that the introduction of the mayoral system had ensured the interests of Bristol are better represented,” the study notes.

However, the mayoral system has not served the interests of all communities in equal terms.

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Dhalinyarada Somaaliyeed ee Bristol oo aan bulshada ka dhex muuqan, codkooduna qarsoonyahay

Abdi Mohamed – Warbixin maalintii Khamiistii (24 March 2016) laga soo saaray hawlgalkii Brooke, kaas oo 13 dhalinyaro ah oo Soomaaliyeed lagu xidhay arrimo la xidhiidha faroxumayn hablo aan qaangaadh ahayn, ayaa si faahfaahsan u cadaysay in ciidanka amaanka (police), qolooyinka arrimaha qoyska iyo bulshada ka shaqeeya (social workers) iyo shaqaalaha caafimaadku ay ka soo bixi waayeen kaalintii looga baahnaa ee ahayd in ay hablaha yaryar ka badbaadiyaan dhibaatooyinka noocan ah. Laakiin warbixintu wax badan kamay odhan baahida loo qabo in la helo hab lagaga hortago fal-dambiyeedyada noocan ah ee dhalinyaradu ku kacdo.

Warbixintu waxay cadaysay, inkastoo dhamaan inamadii la xidhay ay Soomaali ahaayeen, in “aanay jirin wax cadaynaya in isirkooda iyo dhaqankoodu ay qayb ka ahaayeen wixii dhacay”. Waxa kale oo ay warbixintu cadaysay in “inamada la xidhay aanay ahayn kuwo isku duubnaa” oo dhacdadan si qorshaysan u fuliyay. Tani waxay ka soo horjeedaa wararkii sida aadka ah saxaafaddu u baahisay ee ahaa in ay ahaayeen koox abaabulan oo u soo tabaabushaystay in ay si qorsheysan dembiyada u fuliyaan.
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‘Somali youth in Bristol left voiceless’

Abdi Mohamed – The Operation Brooke serious case review, which was published on Thursday, highlighted how the police, social workers and the NHS let down the teenage victims of abuse. But it said little about the lack of prevention mechanism to detect young perpetrators and disrupt abuse.

The review found that, although all those convicted were Somalis, “there was no evidence that their ethnic origin was a key feature”. The report also stated that the perpetrators were a “diverse group who had no obvious connections”. This is contrary to widely circulated media reports which claimed that they had operated as a gang.

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Black children in Bristol are disproportionately affected by poor educational institutions – Cllr Jama

Watch the debate: Webcast

Educational segregation in ‪#‎Bristol‬ is a pressing issue. Bristol city is ‘sleep walking into crisis’ says ‪Cllr Hibaq Jama‬. She has challenged Mayor George Ferguson on the racial divide in education in Bristol and the lack of access to good schools in secondary school place planning.

Bristol Mayor: Quick way to address the lack of BME workforce representation is to “kill an awful lot of white men”

In response to a question from Cllr Afzal Shah, Labour, Easton Ward, about the imbalance of BME workforce representation at the council, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said that a quick quick way is to “kill an awful lot of white men – but that isn’t a very practical solution”.

 

Read below to understand the councillor’s main question:

Cllr Afzal Shah: BME Make-up of Bristol City Council

According to Bristol City Council’s own figures, the make-up of the existing workforce demonstrates a comparative lack of diversity.

BME managers by directorate as at March 2015:

  • Business Change and City Director – 6.41%
  • Neighbourhoods – 4.86%
  • People – 6.33%
  • Place – 5.33%

What action is the council taking to rectify the imbalance of BME representation of senior officers in post at Bristol City Council to fully reflect the diversity of the city of Bristol and support the Council’s claim of being an equal opportunity employer and can I also ask for the City Director to take action in this regard?

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson:

  • I am supporting the Race Equality Manifesto for the City with whom I have been working closely.
  • The Council is currently establishing a Corporate Equalities Group, which will take the lead in ensuring that our workforce at all levels reflects Bristol’s diversity. This new group will be chaired by a Strategic Director, and will be made up of representatives from across the Council, including from the new Staff-Led Groups for BME, Disabled, LGBT and Young employees. The first meeting of the new group is being arranging for the autumn.
  • We are also promoting staff led groups for all of the equalities protected characteristic groups including BME employees.
  • The quick quick way is to kill an awful lot of white men, but that isn’t a very practical solution.

Cllr Afzal Shah: As an equal opportunities employer, how do these figures stack-up with other Core Cities?

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson:

  • It is a comparison we should make and I will look into that comparison as part of this process.
  • I don’t think it is a matter of whether we are better or worse than other Core Cities. I think the more the Council’s staff and elected members reflect the nature of our population the better we serve that population.

@smgbristol

Maareeyaha shaqada adduunyada ugu adag

Ma ladeehay aqoon, xirfad, khibrad iyo karti dheeraad ah oo aad ku maareyso shaqada adduunyada ugu adag, uguna muhiimsan?

