A very happy Eid to everyone. May this day be one filled with happiness and laughter.
What a day to hang Saddam
Xamareey ma nabad baa?
I am not someone to engage myself in politics for it is often trivial and always biased. Especially when it comes to Somali politics and now, I am but inclined to follow incidents in Somalia as they occur. It has now become another depressing tale. The clouds are darkening over the once beautiful horizons of Mogadishu. Soon the houses will turn to rubble and the roads to pebbles. It has already started – the pillaging, looting, kidnapping and all sorts of hideous crimes have already seized Mogadishu. Ethiopian drugs have taken their respectful positions as vendors exhibited their carts on the sandy roads.And we will soon even see a wave of HIV cases spiralling out of control.
Though it wasn’t an entirely safe city and had its fair share of violence and atrocities, Mogadishu and the rest of southern Somalia were for once starting to see a glimpse of hope. A faint light of hope that negated all previous ruling methods. From chaos to order, from insecurity to some sort of security, from instability to working together, from havoc to understanding and settling differences. The Courts weren’t the best of rulers with regards to their ruling methods and collaborating with some warlords, but I have to admit, any sort of governance is better than non-governance at all, right? At least the flaws in the governing methods can be challenged and corrected at a later stage when some sense of stability is achieved. But the Courts were too hasty and a short term victory has ignited in them a wave of enthusiasm and keenness to capture other cities and indeed haste makes waste.
Now Ethiopian troops have advanced deeper into Somali soil and I very much doubt their motives. Are they simply lending a hand to the weak Somali TFG or do they have some underlying motives?
How long do we have to wait for more Ethiopian troops to settle in Somalia? And how long before they decide to move up towards other Somali cities?
My heart aches for Somalia. And though the world ignores its plight, again Mogadishu will carry the burden on its shoulders and bury its dead with streets coagulated with blood!
I have deserted this place for a few days, and though plenty has been happening, still there is nothing interesting to write about. The school is closed and so is university – isn’t it amazing when both your work and studies end on the same day! I have been doing nothing much except for sleeping, eating and some more sleeping. I feel fresh but slightly lethargic too, probably due to excessive sleep. the more i sleep, the more i need to sleep.
I love my sleep and nothing can come between me and her. But my sleep has been disrupted last night, as I took a trip to Sheffield, The City of Steel, to drop some guests arriving from Norway. Most of the flights were delayed and after having been waiting for them for hours at Stanstead Airport drove them all the way to Sheffield – some 120+ miles away. The fog was so thick that you could hardly see a mere 50 feet in front of you. Visibility was limited and this was confirmed by the multiple blockages on the motorway due to several accidents involving lorries and smaller cars.
Its better to be safe than sorry! The journey that would have taken me about 2 – 2.5 hours on a normal day took me 4.5 hours and to make it even worse I had to come back on the same night.
To make up for this lost sleep I have slept to my fill today, until my sides swelled. I said I love my sleep, didn’t I and anything lost must be regained in multiple quantities!
p.s I will be going back to Sheffield tomorrow and funny enough to attend a wedding on sunday. Even more bizarre is that I am supposed to be the Bestman at the wedding. Wish me luck – too many eyes!
Enormous chandeliers luminously lit the hall as you walked in through the double doors into some lavishly arranged sets of round tables and chairs. The outstretched red carpet beneath your feet, matched by the red seats gave the hall a feel of cosiness and a friendly welcome to the arriving guests. A beautiful hall I thought and having arrived early, patiently awaited the arrival of the esteemed guests – fathers, mothers, children and soon-to-be fathers as well!
By 18:30, when the event was ready to start, I looked around to see that only ONE father had arrived. What a disappointment! It is something we do not know, isn’t it – time management that is. To us Somalis, it seems that time is something of no relevance – means absolutely nothing! The starting of the event was then delayed for a while, but when it began, the crowd received it uproariously.
