Somali Sideways

Somali Siadeways

‘Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share’

Young Somali Diasporas are sharing their stories in a unique way; all over the world we see a lot of  Somali communities each with different amazing stories. Mohamed Mohamud, a young Somali individual started a project called ‘Somali Sideways’. He explains that it is a platform where Somalis from around the world can share their stories so other Somalis can relate or learn from them. “Standing sideways was a concept I came up with. It’s a little different to the traditional front face image because it creates an element of reflection and thoughtfulness as the person is thinking of that particular story.”

Mohamed, a BSc International Politics graduate always wanted to help or create an initiative relating to photography. Somalis are from an oral culture, where they meet in cafes, restaurants, supermarkets and other social gatherings they are always sharing stories and ideas. Each Somali person is unique as they have incredible stories to tell about their life journey, their families and how they are dealing with conflicting identities and cultures. “I thought it would be a good idea to showcase these stories on social media. Thus Somali Sideways was created and developed”.

Started on May 6th 2014, Somali Sideways has reached hundreds of Somalis across the globe such as New Zealand, Australia, U.S.A. and Kenya. Mohamed is a talented aspiring photographer and he plans to get 1000 Somalis to share their stories on his Facebook page and Instagram. “If I reach that target, I will continue it Insha’Allah (God willing). The beauty of this project is that Somalis from around the world can get involved and invite others to join”. Mohamed’s love of listening and learning from amazing stories shared by his peers is what motivates him. “Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share. Hearing their stories creates a connection amongst different Somalis around the world”.

Watch Mohamed Story on breaking the cycle

In 2012, Mohamed and his friends started a campaign called ‘Teach Somalia’; the aim of the campaign was to raise money for students in Somalia. Mohamed took part in two cycle challenges. The first one was from London to Cambridge (60 miles approx) and second one from London to Paris (250 miles approx). His success led him to present a news video on Young Somali TV (YSTV) as well as the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ series.

Mohamed spoke at the Ealing Somali Youth Conference in London discussing to young Somalis about his life achievements and how he believes that “every single one of them can accomplish something far greater than him once they put their mind to it”.

Mohamed’s message to Somalis, “Have an innovative idea, believe in it, work hard for it and In Sha Allah you’ll see the rewards of it. You’ll see the benefactors of your idea.  Once you go the struggle, the rejections, the critics and you’ve succeeded, only then will you fully understand why you did it”.


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