She Speaks We Hear

Bringing women's voices together, unaltered, unadulterated


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Purple Flowers

imag1142Purple flowers,

Stand to the hours

Of the “No”s ­

And the fear.

 

Purple flowers

Acknowledge the loss,

From the unexpected 

Battle of nightmares.

 

Purple flowers 

Speak in colour, 

Out of the silence 

In monochrome.

 

They do not apologise 

For falling

Where no place to fall 

Should have been.

 

Purple flowers 

Rise in celebration 

Of my victory 

Within this story.

 

They lay unashamed 

Of vulnerability,

With both ability

To break

And to heal.

 

Purple flowers speak

Of the scars that remain, 

And the path that has led 

To the person I became.

 

Purple flowers

Stand to the day, 

When I realised

This was not the end.

 

By Chloe Knibbs

@ChloeKnibbs1

Since Chloe was little she has always loved words and stories, and has written poems since she can remember! She is also a composer and singer-songwriter, and loves using music to help and inspire people.
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There Is No Such Thing As Islamophobia

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Watch Manchester based poet and spoken word artist, Hafsah Aneela Bashir perform a powerful spoken word piece. In this strong and heartfelt performance, she directly challenges the notion that Islamophobia is not real, whilst simultaneously highlighting negative media portrayal of Muslims.

There Is No Such Thing As Islamophobia – FULL TEXT:

You should have seen how I took her down

Pulled that towel right off her head in town

She was screaming as I spat in her face

These rag heads  taking over all our space

I’ll teach her to go back to where she comes from….

 

There is no such thing as Islamaphobia

 

Settle down settle down boys, bell went ages ago!

Now in light of recent events, let’s discuss Charlie Hebdo

I think Prophet Mohammed T-shirts should be worn to challenge offended muslims everywhere

And every other school kid turns to the one muslim boy and stares

The same stare he gives back

When slapped

by older schoolboys, who tell him

he’s a paki terrorist

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

It’s hot on this damn tube

In my smart shoes and business suit

And I’m seeing this hummus-eating camel-shagging, Paki muslim slut

And I turn to Greg next to me and say I don’t give a fuck

My freedom of speech gives me the choice,

So I sing at the top of my voice

Kill them, kill them all….

 

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

 

The sun bears down on an Essex park

Lighting up crisp blades of grass

A breeze moves gently through flowers of red

Where a woman in a burkha and scarf lays dead

Sixteen stab wounds decorated her  body they said…..

 

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

 

I didn’t need to run up fast

That old Muzzrat just shuffled past

Three quick stab wounds to his back

Went down instantly in the attack

Planted bombs at his nearby masjid

Tipton, Walsall, you get my drift

‘Self starter’ racist I am, not a terrorist!

 

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

 

There are two exits to Grimsby mosque

But we had each one boxed off

A petrol bomb for each one

And one for the roof, job done

For queen and country, we served well

Ex soldiers if you couldn’t tell

We’re patriotic us, not extreme

Wer just trying to keep Britain clean

 

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

 

Status – Obviously when I got on the plane I checked no one looked like a terrorist

Status – Mate I changed tube cos a bearded man sat there reading arabic scripture muttering under his breath

Status – Dunno what the hell they carrying under their veils – I ain’t getting killed for political correctness

Status- Why do your people  hate our West so much that you wana destroy it? Piss off back to where you came from

Status- For every person beheaded by these sick savages we should drag 10 off the streets and behead them, film it and put it online. For every child they cut in half … we cut one of their children in half. An eye for an eye..

