August 8, 2023

Maha's Diary - Kayd X Oxford House: Open Mic Night

Maha’s Diary – Kayd X Oxford House: Open Mic Night


Maha is our new Heritage Participation trainee and is keeping an illustrated heritage blog of her time.


Greetings Oxford House friends,


My name is Maha Shami. I am an Artist and the Heritage Participation Trainee at Oxford House. My Oxford House Diary uses reportage illustration. Reportage is a type of visual documentation where an artist’s captures a moment in time. This is where I draw from life to document what is happening around me at Oxford House. Using a visual diary allows me to express my thoughts and emotions. I write to do lists and make sure I keep track of what needs to be done at work. I have a passion for storytelling, and I want to share that with you.


Today’s post is about the Somali Arts Café: Open Mic Night. This event was presented in partnership by Oxford House and Kayd Somali Arts and Culture. This event has been made possible with the support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.


This night was fantastic! Noura A Sheikh was our fantastic host who kept the audience engaged and the energy up. She is passionate about empowering women and grassroots community organisations for Black Muslims in the UK. Our fantastic speakers included Ibrahim Hirsi, a writer, independent researcher, and editorial assistant at Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal. The next speaker was Nomadic Libaax, founder of, a platform for creative expression and showcasing diverse artists. His works serves as a poetic running dialogue, inviting readers to broaden their perspectives. The next speaker was Deqa Abdi. Deqa is a writer, poet, and storyteller. She had a degree in Education, Culture and Society from Goldsmiths University of London and she has been writing since she was a child. Our next speaker, Baar Hersi is an Associate Senior Leader at an inner London school, she has years of experience in education. She is also an educational advocate, helping Somali parents navigate the school systems. Baar is also a radio host, a youtuber, a presenter and has hosted/organised many events celebrating Somali culture. Our next speaker was Simba Rabsha. Simba is a winner of the notorious Top Secret Gong Show Nov 2022 and Big Belly’s Ding Dong Show September 2022 as well as a finalist in the Max Turner Prize 2022. Finally, Adbullahi A Mohammed renowned as Poeticals Corner, is a talented Somali Poet and a dedicated Educational Facilitator. Abdullahi actively collaborates with the poetry society, where he passionately crafts enriching workshops for young students, meticulously honing their poetic talents while exploring a diverse array of themes like identity and hope. Thank you to all the wonderful people who took the stage and blessed us with your talents.