Monthly Archives: August 2014

Poetry for The Famakinwa Family

Today I had the pleasure of performing at the RAPAR event held to raise awareness for The Famakinwa Family in Manchester.
Abiola Famakinwa, mother of three children, 14, 12 and 6, is a Biomedical Scientist who was sadly widowed when her husband, a renowned journalist in Nigeria – Samuel Oluwasanmi Famakinwa died under mysterious circumstances in the Northern Part of Nigeria.
Although she was six months pregnant at the time she had to leave the country with her children in fear of her own and her children’s lives. Now settled in the UK, the Home Office is refusing to allow them to stay. Please help raise awareness! IMG_4575.JPG

Gaza: Death toll now over 2.100, 10.550 injured in 48 days


Victims’ names and ages were compiled based on information released by the Gaza health ministry, while the circumstances of the deaths were taken from the ministry and local news sources.

The number includes 553 children, 253 women, and 96 elderly, since July 8, while more than 10310, including 3106 children, 1970 women and 368 elderly, have been injured with some losing limbs and others disabled for life, not to mention those who will die from cancer later on from the banned DIME munitions and potentially DU weapons employed as well. The amount of dead is underestimated as there are many whose bodies have still not been retrieved from the rubble and therefore their names are not listed.

The majority of the wounded are children, according to the Ministry of Health. All of the casualties listed below are victims of Israeli bombs dropped on Gaza since Tuesday July 8th. There is…

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The Lists

Behind the first letter, a shot of life darts out wearing pink, sneaks a peek, giggling

She clambers up into the crux of the Y where she dangles and swings her chubby legs

Jumping down, she runs through the arches of the M and hangs off the dot on the I

Hearing the laughter of her Baba she steps through the hoop of the O to reach him

He chases her, throwing her up in the air where she lands on the tail of the Q and laughs

Her Mama sweeps her up, kissing her dimpled cheeks,
drawing letters of her daughter’s name together
Like the string to a velvet bag of memories that draws to an end at the age of 4

Among the printed list of over a thousand names, her eyelids close and her chest becomes still

But not as a black and white statistic on the shroud of a page
Or untuned piano keys with no melody to be played

But as a pulsation felt in the fingertips that trace
The memory of colour, of life, that ebbs on the page

She is Yasmin Matouq of Gaza…..

©Hafsah Aneela Bashir