 

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

 

Daily Mail – Muslims tell us how to run our schools

The Independent – Fundamentalists plotting to bring jihad into the classrooms

Daily Star – Muslim sickos- Maddie kidnap shock

Daily Express – Hogwash,  Now the PC brigade bans piggy banks in case they offend Muslims

The Sun – Muslim Convert beheads woman

Evening Standard – Muslim plot to behead soldier in UK

Brit kids forced to eat halal school dinners

Al Qaeda Corrie threat

Jihadist plot to take over city schools

Ramadaan a ding dong

Halal secret of pizza express

Muslim thugs are just 12 in knife attack on Brit school boy

Muslims loonies hijack elections

Muslim only loos

Muslims

Muslims

Muslims

There is no such thing as Islamophobia

Hafsah Aneela Bashir is a poet, writer and spoken word artist who has just completed an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Culture at the University of Leeds. Her work with NGO’s, providing emergency supplies and medical aid to conflict zones informs her creativity producing a form of lyrical activism. Her poetry has been published by Crocus Books in the anthology, ‘When Saira Met Sara’ bringing together Muslim and Jewish writers. She writes to raise awareness about social injustice and has a keen interest in writing as a form of resistance and liberty. She has worked with Women Asylum Seekers Together to use creative agency as a means to highlight demands for basic human rights. Also part of writing collectives called Common Word and Manchester Muslim Writers, she facilitates poetry workshops within the community working with young people to develop an understanding of identity and empowerment. She has performed for Oxfam, RAPAR, Freedom From Torture,  Justice Festival 2016, at many interfaith events and at various academic conferences. She can often be found at open-mics in and around Manchester in her spare time. Her latest project involves scriptwriting short plays with Women In The Spotlight and Three Minute Theatre. She was recently invited to create and perform her poetry at Manchester Cathedral to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide. Her new project ‘Platform For Palestinian Arts’ will be exploring plays and poetry from the Palestinian diaspora. She blogs at http://hafsahaneelabashir.wordpress.com/

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article and video clip are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website. Copyright of the content of this video and article remains with the author, however any reproduction of either the video or article should credit She Speaks We Hear.


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Power from the Pain

Ice cracks

Thawing

Cold that was

But is there

No

More.

 

Torture and nightmares

Panics and horror

Irrationality

Loss – identity

Loss – confidence

Loss – reality

Crisis

 

The continuous cycle is

Paused

 

I breathe normally

Sensations come back

The ice within is consumed into water

 

I am controlled by me

No-one else

But by me

 

The cracks continue

The ice breaks down

It takes time

But I am happy to wait

 

Pain horror nightmares terror loss confusion crisis injustice disgust

 

A mixture bubbling under the surface

Behind the pretend face

The face that smiles

While the other one cries

 

I am happy to wait

Because I see its worth

To wait to know

To meet myself again

To know it is OK

 

I am in control

No-one else

But me

 

What I am is what I decide

What I want to be I can

Nothing is decided

Life can change

I can be free

 

I am in control

No-one else

But me

 

Pain horror nightmares anguish confusion terror loss injustice disgust violence

 

Never would anyone deserve these things

 

But they have happened

They happen all the time

And they have happened to me.

 

I understand now

I can say ‘I know’ and

Really know

What pain is

I can find the strength that was there all along

And use it

 

Enjoy it

 

I will know all these things and I will know it is there

 

I am in control

No-one else

But me

 

We change all the time

Time shifts with us

The same cannot really exist

Events will pass

 

Horror and ecstasy

 

Flash

 

Before us

I can see I can move

Through time itself

Tick past the horror

Tock past the nightmares

They will not stay with me forever

 

I am free

I can be who I want to be

I always could

But now I know

That I could

And should

 

We all deserve the same

 

When I say ‘I know’

now

I really know what pain is

It will define the other

The real happiness

 

I am free

Nightmares end when you wake up

I will not sleep forever

 

I will open my eyes and see

How I can make the world work for me

I will know it is OK

 

I am in control

No-one else

But me.

 

By Chloe Knibbs

@ChloeKnibbs1

Since Chloe was little she has always loved words and stories, and has written poems since she can remember! She is also a composer and singer-songwriter, and loves using music to help and inspire people.
Image credit: David Kingham


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No One Can See You

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Image courtesy of Oxfam International, featuring Limar  who was born on 3 August the first child of Liqaa (shown) and Bassel who currently live in Zaatari camp.

 

Every stranger. Every person. Every human. Every hair. Every contour. Every wrinkle. Every ignorant line.

