Jan. 15, 2019

Senzela Atmar — Breaking Down Stigma-Stained Barriers

Senzela Atmar — Breaking Down Stigma-Stained Barriers

<p>Senzela Atmar was born in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. It's a miracle she and her family are still alive today. After surviving bombings, the death of a family member, and several years in a refugee camp, she and her family won a lottery and were brought to the United States. They began their lives in Nashville, TN.<em> Senzela's story is going to blow your minds. </em></p><br><p>Senzela started <a href="https://reliefwoborders.org" target="_blank">Relief Without Borders</a>—an organization committed to providing relief to those suffering injustice and poverty in developing countries.</p><br><p>She is also involved with <a href="sharejourney.org" target="_blank">Share the Journey</a>.</p><br><p>Follow <a href="https://www.instagram.com/reliefwithoutborders/" target="_blank">Relief Without Borders</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/senzelaatmar/" target="_blank">Senzela</a> on Instagram.</p><br><p>In the intro of the podcast, I read an incredibly impactful poem that speaks candidly to the experience of so many refugees and immigrants. You can read it below.</p><br><p><strong><em>NOTE:</em></strong><em> In this poem, Warsan—a Somali poet and educator— uses the n-word. I copy/pasted the poem in its entirety for you below but left the n-word out when I recited the poem in the intro. As a non-black person, I don't feel comfortable saying it—even if I'm simply reading what she wrote. </em></p><br><p><strong>HOME by Warsan Shire</strong></p><br><p><em>no one leaves home unless</em></p><p><em>home is the mouth of a shark</em></p><p><em>you only run for the border</em></p><p><em>when you see the whole city running as well</em></p><br><p><em>your neighbors running faster than you</em></p><p><em>breath bloody in their throats</em></p><p><em>the boy you went to school with</em></p><p><em>who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory</em></p><p><em>is holding a gun bigger than his body</em></p><p><em>you only leave home</em></p><p><em>when home won't let you stay.</em></p><br><p><em>no one leaves home unless home chases you</em></p><p><em>fire under feet</em></p><p><em>hot blood in your belly</em></p><p><em>it's not something you ever thought of doing</em></p><p><em>until the blade burnt threats into</em></p><p><em>your neck</em></p><p><em>and even then you carried the anthem under</em></p><p><em>your breath</em></p><p><em>only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet</em></p><p><em>sobbing as each mouthful of paper</em></p><p><em>made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.</em></p><br><p><em>you have to understand,</em></p><p><em>that no one puts their children in a boat</em></p><p><em>unless the water is safer than the land</em></p><p><em>no one burns their palms</em></p><p><em>under trains</em></p><p><em>beneath carriages</em></p><p><em>no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck</em></p><p><em>feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled</em></p><p><em>means something more than journey.</em></p><p><em>no one crawls under fences</em></p><p><em>no one wants to be beaten</em></p><p><em>pitied</em></p><br><p><em>no one chooses refugee camps</em></p><p><em>or strip searches where your</em></p><p><em>body is left aching</em></p><p><em>or prison,</em></p><p><em>because prison is safer</em></p><p><em>than a city of fire</em></p><p><em>and one prison guard</em></p><p><em>in the night</em></p><p><em>is better than a truckload</em></p><p><em>of men who look like your father</em></p><p><em>no one could take it</em></p><p><em>no one could stomach it</em></p><p><em>no one skin would be tough enough</em></p><br><p><em>the</em></p><p><em>go home blacks</em></p><p><em>refugees</em></p><p><em>dirty immigrants</em></p><p><em>asylum seekers</em></p><p><em>sucking our country dry</em></p><p><em>niggers with their hands out</em></p><p><em>they smell strange</em></p><p><em>savage</em></p><p><em>messed up their country and now they want</em></p><p><em>to mess ours up</em></p><p><em>how do the words</em></p><p><em>the dirty

Senzela Atmar was born in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. It's a miracle she and her family are still alive today. After surviving bombings, the death of a family member, and several years in a refugee camp, she and her family won a lottery and were brought to the United States. They began their lives in Nashville, TN. Senzela's story is going to blow your minds.


Senzela started Relief Without Borders—an organization committed to providing relief to those suffering injustice and poverty in developing countries.


She is also involved with Share the Journey.


Follow Relief Without Borders and Senzela on Instagram.


In the intro of the podcast, I read an incredibly impactful poem that speaks candidly to the experience of so many refugees and immigrants. You can read it below.


NOTE: In this poem, Warsan—a Somali poet and educator— uses the n-word. I copy/pasted the poem in its entirety for you below but left the n-word out when I recited the poem in the intro. As a non-black person, I don't feel comfortable saying it—even if I'm simply reading what she wrote.


HOME by Warsan Shire


no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark

you only run for the border

when you see the whole city running as well


your neighbors running faster than you

breath bloody in their throats

the boy you went to school with

who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory

is holding a gun bigger than his body

you only leave home

when home won't let you stay.


no one leaves home unless home chases you

fire under feet

hot blood in your belly

it's not something you ever thought of doing

until the blade burnt threats into

your neck

and even then you carried the anthem under

your breath

only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet

sobbing as each mouthful of paper

made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.


you have to understand,

that no one puts their children in a boat

unless the water is safer than the land

no one burns their palms

under trains

beneath carriages

no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck

feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled

means something more than journey.

no one crawls under fences

no one wants to be beaten

pitied


no one chooses refugee camps

or strip searches where your

body is left aching

or prison,

because prison is safer

than a city of fire

and one prison guard

in the night

is better than a truckload

of men who look like your father

no one could take it

no one could stomach it

no one skin would be tough enough


the

go home blacks

refugees

dirty immigrants

asylum seekers

sucking our country dry

niggers with their hands out

they smell strange

savage

messed up their country and now they want

to mess ours up

how do the words

the dirty

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