Somali blog - somalimind.com http://www.somalimind.com Somali repository Sun, 11 Oct 2015 17:31:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Brief diary of my April trip to Somaliland and Muqdisho Part 2 http://www.somalimind.com/2015/10/brief-diary-of-my-april-trip-to-somaliland-and-muqdisho-part-2/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/10/brief-diary-of-my-april-trip-to-somaliland-and-muqdisho-part-2/#comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 09:29:12 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1558 We embarked on our journey to Burco city- a 120-mile of tarred road, passing by crags and pinnacles of bush and tree-clad escarpments. There were some military checkpoints but they were usually manned by a single soldier. Most of them wave you through with no accompanying hassling. We approached the outskirt of Burco. On the […]

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We embarked on our journey to Burco city- a 120-mile of tarred road, passing by crags and pinnacles of bush and tree-clad escarpments. There were some military checkpoints but they were usually manned by a single soldier. Most of them wave you through with no accompanying hassling.

We approached the outskirt of Burco. On the road leading to the entrance, one’s attention is caught with a recurring roadside sign every 500 metre with the name KULMIYE printed on, the ruling political party of Somaliland. Once that fades away, attention is shifted towards the remaining patch of tarmac road where WADDANI (Somaliland’s largest opposition party) is distinctively painted upon in bright orange letters in a repeated pattern.

Burco (sand hill or dune in Somali) is a historical city whose short existence has witnessed a great deal of epic events. The capital of Togdheer region; It’s a city known for producing some of the most prominent Somali figures in history. With a population exceeding 300,000, it serves as a strategic trade hub buzzling with a huge number of merchants from as far as Kismaayo.
It has grown considerably and continues to grow on account of direct investment from the city’s flourishing diaspora community and the influx of rural people migrating to the city.

One observation that caught my eye was the vibrant nature of the locals; everyone was happy, contend and on the move, nicely fitting into the expanding dynamics of the city. There is a healthy level of competition and a peaceful aura clouding the city – “hoyga culimada iyo nabadda – the house of Islamic scholars and peace” they proudly proclaimed.

Burco is more conservative compared to other cities in Somaliland but that level of conservatism remains moderate, all thanks due the heightened vigilance of the locals and their scholars, who prevent it from becoming a hotbed for extremism. Islamic studies courses are on the rise and many from afar have graced the city to learn from its renowned scholars.

It was there where I slowly gulped my first 1 litre raw ‘caano-geel’ (camel milk), fresh from the udders of a healthy camel from the hinterland. Though I have heard the horror stories of never trying camel milk as a disaporian on your first trip lest you long for days of nauseating episodes, alxamdullilah nothing happend. Incidentally, it hosts the largest livestock market in Horn of Africa.

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Diidnaye Ogow – We have refused http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/diidnaye-ogow-we-have-refused/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/diidnaye-ogow-we-have-refused/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:16:13 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1553 This nationalistic catchy anti-colonialism song from the 1970s highlights Somalia’s crucial forefront against colonialism in Africa. Sung by Somali school children and lyrics composed by Abwaan Siciid Xarawo; it carries a moving patriotic theme sending a clear message to the world that Somalia will never accept black/white colonialism again and will fight for the plight […]

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This nationalistic catchy anti-colonialism song from the 1970s highlights Somalia’s crucial forefront against colonialism in Africa. Sung by Somali school children and lyrics composed by Abwaan Siciid Xarawo; it carries a moving patriotic theme sending a clear message to the world that Somalia will never accept black/white colonialism again and will fight for the plight of her people inhabiting the five corners of greater Somalia. See below my [basic] english rendering of the song:

Will I not rightfully invade [if attacked]?
Will I not [pre-emptively] attack [when threatened]
Will I not honourably fight [if my existence is at stake?]
Africa, take heed

We have refused [injustice]
Any country that wants to occupy my land
We will not allow it, remember that
Anyone who harms my occupied [Somali] sibling
is automatically harming the Somali race
and a blow to their head is our swift response
Africa, take heed

Division (amongst Africans) we do not tolerate
Provocation has never been our theme
And wrongdoing we discourage
Africa, take heed

Justice is timeless
though it has been forcibly concealed
overtime it will erupt
Africa, heed my words

