10 Oct 2014
Memory Is Never Enough: Preservation of My Photo
I have no idea what I looked like as a child. My parents and I have no memory of our lives back home in Somalia. One day while I was searching for a pen, I found a small picture of this light-skinned, chubby baby. With my heart pounding so hard, I ran to my mother and asked her who the baby was. She replied that it was me in the photo. At the moment, I did not know how to feel. I looked at the photo and felt lucky to have it. Although it is small and has holes in it, my baby photo is important to me. I keep it with my wallet and take the photo everywhere with me. The reason that this photo is important to me is because there is no other photo that my family has of me.
I soon learned that the picture was taken right before we departed Somalia, which was almost 19 years ago. Looking at this photo makes me realize how unfortunate my family was back home in Africa. All of my siblings who were born outside of the US have no memory of how they looked as a child, and I am fortunate enough to have this relic of my otherwise unclear past. My emotional reaction to finding this photo was unforgettable. This image allows me to connect with my family's history. In addition, it has made me realize the importance of photography. Overall, this artifact continues to shape my unknown history.