My name is Rahma Mohamed; and I was born and raised in Hargeisa, Somalia. Shortly before the civil war broke out; at the age of eight, my family immigrated to Canada. We arrived in Quebec where I attended my first formal school in French. The first few years were very difficult, I endured years of bullying due to me being the only black Somali girl in my class and my inability to speak the language. I would not only mater both French and English but also be the first to graduate from University in my household.
But what led me become and Author?
You see I learned to read at the age of ten. And when that happened, a new world opened up to me. I read all kinds of stories. But I never found myself in any of them, and this had become a regular occurrence to me. I intuitively understood that I was not important enough to be written about or to see myself in any book.
Once I became a mother, I set out to self-publish children books to encourage youth to be proud of their uniqueness by celebrating diversity. Reflecting on my struggles of growing up in a foreign country, I became determined to offer books centered on characters that are Muslim and with African roots. I firmly believe that children need to be able to identify themselves in the book they read to enhance their self-confidence as well as bolster their sense of pride. I write under the pen name Rahma Rodaah which my first name and my middle name combined.
If you believe each child deserve to see themselves in the books, they love to read, then spread the message as we need more diversity when it comes to children’s books.