Maan duuli waayin
Mana diriri waayin
Mana dagaali waayiin
Afrikooy daya

Diidnaye ogow
Dalkayaga ninkii doonaayayow
Inuu duudsiyo rabow
Annagu diidnaye ogow

Ninki dilay walaalkeen
Annana waa noo dan leeyahay
Daqar baa gaari doonee
Afrikooy daya

Dadka waan dhaxaynaa
Ninnana daandaansan maynee
Xumaatana dooni maynee
Afrikooy daya

Xaqii kaa duqoobaa
Inkastoo dabool la saraa
Mar uun buu kuu diillaacaa
Afrikooy daya

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Nasiib Buundo: a forgotten Somali Bantu anti-colonial leader http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/nasiib-buundo-a-forgotten-somali-bantu-anti-colonial-leader/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/nasiib-buundo-a-forgotten-somali-bantu-anti-colonial-leader/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 07:43:10 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1547 Nasiib Buundo was born in 1835 to a Yao community in northern Mozambique. His original name was Makanjira Zamani. At the age of 20, he was captured by raiders loyal to the infamous Zanzibari slave trader Tippu Tip, and was subsequently shipped to southern Somalia where he worked in plantation fields in the Somali coastal […]

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Nasiib BuundoNasiib Buundo was born in 1835 to a Yao community in northern Mozambique. His original name was Makanjira Zamani. At the age of 20, he was captured by raiders loyal to the infamous Zanzibari slave trader Tippu Tip, and was subsequently shipped to southern Somalia where he worked in plantation fields in the Somali coastal town of Baraawe. After a failed attempt to escape, he was beaten and left to die. A Somali sheikh from Baraawe saved him, taught him the Qur’aan and released him after he gained his strength. He changed his name to Nasiib (“Fortunate”) and moved to the town of Hindi, somewhere near the Jubba River. He created his own settlement and subsequently founded his own town which he named Buundo, styling himself the Sultan of Gosha.

He provided a safe haven for former slaves and established law and order in his domain. A skilled diplomat, he initially managed to establish diplomatic ties with Egypt, Zanzibar and later on with the British and Italian colonial authorities. However, he grew restless with the colonial authorities for their oppressiveness and callous nature against the Somali people. Dubbed as the “African Spartacus” by the Italians, Nasiib played a crucial role in the pan-Somali and anti-colonial cause. He held regular communications with the Daraawiish leader, Mohammed Abdulle Hassan, in the north whilst waging attacks against the Italian colonialists in the south. The Italians captured him and some of his followers, moved him to an Italian prison in Mogadishu where he ultimately died in 1906. The pre-1991 Somali government named a street after him in the Boondheere district.

His tales are quite known in the land of Somalis. A northern Somali poet (Maxamed Bulxcan Cawar) mentioned him in his famous poem “dal-mar” in 1896:

… Baraawiyo fadhiya, wabiga baaciisa
Iyana Buundo dabadeed ma cunin bur iyo iidaane
Biddoodkii Kismaayoodna, ways wada bog dooxeene

…settled in Baraawe and the bank of the river
After they passed Buundo, they didn’t eat flour and sauce
And the slaves of Kismaayo stabbed each other’s sides

May Allaah have mery on Nasiib Buundo

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Muuse Galaal anti colonialism – anecdote http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/1543/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/1543/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 06:04:41 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1543 One of Somalia’s greatest intellectuals, Muuse Galaal (RH), was transiting through Kenya in the 1970s. When it was time for him to board his connecting flight, he jumped up and found himself first in the queue. A long queue, consisting of tired and restless passengers from assorted nationalities. Suddenly, he noticed airport officials tapping the […]

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Muuse GalaalOne of Somalia’s greatest intellectuals, Muuse Galaal (RH), was transiting through Kenya in the 1970s. When it was time for him to board his connecting flight, he jumped up and found himself first in the queue. A long queue, consisting of tired and restless passengers from assorted nationalities. Suddenly, he noticed airport officials tapping the white passengers, with a go-ahead signal, to jump the queue and board the plane before others.

