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The Last Nomad


In her brilliant memoir, Salh chronicles the unique survival skills and folklore...
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How did a young Salh make sense of the everyday violence and tragedy she witnessed? How did she make sense of her new status as a refugee at the border and in Kenya?

Created: 08/25/22

Replies: 5

Posted Aug. 25, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3021

How did a young Salh make sense of the everyday violence and tragedy she witnessed? How did she make sense of her new status as a refugee at the border and in Kenya?

In The Last Nomad, Salh details her experience of civil unrest, instability, and violence during the start of the Somali Civil War and while fleeing from the war. How did a young Salh make sense of the everyday violence and tragedy she witnessed? How did she make sense of her new status as a refugee at the border and in Kenya?


Posted Aug. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TonyiaR

Join Date: 06/27/21

Posts: 10

RE: How did a young Salh make sense of ...

She didn’t understand how Somali’s were killing each other, raping, less regard for human life (like the Bantu man just because had the power to kill someone. She realize the importance of clans and lineage, how it was a way to protect. She realize how gossip among them could easily put a person in danger. It was painful and sad to become a refugee, and was grateful for the good standing of their family clan. They were more fortunate than others in Somali.


Posted Aug. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 362

RE: How did a young Salh make sense of ...

I didn't feel like she ever really did make sense of violence in the Civil War. I perceived a sense of confusion, not understanding how this was happening. There seemed almost a disbelief that all of the sudden the clan that you belonged to would either keep you alive or kill you. At one point, Sahl wrote, " Despite these reports, the violence still seemed disconnected from our daily life." (pg. 192) Until it wasn't. And even then, she believed her flight would be temporary- -that her family would return to their home when the fighting was over. I would be interested in hearing more about this from Sahl as an adult. She provided her memories within the pages of the book- -the memories of a teenager. I'm sure this is a time in her life she has examined more closely as a grown woman, and I would be curious to know her thoughts more deeply. I can only imagine how traumatic this was. Perhaps it was the shock that kept her from reacting in a way I think I might. Having the time with her grandmother in the desert, Sahl knew not to sit around asking questions or searching for answers. Staying alive meant moving.


Posted Aug. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 157

RE: How did a young Salh make sense of ...

The Civil War was as senseless as any other. Why do we expect her to make sense of it?


Posted Sep. 08, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
scgirl

Join Date: 06/05/18

Posts: 182

RE: How did a young Salh make sense of ...

Wars, civil or otherwise, are always about power and money and the Somali civil war was no different in this respect. As Shugri's family was just trying to survive they had no desire to be a part of the fighting. Who can make sense of war?


Posted Sep. 09, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 117

RE: How did a young Salh make sense of ...

I also do not think war or civil disobedience made sense to her or her family but as others have said this was only going to be a temporary disturbance and their society would return to the normal they knew. But for now they must survive even if means temporarily fleeing the country but with an inner promise to return and unify the family again.


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