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Young British-Somali women fight FGM with rhyme and reason

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Bristol FGM rap

 

Fahma Mohamed first heard about female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was 13. Educated, open-minded and strong willed, she didn't know what the term meant, so she asked. Told that the removal of a woman's outer sexual organs was something that had been carried out in her culture – among many others – for hundreds of years as a way of preparing girls for adulthood and assuring their virginity, she was horrified.

 

"My first reaction was disbelief. I thought it was something that happened in [her mother's] time, that happened in Somalia. I didn't think it would be happening to girls who are my age, or in the UK," she says. "But then I found out that it was. All I can remember thinking was – why hasn't anyone tried to stop this before?"

 

Fahma is one of nine daughters in a Somali family that moved to Britain when she was seven. Now 17, she is part of a new generation of anti-FGM campaigners determined to make politicians sit up and listen, and finally end female genital mutilation. A trustee of the charity Integrate Bristol, which fights against FGM, she has now become the face of the Guardian's campaign to help end the practice. She puts it simply: "I want to help these girls who don't have a voice."

 

In a classroom in the City Academy Bristol – one of the few schools in the country running a dedicated anti-FGM project – she joined a spirited group of teenagers, many of them wearing headscarves, to practice a song composed for the UNs FGM zero-tolerance day on Thursday.

 

Calling themselves the #FDL or Female Defence League – with some of the cheekier older girls substituting the word "fanny" for "female" – the girls belted out a song that, as they put it, is "sayin' no to bullshit oppression". In a rapped section, one of them spits out her contempt of politicians, such as the education secretary, Michael Gove, whom she accuses of shirking the issue: "I'm sorry, Mr Micky, if you still don't get it / Then David Cameron oughta say, beat it, Gove, beat it!"

 

Confidence in the group has not always been so high. Lisa Zimmermann, a teacher who co-founded the organisation, says she became conscious of FGM when told that 11 of 12 girls in a group she was taking on a trip had undergone cutting.

 

At first the group was limited to four girls, who wrote anonymous poetry. Soon more joined, but when the girls made a film, Silent Scream, about FGM, it met fierce opposition and critics descended on the school.

 

"We were accused of making a porn film – people said we'd forced the girls to be in it and didn't want the film to be shown," says Zimmermann. After some of the girls' mothers met police to ask for support, the screening went ahead and since then the group has grown to more than 100 members, who have appeared on television, taught at other schools and on the UN's FGM zero-tolerance day will host Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions for England and Wales. "Proud does not begin to describe it," says Zimmermann.

 

Fahma says she is sick of people citing cultural tolerance as a reason not to tackle FGM, adding that many do not realise what a serious issue it is. "I definitely know people it has happened to: girls who have been taken home, or who have had it here. For some of these mothers it's a lot cheaper and easier to get them done here. I know these girls, and it just fuels my passion. I want to get their voices heard."

 

The consequences for her friends are severe. "FGM is a terrible thing. Not only physically […] I think people don't think about how traumatic that would be, how it will mess her up emotionally. People don't understand that this is something they live with every day of their lives, not just physically but emotionally."

 

She is directly appealing to Gove to write to every headteacher in the UK before the next"cutting season" – the summer holidays; when girls are cut in order to give them time to recover without it being noticed by teachers – asking them to train schools and parents about FGM.

 

"A girl's high school years are when she grows up, learns about her body, goes through puberty … School students need to know about FGM and they need to know that it's wrong," says Fahma.

 

Asked if she thinks the famously intractable Gove – who has faced down repeated attempts to get sex and relationship education made compulsory in the school curriculum, and has ignored requests for meetings from other FGM activists – will listen, she smiled. "We are not going to be quiet, we are not going to shut up," she says. "It has taken us this long just to get people talking about it, we don't care how long it takes."

 

Source: theguardian

http://www.somaliaonline.com/young-british-somali-women-fight-fgm-with-rhyme-and-reason/

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Calling themselves the #FDL or Female Defence League – with some of the cheekier older girls substituting the word “fanny” for “female”

 

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Fahma Mohamed first heard about female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was 13. Educated, open-minded and strong willed, she didn’t know what the term meant, so she asked.

 

And the rest is NGO history.

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<cite>
said:</cite>

alpha, you are right. this is becoming a mashruuf for some xalimos.

 

^ ma ogsoontahiin today was xuska maalinta la dagaallanka gudniinka fircooniga FGM-ka in the nation's capital?

 

abti,

 

this dog-whistle politics is dangerous ee ya uu sheega these little FGM hijabis?

