Poem: Where are you? – Liban Obsiye


By Liban Obsiye

Where are you?

As the car speeds up the road, I look for him

I stare angrily through the window

If I stare harder, he may appear

I strain my eyes, clench my teeth and hold back my tears,

But NO,

Mohamed is not there.

Where are you? I wonder.

As I come into a new shop, I realise her stool is gone,

I look around to see if she relocated with her teas and coffee,

I look harder, spinning around, wanting to catch a glimpse,

I listen for her voice yelling “tea, coffee, come and get it”

But NO,

Anab is not there.

Where are you? I wonder.

As I sit, a new person brings me unfamiliar boiling tea

It burns my tongue and bruises my lips,

I ask to speak to my friend who has always served me with a smile,

He is no longer with us, I am told.

I look around to see if this is true,

YES, it is,

Abdi is gone.

Where are you? I wonder.

New faces and new Places have sprung up

New voices replaced old sounds

Eyes and ears are now more vigilant,

Zoobe is both angry and recovering at the same time

I look around still wondering,

Where is everybody?

The terrorist attack of 14th October 2017 has impacted on all Somalis everywhere. The pain, anger and grave sense of loss has touched almost everybody in different ways, especially, the direct victims who, in most cases, lost everything. This very short poem is a tribute to those who we lost and a reminder that we must honour the victim’s memories by coming together for the rebuilding of a Somalia that is secure and prosperous for the benefit of every citizen and the world. Life will, and must, go on, but we must seek strength, inspiration and courage from those who paid the ultimate price and those who live with the memory of the evil act daily.

We must never allow ourselves to forget the tragedy of October 14th 2017. We must also trust Allah SWT, the most merciful and Just, to guide the Somali government and people to defeat the evil of terrorism and rid this beautiful, rich land of their misery.

The author can be reached through:


@libanobsiye (Twitter)