Shirkad la yidhaahdo Rehtom Inc waxay shaqaaleynaysaa Maareeye Guud. Waxyaabaha lagaaga baahanyahay inaad haysato ama khibradda u leedahay iyo waxa aad qaban doonto waxa ka mid ah:

  •  Taagni baad ku shaqaynaysaa (marnaba ma fadhiisanaysid)
  • Marwalba dadaal dheeraad ah ayaa lagaaga baahanyahay
  • Toddobaad kasta waxaad shaqeynaysaa in ka badan 135 saacadood, waana inaad diyaar u tahay inaad shaqayso 24/7
  • Waa inaad haysataa shahaadooyin heer jaamacadeed ah oo ay ka mid yihiin dhakhtarnimo (medicine), maamulka iyo iyo maareynta dhaqaalaha (finance) iyo xirfadaha cunto karinta (culinary arts)
  • Wax fasax ah ma lihid. Sannadkoo dhan waad shaqaynaysaa, xitaa iidaha iyo maalmaha kale ee dadku ay fasaxa yihiin
  • Mushaharkuna waa $0.00

Dhowr toddobaad ka hor waxa internetka iyo jaraa’idka lagu xayeysiiyay shaqo muhiim ah oo ay akhriyeen ama eegeen in ka badan 2.7 milyan oo qof, laakiin waxa soo codsaday 24 qof oo keliya.

Imtixaanadii (interviews) laga qaaday iyo natiijadii cajaa’ibka ahayd ee ka soo baxday halkan hoose ka daawo

@smgbristol

Struggle – new Somali play in English comes to Bristol

Suuban makes a YouTube video explaining how she is doubly discriminated against: she is black and she is Muslim. When the video goes viral she becomes the voice of her community but her new found fame has unwelcome consequences. MI5 pressure her relentlessly for help in preventing teenage girls from joining ISIS. And some of her community turn against her, digging up secrets from her family’s past in Somalia.

Struggle is part of this year’s Somali Festival Bristol which aims to celebrate both the cultural heritage of the SomalisStruggle and the community’s presence in the city. The festival – presented by Black South West Network and the Somali Media Group – is a sister to the week-long Somali Festival in London that is curated by Kayd Somali Arts and Culture and will similarly focus on the concept of ‘spaces’, what they mean, and how they are used, for ‘Aqoon la’aani waa iftiin la’aan – The absence of knowledge is the absence of light’ and we wish to fill these spaces with light.

Omar DhaqanThe festival presents Somali artists and academics, including Anab Guled, AbdiRahman Barwaaqo, Professor Cawo Abdi, Ibrahim Hersi Hurre and Firdos Ali’s Somali play ‘Struggle’ – as well as the Bristol-based author and Somali playwright Abdillahi Mohabe. Further, there will also be an opportunity to see a small cultural exhibition.

Event Details

Date: Friday, 30 October 2015

Time: 12:00 – 21:00

Venue: City Academy Bristol, Russell Town Avenue, Redfield, Bristol BS5 9JH

You can book your place now – just visit Somali Festival Bristol


Please see the attached documents for:

Programme details: Somali Festival Programme
Project background and information for the media: Press Release

Somali Festival Bristol

Celebrating Somali Cultural Heritage

‘Nin aan dhul marini dhaayo maleh – He who has not travelled has no understanding.’

The Somali community has travelled to Bristol, and has come with a deep understanding of who they are and where they are from. Now, to celebrate the Somali community’s presence in Bristol, and to wrap their arms around Bristolians who do not know of them, Black South West Network and the Somali Media Group, in conjunction with Kayd Somali Arts and Culture are holding a Somali Festival here on the Friday 30th of October.

The Bristol Somali Festival is a sister to the week-long Somali Festival in London that is curated by Kayd and will similarly focus on the concept of ‘spaces’, what they mean, and how they are used, for ‘Aqoon la’aani waa iftiin la’aan – The absence of knowledge is the absence of light’ and we wish to fill these spaces with light.

The Festival is part of a wider Black South West Network project that will be exploring Somali Diaspora Identity in Bristol over the last 25 years. The project will be exploring Somali heritage and identity in the UK from 1991 to the present day. It aims to draw out how heritage and identity have changed as a result of living in the UK, and to develop a body of work that all people can relate to, which will engender a sense of understanding across communities.

The project will examine key themes of Somali heritage and cultural identity to understand what it means to be a Somali and Bristolian/British. This project will honour the Somali oral tradition by recording interviews with members of all age groups in our community to capture the memories, thoughts and views of the Somali community in Bristol.

These interviews will be conducted by trained members of the Somali community. Interviewees will cover both genders and an age range that will provide rich data from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Somalis in Bristol.

The project will be launched at the 2015 Somali Festival in Bristol, an off-shoot of the annual Somali Festival in London. Over the following year, 48 interviews will be collected. The interviews will be edited and used as features in monthly radio programmes on BCfm community radio; they will be utilized, alongside personal artefacts, video footage, and interactive heritage exhibits, as key elements of a year long exhibition on the Somali community in Bristol at the MShed, which will be launched at the 2016 Somali Festival.

As a result of this project, the whole of Bristol can learn of Somali culture through their own words.

‘Af jooga looma adeego – Do not serve for a mouth that is present (i.e. one should not speak on behalf of a person who is present).’

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Date: Friday, 30th of October 2015

Time: 12:00 – 21:00

Venue: City Academy Bristol, Russell Town Avenue, Bristol BS5 9JH

Bookings: you could book a place through Eventbrite where Early Bird reservation system is in place – please visit Somali Festival Bristol 

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Details of the festival programme, please see the following documents:
somali-festival-bristol-programme_30102015

PDF: Somali Festival Bristol 2015 – Press Release

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For additional information, please contact:

Sado Jirde, Project Manager, BSWN,

Email: sado@bswn.org.uk   or  Telephone: 0117 939 6648

https://hlfbacktothefuture.wordpress.com/author/bswnbristol­­

Bristol Somali Media Group

Bilingual Somali-English News & Media Information