She searched their faces in earnest, would it be him, could it be him, could it be them.

What was it that drove them to such cowardice  and evil?

She was afraid. The fear could be seen on her face, in her shoulders, in her hesitant stride.

Looking forward,  yet afraid. No longer safe in the space that she had called her own. The space she had been proud of, the space she wanted to share with love. Her conscious thoughts resisted the screaming in her heart. Screaming, searing pain.

Sickness

Vomiting

Retching

Pain

Anger

Hate

Hate

She felt hate

She felt despair, despair made her sick. Her rights were no longer her own. She owned nothing.

Not even a voice. A  voice that had retracted and recoiled and curled up like a foetus, as it had been asphyxiated. The pain had killed it. The pain, the greed, the hate, the evil, the greed, the hate, the hate, the pain.

No one can see you . No one can hear you. If you scream I`ll strangle you.

No one can see the colour of your dreams. They see only the colour of your scarf and that you are prey.

Peregrine Falcon

You are prey, to be torn, limb from limb, sinew from sinew, as I pick apart the dreams of your ancestors. The blood coursing in your veins is not the colour of mine. You don’t deserve me. Tell me why, should your pain be healed, your children educated, your hearts operated upon by me, because,

I am a Syrian refugee.

By Anon

Image courtesy of Oxfam International via Flickr   

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.


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Intersections (a Poem from the Maldives)

Image of rally organised by the opposition to ruling Maldive Government

Image of rally organised by the opposition to ruling Maldive Government

by Aisha Hussain Rasheed

@ishahr

Maldives is a small island nation in the Indian ocean known for its scenic beauty. What most people don’t know about the country is that it is young democracy where the first democratic elections were held in 2008. The first democratically elected government was forced to resign due to police and military mutiny in 2012. We are currently under an increasingly autocratic regime that has recently declared a nation-wide state of emergency. The declaration of state of emergency impeded a mass rally organised by the opposition to call for the immediate release of political prisoners. As such, the opposition organised an evening tea party (a favourite Maldivian pastime) instead, which was also crashed by the Police. When the Police barricaded the street, the attendees got separated in two groups, one inside the venue of the party the other across the street. When a friend attempted to cross the street so she could join those of us who were inside the venue, a policeman told her to go between her mother’s legs. The following poem in response to the incident. 

To the policeman who told a girl to go between her mother’s legs when she asked to cross the road:
Tell every girl and woman who is groped on the street that, as per the principles you protect and uphold, her body deserves as much protection as the public property she walks on.
That you will stand guard so no stranger’s hand can freely cross the barricades you set up and grab her.
Tell every third woman in this country that she would not have been violated had she been a cold, inanimate pavement,
Silent even when you stamp your boot upon her
Lying down, so you can grant or deny others to access her
Let your ignorance air-dry on her body, like red tinted saliva mixed with areca nuts and betel leaves
Chewed and spit out like bloody morsels of flesh
Leaving behind its mark on your crooked smile between your tainted teeth and staining her.
Tell her that if the nape of her neck was a causeway to the small of her back
And the nook of her arm and the bend of her knee were street corners,
You’d light up her eyes like street lights and set them up at every intersection so no man will flash at her.
Tell her you’d regulate the unwanted traffic round about the curves of her body
And the ridge of her breasts is set up far enough away from the end of the road for men to slow down and listen to her say,
“NO”!
Dear policeman who told a girl to go between her mother’s legs when she asked to cross the road,
Tell the woman who opened a way between her legs to let you cross out into the world
And the woman who harvested the seeds you planted inside of her
That the world you hope to leave for your daughters will protect their autonomy the way you protect the streets.
Image of mass rally against ruling party in the Maldives

Image of mass rally against ruling party in the Maldives

Aisha Hussain Rasheed is a Maldivian Muslim woman, who believes her Islamic heritage is the key to the  future of the people of Maldives. She is a student of Islamic jurisprudence and a political and social activist. You can follow her on Twitter @ishahr
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Images Courtesy of Aisha Hussain Rasheed.