Far Tune The Story and Characters


Far Tune is a work of fiction which tells the story of Fartun Hashi, a fourteen-year-old Somali refugee girl living in Columbus, Ohio. Fartun grew up in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya until the age ten, when she and her older brother and father moved to London, England, where they lived for two years. As the story opens, Fartun is about to begin her 9th grade year at private girls high school. It is told in three volumes (Autumn, Winter, and Spring). Some of the events that transpire within the larger story arc include becoming best friends with a girl named Bea at her new school, patching things up with her Somali friends from her old school, joining and being an important member of her high school soccer team, participating in spoken word events, acting as a kind of surrogate parent to her older brother, clashing with her father over various subjects.


Fartun (which means “lucky one”)—She is a fourteen-year-old Somali girl, living in Columbus, Ohio. She came to the U.S. in the winter of 2003 at the age of 12. Prior to immigrating to Columbus, Fartun and her family lived for two years in London. Before living London, Fartun grew up in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Her family (mother, father, and older brother) fled the Somali civil war, which started right after she was born, so she actually never really lived in Somalia for any period of time that she can remember. She is about to start her first year in high school at the private Columbus Girls’ Academy, where she won a scholarship. She attended middle school at an inner-city public school in Columbus. She loves to read and loves language. She has a part-time job at a neighborhood branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library where she volunteered for two years before being hired. She is bright, precocious, and a little snarky. She is a practicing Muslim (she wears a hijab in public), but she has questions about her religion. She is struggling with the typical issues of a fourteen-year-old girl combined with issues of being an immigrant, a member of racial and religious minority groups, and she is about experience culture shock as she begins to attend a prestigious private school filled with rich girls. Along with this, she will have to deal with her neighborhood friends from middle school who don’t understand why she chose to go to another school instead of the Columbus public high school that they are going to attend. She loves music and listens to artists such as Bob Marley, Lauren Hill, and John Legend.

Hodan (which means “wealthy/rich”)—Fartun’s older sister (27 years old). She has been in the U.S. for 15 years. One of their uncles helped her escape at the age of nine. She was taken to Europe where she lived for three years before coming to the U.S. in 1990 at the age of 12. Fartun never really knew her until she came to the U.S. Now she is kind of an aunt figure to her. She owns her own café, where Fartun likes to go and hang out. She is married to a non-Somali (Brazilian) man. She doesn’t wear a hijab. She has no relationship with their father.

Ibrahim (which means “father of many”)—Fartun’s father (50 years old). He was a successful farmer in Somalia. He has never adjusted to leaving Somalia, hasn’t learned English very well. He is a pretty strict Muslim. He is very disappointed in his son (Liban), has disowned Fatima, and doesn’t understand Fartun.

Liban (which means “persevere”)—Fartun’s older brother (18 years old). He used to be the one who Fartun looked up to, but he has fallen in with a bad group of guys. He starts using khat and that also changes his behavior. He becomes distant from Fartun and their father. Ibrahim considers forcibly sending Liban back to Somalia because he can’t control him but decides against it. Liban is crazy about soccer and this is what eventually pulls him out of his spiral helps him turn things around.

Amina (which means “peaceful and secure”)—Fartun’s mother (dies in the Kenyan refugee camp in her late-30s). She is beautiful and loves (and is loved by) Fartun more than anyone else in the family. Fartun will continue to talk to her throughout the story and she will appear when Fartun whistles their tune because she needs her mother.


We will have a booth at SPACE (Small Press and Alternative Comic Expo) April 13 & 14. For details go to http://www.backporchcomics.com/space.htm

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Due Date

Jonathon and I hope to complete the book by mid-March. After that it should be available from Amazon.com. More news on this to come.

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