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I’ll give you love and affection
love and affection
I hope you give me direction
When I give you my love.

…sings K’naan, who was born in Somalia and whose name in Somali means traveler. Somalia. A country that conjures images of turbulent destruction, unbridled brutality, ruthless and merciless death by those that wear its crown. Somalia. A place where everyone is in the line of fire. Nobody is safe from the belligerence, the barbarian ruthlessness of the costs, traumas and atrocities of war. Somalia. Where GI Joes and Barbies turn into cold hard loaded AK-47s in the hands of 8 year old children; where “childhood” exists in chronological terms alone. Somalia, among the top of Forbes list of the “Most Dangerous Destinations” joining war torn countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Congo.

But at the same time, where there is war there is resistance. K’naan is the epithet of resistance. He is a poet, a musician, an artist, and a fighter for the freedoms of his people and for all those born with chains, struggling with more than just the color of their skin, the status of their politics, or the status of their wallets, but with the simple task of making it to the next day, subsisting with the risk of becoming nonexistent in the next.

Through his art he inspires peace and raises world truths unbeknownst or ignored by most. He asks us, “is it true when they say all you need is just love? What about those who have loved only to find that it’s taken away? And why do they say that the children have rights to be free? What about those who I’ve known whose memory still lives inside of me?”

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