 

the liberal media is deliberately employing politically coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different or more specific appeal for a targeted subgroups like racist when discussing FGM-ka. cala kuli xaal its designed to attract xenophobic support from far right extremist groups...... ileen outrageous barbaric customs of ethnic minorities are the waan ku sheegay wet dreams of racists and white extremists. thus, ........these folks are animals = they are a threat to our democratic values = therefore we must defend our country = crackdown on immigration at once = DEPORTATION or GENOCIDE. lol.

 

 

dates for your diary

World Interfaith Harmony Week - 3 - 9 February 2014

World Radio Day - 13 February

World Day of Social Justice - 20 February

International Mother Language Day - 21 February

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II don't condone this old age tradition but my worries will be the day these dimwitts tell us: stop discriminating against lesbos and gays. FGM is phase one, be tuned to phase two or gay rights.

 

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maxaa dal gaalo kugu dajayay. lahum ardhum walaka ardhuka. stop this liberal whining and go back to africa darkie

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<cite>
said:</cite>

II don't condone this old age tradition but my worries will be the day these dimwitts tell us: stop discriminating against lesbos and gays. FGM is phase one, be tuned to phase two or gay rights.

 

phase 0 - womenfolk discover there's a world beyond the kitchen. circa 1982.

phase 1 - was recognising the female's right to exist (in many countries this is still not recognised, ma garatay?)

phase 2 - was granting the womenfolk the right to make informed decisions regarding their body.

phase 13 - was to civilise the woman (this is where womenfolk sort of lost the plot)

phase 14 - was enabling the woman to achieve what we now know as ''careers''

phase 15 - was to emasculate the man through political correctness and other liberal media devices.

phase 16 - ''post-man'' and the last woman standing era (all men were killed off at this stage)

phase 17 - progressive reformation era - total emancipation of womenfolk (FGM made illegal)

phase 18- the crisis of femininity and womenfolk (so called spinsters era)

phase 18 - the death of womenfolk (circa 34 years after the death of last surviving male)

phase 19 - the last frozen egg spontaneously hatches (fertility preservation era )

phase 20 - the birth of Eve's prototype (prematurely dies)

phase 904 - gays and lesbos having their rights.

 

aar baal iska huubi taariikhda. it would appear you're ill-formed eh.........

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necbyaaha naagaha Somalida oo hoostooda ka sheekeyaa ilahoow ino ceeb astur dumarka. waxyalahaga laga hadlin ba jira but than again i am just an old man what do i know.

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Is there any Somali girl who doesn't dream about becoming anti-FGM activist?

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Male & Female GM maxay ku kala duwanyihiin?. Waa wada gudniine ama ha la wada diido ama ha la wada oggolaado. Discrimination ma fiicna!.

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^Diin ahaan, wiilasha waa waajib, gabdhaha looma baahna. I thought your "Amiir-ul Wilaayatul Afrique wa Alaska," Amiir Fircoon Godane disapproves FGM, isnt that the case yaa Maaddeey?

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^Diinta noogu kaadiye, farqiga waa maxay?. Kuwa diiddan gudniinka dumarka ma diin bey ku diiddanyihiin?.

 

Amiir Fircoon oo gudniinka Fircooniga diiddan!. :)

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^Waxay ku kala duwan yihiin, midna dhibaatooyin caafimaad oo wakhti dheer ah ayuu keenaa, midna health benefits ayuuba u siyaadiyaa. Intaa ma kala garan wayday?lol

Fircoon=gaabow. Godane gaaboow aka Fircoon

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^^ Waa runtaa Geelle Gaaboow :). Lakin reer galbeedka iyo kuwa iska yeelyeela gudniinka sunno iyo fircooni uma fiiriyaane, gudniin waa u gudniin!. Kan sunnada ah iyo kan ragga waxaa xanuun iyo dhaawac badan kan ragga. Saasoy tahayna cid ka qaylisa oo ragga maxaa xbinkiisa qaaliga ah loo jarjarayaa ma arkin!. Allahuma qabiil kenya dega oo ninka gudan inuusan dhammeyn aaminsan mooyee!. :). Ogow rag waxaa jira xubinka macal xaniinyaha iska jara ee booskooda xubin dheddig ku bedesha!. Hadii taas MGM ahayn mutilation maba jiro. Diin ahaan fircooni waa wax xun asalna maleh, lakin gudniinka waa jiraa waana la amaanay. Markii Islaamka ku dhaqankiisa aad loo kordhiyey oo wadaadadu dhoofeen oo wadamo iyo dhaqamo kale barteen gudniinka fircooniga waa yaraaday haddii jabhaduhu dagaalkoodu dhici lahaynna lamaba arkeen FGM wax ka hadlaaya.

 

FG. Meeshu sidii hore uma xiisa badna, sidaas baan kaaga raagaye ka raalli noqo!.

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