Moment of silence please for the surrendered souls now at ease.
For my lost sisters in Nigeria,
For the ebola stricken victims in Liberia,
For the rape victims in the Congos.
To Madagascar where the plague resurfaced not too long ago,
To the rumbling stomach’s of the Sudan.
Those who I’ve missed-blame it on my short attention span.
This silence is for you.
Shhh..what was that?
The bombing on the television has added more countries to the list.
You see how the media feeds us with heartbreaking stories –
Stories of trials n tribulations and none of bliss.
When I say Africa what comes to mind?
A starving Somali with tears in her eyes?
What if I told you Africa’s beauty still exists?
What if I showed you something besides extremists?
The freshest lakes of Burundi,
Ethiopian injera tastes like home to me.
A Zambian safari as far as the eye can see.
You must listen to the traditional music of Mali.
Touch the unique fabric of Ghanaian clothing.
Trust me I can keep going.
A moment of silence is not for these single countries alone,
But all of Africa – for all of Africa appears to have lost her soul.
We must not only bow our heads for what has died, but for mama Africa who has survived.
Survived a beating like no other – for who looks as beautiful as she after decades of torture?
Original poem written and performed by Jawahir Ahmed Utah State University 2014 graduate
"From refugee to college degree: New U.S. citizens graduate with help from University of Utah"