Editors letter

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Dear Araweelos,

We are so thrilled to be able to share Issue 03 with you! We’ve poured our hearts into this issue and we are incredibly proud of it. We’re hella excited for you to be back in this space and to have you read what we’ve been working on! We’ve missed our community of Araweelos and we are so touched by how many of you have contacted us and supported the magazine over the years!

As you may have noticed, we are back from our self-imposed hiatus. If you’re new here, you might be wondering: Who is we? We are two first-cousins living on opposite ends of the world. Araweelo Abroad was born in 2014 after we spent much time dreaming up a unique and ground-breaking culture magazine for our community. Although we had no blueprint or examples to work from other than our own vision for the magazine, we were armed with a commitment to our community and a DIY attitude.

Araweelo Abroad is a true passion project and it was born out of an intense love for our Somaliniimo and a desire to celebrate all the different ways to be Somali. A lot of work goes into making Araweelo Abroad happen and that work is done almost entirely by just the two of us. After two incredibly successful issues, we needed to hit the pause button to each focus on school, work, and our lives. But we always knew that it was just a pause. We want to thank each and every one of you who emailed us, tweeted at us, DM’d us and kept asking for more issues. We love your love and we thank our community for seeing us.

Issue 03 is our biggest issue yet! So what will you find in this issue? So much amazing content that we can only give you a small taste in this letter! We have an exclusive interview with Celeste Dos Santos, daughter of Somali punk rock icon Poly Styrene of X-ray Spex. We spoke to Celeste about her mother’s legacy as a punk rock pioneer. In this issue you will also find an interview with Momtaza Mehri, a brilliant poet and essayist who was kind enough to share some of her work. For all the art babes out there, we spoke with Mariane Ibrahim on what it’s like owning a successful art gallery. Ask An Abaayo is a new section we are introducing. We encourage all of our abaayos who are in need of life advice to write to us!

We also can’t leave without commenting on how the global political climate is a hot mess right now and how it’s an especially bleak time to be Somali in the United States. So, we got in touch with a few Araweelos to talk about Trump, the Muslim travel ban, and what self-care looks like in response to the Islamophobic, xenophobic, and anti-black targeting of the Somali community in the U.S.  

Right now more than ever, it is critical for platforms like Araweelo Abroad to exist. We believe in Somalis being in charge of our own narratives. We believe in content created by us, for us! That’s why we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be bringing Issue 04 to you both digitally and in print. Economic/class privilege is a real thing in our community, so that’s why we’re committed to keeping Araweelo Abroad accessible for everyone.

Araweelo Abroad was created to showcase and celebrate the complexity and the diversity of the Somali experience in the diaspora. We will continue to do this work and make sure that this platform remains available to all of ya’ll. After all, we created it as a cyber homecoming for all Somalis: the Baati babes, our queer Somali fam, the womanists/feminists, Somali creatives and tastemakers, the ones with anti-capitalist/anti-racist politics, the religious kids, the bomb ass hijabis, transgender and gender non-conforming Somali fam, the hooyo mataalo/say wallahi gang, the commies/socialists, the indie kids, the art babes, etc. We created Araweelo Abroad for all our (Somali) niggas in the whole wide world.

Welcome to Issue 03 and thank you for continuing to support our work!


Sagal and Ifrah

Editors of Araweelo Abroad.