Troubled by what was happening under his nose; he hysterically started shouting: “Please oh former colonial masters, please colonise us once again for as you can see, we Africans are incapable of ruling ourselves; powerless to recognise our own worth and unable to implement fair practices”
The airport officials, shocked by his abrupt show, drawing the eyes of onlookers and startling the preferred passengers, rushed to him in a state of panic: “Sir, sir, sir, please, sir, please be quiet, be please be quiet, we will help you, please”.

Muuse Galaal, calmly replied: “my brothers, we have fought hard and long to win our freedom, equality and dignity. Many have perished for this hard-earned struggle. It will be an insult to their efforts and the future of our children to undo everything by living under the banner of freedom only in name.”

May Allaah have mercy on him, Muuse Xaaji Ismaaciil “Galaal”.

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Axmed Teerso (Ahmed Terso) – Somali martyr http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/axmed-teerso-ahmed-terso-somali-martyr/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/axmed-teerso-ahmed-terso-somali-martyr/#comments Sat, 26 Sep 2015 06:02:50 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1539 Not many of us know about this Somali hero named Col. Axmed Teerso. Born in Hiiraan in 1934 and martyred in Godey in 1977. The battle of Godey was one of the entry points of the Somalo-Ethio war and perhaps the most decisive one. There was a deadlock at the Godey’s main bridge for a […]

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TeersoNot many of us know about this Somali hero named Col. Axmed Teerso. Born in Hiiraan in 1934 and martyred in Godey in 1977.

The battle of Godey was one of the entry points of the Somalo-Ethio war and perhaps the most decisive one. There was a deadlock at the Godey’s main bridge for a week as both sides battled ferociously to dislodge one or the other. The Somali army units, fully equipped and with high morale couldn’t initially break the besieged Ethiopian units. With continuous bombardment, the Ethiopian defence was gradually wearing thin. Their commander, Col. Axmed Teerso, a 42-year old patriot led his men with a last offensive push with him personally at the frontline. The Ethiopian defence was broken but in the process Axmed Teerso lost his life, making him one of the first Somali casualties. He was heralded as one of the first Somali martyrs and was posthumously awarded Somalia’s highest medal of bravery.

It is said that he said to his wife, Dr Asha Ali (a military doctor), prior to embarking on the campaign to liberate Godey:

“I am going on a mission, and I would not probably survive, I don’t want you to cry over me, I want you to continue nursing the soldiers, this is your mission and ours too, to serve the motherland”

Alla ha u naxariisto Col. Axmed Teerso iyo dhamaan halyeeyadii Soomaaliyeed (min Saylac illaa Raaskaambooni) ku shahiiday (6,453 ruux) dagaalkii xoreynta Soomaali Galbeed, Ameen

May Allaah have mercy on Col. Ahmed Terso and the 6,453 Somali heroes from Zeila to Ras Kamboni who selflessly sacrificied their lives for a common objective, transcending clan-lines, Ameen

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Somalia: Sunnism vs Shiasm http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/somalia-sunnism-vs-shiasm/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/somalia-sunnism-vs-shiasm/#comments Wed, 23 Sep 2015 08:20:59 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1537 A former Somali ambassador to Iran once recounted to me how he came close to finalising a mega deal in 1980s with Iran. In the 1980s, Saudia imposed a ban on Somalia’s livestock. As a result, the Somalis were vigorously looking for a replacement. The diplomat attempted to put up a project together to convince […]

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A former Somali ambassador to Iran once recounted to me how he came close to finalising a mega deal in 1980s with Iran. In the 1980s, Saudia imposed a ban on Somalia’s livestock. As a result, the Somalis were vigorously looking for a replacement. The diplomat attempted to put up a project together to convince Iran to replace Saudi Arabia as Somalia’s main buyer of livestock. Iran accepted, under the condition that it would be packaged meat as opposed to live animals. They proposed to create a joint-owned IRA-SOMA company that will build several new abattoirs in Somalia, including other additional various factories, bring a huge Iranian workforce that will permanently be based in Somalia.

