Di Baladna (Our Land), by Emtithal Mahmoud

By Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud | November 9, 2021


As a former refugee from Sudan, Emi is well aware of the over-lapping vulnerabilities affecting people in many regions around the world.

In her poem, her 11-year-old self watches as her neighbour’s home crumbles into flood waters in a country “already locked in turmoil”.

“People are seldom vulnerable in only one way,” she points out. “It’s really important to recognize that a lot of places that are hit by conflict, are hit just as hard by climate change.”

Emi performed her poem at COP26 on November 8, hoping to bring the often-marginalized voices of refugees into the discussions.

“In the end, if a flood is coming, or a hurricane, we’re all equal,” she says. “We should be discussing this equally and affecting change in a way that includes everyone.”