Hani is a young Somali writer. She writes poetry and prose and previously wrote and published a small newspaper called CC Weekly. Her work is vibrant and her spirit strong. Hani writes from within Australian Immigration Detention where she has been held for 11 months – and where she remains detained. Hani is a lead member of Writing Through Fences and is working toward her goal of becoming a journalist. She is an honorary member of PEN International.



I will rise

You now lock me in detention
and damage my hopes
but it’s like dust
and one day I will rise.

You may avoid my sadness
and send me to Manus
but one day I will rise.

You may hide the reality
and break my heart
but one day I will rise.

You may send me somewhere else.
Why can’t you help me?
I may be a female of under age
who needs assistance from you.
You may send me to other countries
and shoot me with your words
but one day I will rise.

You may punish me
by saying lies
but one day I will rise.

You may kill me with your hateful action
but it’s like air
and one day I will rise.

You may never care about my awful past
and enjoy my tears
but one day I will rise.

I may have bad memories
rooted in pain
but one day I will rise.

I may have left a fearful life of horror
but one day I will rise.

Does my mind upset you
so full of thoughts?
I am an asylum seeker
who seeks for freedom and doesn’t
have anywhere else to go.

Does it come as a surprise to you
that whatever you have done to me
I will forgive you?

Wherever you send me
as long as I see the sun rise and the moon come up
I will rise…


I will live and Survive and Be Asked

How dangerous was it to leave my country alone?
How my family allowed me to leave?
How afraid I was for my self – that I would be raped or killed?
How I made the decision to travel alone?
How I survived without food some days?
How I walked bare feet – even as I got more injured?
How I allowed them to lock me inside a toilet?
How I stayed inside the toilet for hours?
How I jumped from far places and got damaged?
How I knew I had come to the right place?
I will live and survive and be asked:
How I felt to come by boat?
How I felt to risk my life?
Did I know I would stay in detention?
Did I know I had come ‘illegally’?
But I will smile –
and I will listen to them –
because when I survived the sea
I thought I was born again.
When they ask:
did you know the law was changed?

I will tell them:
I didn’t have a choice
When they say:
Doesn’t it hurt you to remember?
I will answer them:
it is past.
When they ask:
What are u planning now?
What do you want to be in the future?
I will answer them:
I am planning to live in Australia
and I want to be a journalist.
They will ask:
what about if they send you somewhere else?
And I will say: “As long as I breathe I will reach my goals”.