Somalia’s leader at the time, Siad Barre, was relucant and quite anxious about the deal even though Somalia at that time severely needed it but instructed the Somali ambassador to continue negotiating to arrive at a solution more favourable to Somalia. The ambassador, quite excited, thinking that he is about to close a deal and get a fat promotion was called to Villa Somalia [presidential palace] the next day. Siad Barre asked him:

Waxaan ku weydinaya… shacabka Soomaaliyeed…dadkaan Soomaaliyeed, waxay isku leeynayaan ma taqaana?
Waxay isku leeyneyaan, qabiil Illaahay meel u ku amaanay aysan jirin, bey isku leeynayaan. Ka waran hadii ee kula baxaan Shiica iyo Sunni. Intaan aan halkaan fadhiyo, Shiica Soomaaliya lagu beeri maayo. Raalli ahoow, waad dadaashay..mashruuciina halkaas ku jooji.

Let me ask you something..the Somali people…do you know the primary reason for their internal conflicts?
It is due to clannism, clannism that was never praised by Allaah, they are killing in the name of it. what about if Shiasm takes root in Somalia and they become two different sects, Shias and Sunnis. Until I stop being a leader of this country, Shiasm will never be implanted in Somalia. I apologise, you have put in alot of effort but cease the project from henceforth.

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Somali women’s contribution to literate the Somali population http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/somali-womens-contribution-to-literate-the-somali-population/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/somali-womens-contribution-to-literate-the-somali-population/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:18:28 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1531 One defining fact emanating from Somalia’s disastrous civil war is the innate resilience and endurance of our mothers, that despite against all odds — they marched on. However, many of us do not know that they already underwent a similar arduous task, not as grown women but as young girls on a noble mission, cemented […]

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Somali script literacy
One defining fact emanating from Somalia’s disastrous civil war is the innate resilience and endurance of our mothers, that despite against all odds — they marched on. However, many of us do not know that they already underwent a similar arduous task, not as grown women but as young girls on a noble mission, cemented in Somalia’s history, to educate a whole population. Over 5,000 young Somali females made history 42 years ago.

Fadumo Hashi writes (for Women’s International Democratic Federation):

“All in all 21,421 students, teachers and government personnel were deployed in the campaign. Of these 5,000 were women, and as we shall elaborate later, Somali women played a significant role in this historic campaign. The motto of the literacy campaign was “If you know, teach, if you don’t know, learn”. The role played by women in the literacy campaign was fundamental. It was also two-fold: a teaching role and a learning role. Based on the experience that a Somali woman will endure as much hardship as her male counterpart, women teachers and female students from Mogadishu, the capital, were assigned to eradicate illiteracy amongst the most populous region that is the countryside. The main task of most of the women assigned for this region was the spreading of literacy among the population, and this these women teachers and students were determined to do, both among the female and male population.

To start with, about 2,940 women were assigned by the campaign to the region, their ages, excluding the 238 regular teachers varied from 14 to 19. These girls between the ages of 14—19 were to shoulder the following responsibilities: to mobilize the masses for literacy and nursing classes” (Women of the Whole World, 1977)

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Brief diary of my April trip to Somaliland and Muqdisho http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/brief-diary-of-my-april-trip-to-somaliland-and-muqdisho/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/brief-diary-of-my-april-trip-to-somaliland-and-muqdisho/#comments Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:12:15 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1525 I arrived in Hargaysa, capital of Somaliland and the first patch of land of the Somalis since escaping the brutal civil war in 1991 as a young kid. After going through some of the routine checks, the first resonating words, echoing through the halls of Hargaysa-Cigaal airport was: “Welcome to Somaliland”. Somalis’ entrepreneurial nature is […]

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hargeisa
I arrived in Hargaysa, capital of Somaliland and the first patch of land of the Somalis since escaping the brutal civil war in 1991 as a young kid. After going through some of the routine checks, the first resonating words, echoing through the halls of Hargaysa-Cigaal airport was: “Welcome to Somaliland”. Somalis’ entrepreneurial nature is reflected at the dozens of companies, gesticulating in a bid to win you over with their unique services. Your luggage does not leave the premise until it has been fully checked and ascertained that it belongs to you.

The minute I stepped out, I was confronted with the pinch as the vast bare of blue sky was pulsating with intense heat. The first thing that catches your eyes is the green, white and red horizontal stripes representing the national flag of Somaliland, painted everywhere – on uniforms, vast walls, large buildings. An euphoria of pride is in the air and I soon come to discover the root of it.

Hundreds of civilians, patiently awaiting to receive their loved ones or esteemed guests. You cannot help but grab the initial attention of the throng as they meticulously assessed every passenger that exits the terminal; scanning whether he is a local, diasporian, a foreigner or God knows what.

