Somali Muslim refugee Saida Dahir, an award-winning poet who advocates against intolerance and racism in her work, will perform her spoken-word poetry on Feb. 11 at the DMACC Ankeny and Urban Campuses.
Dahir, 18, emigrated from Somalia to the United States when she was three years old and claimed refugee status in Salt Lake City, along with her family. She wrote her first-ever poem at age seven, and her debut poetry album, “The Walking Stereotype,” was recorded on the eve of her high school graduation. The album addresses topics such as cultural displacement, gun violence and Dahir’s decision to wear a hijab.
"It was a rough journey to find myself, and my poetry really helped with everything I faced as a child," Dahir said. "With ‘The Walking Stereotype,’ I want people to know that anyone can get through the most surmountable challenges, and that past traumas and heartbreak do not define you. I want to make a difference to people all around the world.”
Dahir, who is currently a college freshman at U.C. Berkeley, will perform from 10-11 a.m. on Feb. 11 in the Bldg. #6 Auditorium on the DMACC Ankeny Campus, as well from 1-2 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Bldg. #1, Room 124-126, on the DMACC Urban Campus. Both events will be free to attend and open to the public. Her presentation is sponsored by the DMACC Diversity Commission. Dahir was originally scheduled to speak at DMACC in October, but her presentations were rescheduled to the Feb. 11 date.
Read more about Dahir