The Yibir of Las Burgabo is the story of a Yibir family in Somalia. (Yibirs are the most ostracized and despised group in Somalia.) In this novel, after an out-of-town trip on foot, Geeddi never returns home. Instead, his two children, Amina and Ali are greeted with news of his death one day. His teenager daughter, Amina, assumes the role of parent for her nine-year-old brother. She knows her familys past which she keeps secret from her brother out of respect for her late fathers wishes.
As Ali grows up, he becomes an excellent student and a wonderful soccer player. His private thoughts, however, leave him frustrated and confused. He has no memory of his mother and no knowledge of what has happened to her. He knows Yibirs are shunned and unwanted but doesnt know why. He is unable to accept or forget his fathers death. And on top of all this, the brother and sister have to deal with poverty.
This novel is a narrative of the conflict between Alis search for a comfortable social niche and the society determined to keep him out. A tug of war continues throughout most of the book until critical moments of revelation drive the central point of the book home for the reader The Yibir of Las Burgabo is a story about fortitude, dignity and, survival in the face of tragedy, rejection and contempt.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MAHMOOD GAILDON is a Somali medical physicist. He came to the US in 1983, attended Indiana University for a year then dropped out for lack of financial support. In the summer of 1984, he moved to Harlem of New York City where he held odd jobs, among them grocery store clerk, cab driver and security guard. In 1987, he was admitted to Columbia University of New York City where he earned a B.Sc. and an MA in physics and an M.Sc. in medical physics. Since then he has worked as a radiation oncology physicist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Saini Hospital and Beth Israel Hospital, all of New York City. In the summer of 2003 he moved to Georgia where he now works for the Institute of Radiation Therapy at Riverdale. The Yibir of Las Burgabo is his first novel.