As I took my initial steps, marvelling at the thought that these feet have roamed the land of Europe for the past 24 years, finally reconnected with its ancestral homelands – the land of the Somalis. As I sallied through the crowd, I took intermittent pauses, idly analysing my surroundings.

My uncle, whom I haven’t seen for the past 2 decades was patiently waiting for me on the other side. In an attempt to pick out his nephew – whom he last saw as a toddler from a surging crowd, he periodically shouted my full name. We finally found each other, going through the predicted motions of relatives that have not seen each other for an extensive time, the usual drill. My uncle is a voluble man, and considers a moment of silence to be end of the world.

Our main plan was to head straight to Burco, the provincial capital of Togdheer, so we rushed through the gates and set out on a lengthy journey — involving close to six hours.

Before we departed Hargeisa, we stopped by at a petrol station, manned by a service crew to fill the car whilst we went inside the service station’s shop to purchase some snacks. On the dashboard, rested my camera equipment, the car windows were fully open and the keys was still in the ignition. I pestered my uncle to close the car windows whilst locking the car. The crew filling the car overheard the conversation and chuckled: “don’t worry brother, this is Somaliland, your belongings are safe, the country is safe”. These words were echoed by my uncle who added, whilst pointing at a lone police soldier sitting there, as long as he is there nothing will happen. I was pleasantly surprised, for even first-world countries do not possess that bold level of security — proudly espoused by the locals — even if there was a squadron of police around the corner.

We got what we needed, and headed out for what was going to be long and enlightening trip to Burco.

#NextPartBurco

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Sun and moonlight http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/sun-and-moonlight/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/sun-and-moonlight/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2015 08:57:09 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1522 The sunlight slowly descends, she knows the moonlight will be there eternally The sky is illuminated by the elevated stars for it reminds the sun of its reflected light from the moon and the profound bond that connects them. She is the sunlight in his life and for he is the moonlight in hers. It’s […]

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The sunlight slowly descends, she knows the moonlight will be there eternally

The sky is illuminated by the elevated stars for it reminds the sun of its reflected light from the moon and the profound bond that connects them.

She is the sunlight in his life and for he is the moonlight in hers. It’s a destined reflection of each other and the love that they essentially share.

The sun cyclically sets and the radiating moonlight lights the night

They consciously belong to each other and forever yours is what the night breeze murmurs

Their inner world is illuminated by their light, when the sun replaces the moonlight, the moonlight longs for it to rise once again

Its new love at its best, roses bloom and moon-flowers light the dark path symbolising a growing love

The heart of sunlight is forever captured in the moons until it is no more for one can no longer shine without the other

Their mortal hearts forever connected until both lights are forever diminished on the Day of Reckoning

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Heart http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/heart/ http://www.somalimind.com/2015/09/heart/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2015 08:55:52 +0000 http://www.somalimind.com/?p=1520 The heart, this odd-shaped emblem of emotions and feelings, this cruel electromagnetic processor acting as an unrestricted Game Master, whimsically deciding when to alter our temperament or feelings. The human heart, the regulator of the introverts, extroverts and the ambiverts. The channel where the intrinsic feelings of infatuation and relative love are routed through. The […]

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The heart, this odd-shaped emblem of emotions and feelings, this cruel electromagnetic processor acting as an unrestricted Game Master, whimsically deciding when to alter our temperament or feelings. The human heart, the regulator of the introverts, extroverts and the ambiverts. The channel where the intrinsic feelings of infatuation and relative love are routed through. The euphoric notion of falling in love with your predestined other half, the instant Iman-booster when one is randomly reminded of his faith, the day you complete your faith and tie the eternal knot, the moment you hold your new-born child, the fulfillment of a social junkie, the instant gratification of solitude, the inconsolable pain of being grief-stricken, the nasty perks of being heartbroken, the tired dismay of being depressed, the facade of emotions just to fit in, the feigned belonging in the hope to settle its irregular rhythm. The serene acceptance of letting things go, leaving it to the AlMighty, the selfless acts emanating from empathy, the human pride and the graceful humble acts.

The heart is the house of the soul and the book of life, with all its supplementary bonuses.

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