Speaking in front of an audience regardless of their number is always frightening. There is something about the stage that intimidates a person; so much, that at times they consider hiding somewhere behind the stage and not come out. Despite forcing myself to fabricate boldness and confidence by putting on a lively and energetic personality, yet my heart violently thudded in my ribcage with every foot I advanced towards the podium. My breath, too, came in heavy pants, which I forcefully retained in my lungs. But then everybody has an inclination or a tendency to act in a certain way under pressure – the way that is natural to him or her. To stay calm and composed and in your natural manner whilst on stage is a very challenging task, which I could not do. I doubt there was anything coherent from the all the things I said on the stage, but it doesn’t matter now, for that was Yesterday!
The event’s main target audience, as you would guess from its title, were the Somali Fathers. Yet, for some strange reason it seems like we advertised either to the wrong audience or the fathers decided not to turn up. From the thousands of fathers in London, very few turned up. But I guess we sort of expected that to happen, keeping in mind the nature of Somalis. The event was meant to highlight the father figures in our community, yet only a handful turned up to reoresent their respectful domain.
I would like to extend my warm greetings and a Big Thank you to the Bloggers who managed to make it to the event. I hope you all enjoyed it, though some of you came rather late, further validating the Somali’s authentic seal to the term “lateness” Lol. I am just kidding; I know you came straight from work, so thank you.
Last but not least, Thank you, Mr A of SOL, a special guest all the way from Down Under!
The pavement was spattered with blood. Carefully, I took a few steps further and more blood painted the pavement and fresh drops of blood leaked out a trail. I looked in the direction of the trail and there stood a young boy not older than 17, clutching his arm firmly. A jacket was wrapped around his arm and the white Tee-shirt he wore had become crimson red with blood. He wasn’t moaning, shouting or anything, but looked stood with a solemn face. I approached him, as he stood with two other friends, intending to find out what happened and offer any help I could. I was driving, and thought that they might at least need a lift to the hospital as sometimes Ambulances can be late too.
He looked Somali. “maxaa ku helay? (What happened?)” I said.
“Somali maha, Somali Maha” (I am not Somali, I am not Somali) he replied.
Then he spoke to his friend in another language and I gathered he was Eritrean.
He bled profusely, so I offered them a lift to the hospital before it gets worse. On the way he opened up a bit and told me what happened.
“This country is fucked up man,” he said, shaking his head. “Some idiot just stabbed me for no reason. I don’t even fucking know him”
“Don’t even know him? You mean he just lashed out at you and stabbed you” I said
“He’s a handicap man. A fucking handicap, what do you expect from a fucking Nigerian?” he replied
“How do you know he’s Nigerian?” I asked, upon which he said that he knew the guy and but not much. Just saw him around and had no “beef” with him at all, hence calling him a “handicap”.
My point is that carrying Knives has now become so common on the streets of London that the youth feel vulnerable without one. I say this because I witnessed the frustration and anger from the teenager. He felt disappointed that this had happened to him. For some reason a knife is seen as a symbol of respect on the streets, since most of them do not have the wherewithal to buy guns, which I believe they would have if they did. And the government can do nothing to stop this – Nothing. It is my firm belief, though, that these youths feel let down by the government itself and crime is for them simply a means of rebellion.
The double-doors slid wide open as I approached them, welcoming me into the cool and pleasant atmosphere of the large store. I was in an excited mood, pushing my trolley and the list of things to buy had merely been fetched by my brain, when I notice that the security guards made themselves clearly visible, brandishing their dull grey uniform. I take notice of them, and advance towards the drinks isle. It’s a regular occurrence. Soon enough they follow me, as if they were my entourage. There are two of them. One follows me a few paces behind, on the pretence of re-arranging the stock, while the other quickly dashes to the other end of the aisle.
By their constant gazes and facial expressions, they simply emanated suspicion. I collected my drinks and proceeded down the large middle isle, towards the bakery section, and to my surprise a security guard was there too, wiping the glass on the display box. The irony of the whole incident is that both the security guards are Black and followed me throughout my journey inside the store.
I thought they’d picked on me without any reasonable doubt and made my shopping experience a disaster with their strict surveillance, but amidst the annoyance and provocation, I gathered that there was, obviously, a method in their madness, for they simply followed orders – Perhaps they were indoctrinated to believe that “every Black man is a suspect, and should rightly be ragarded so” But to what point were they following orders, for I was neither dressed as a common shoplifter nor as a thug. Doesn’t society yet understand that not every black person is the same?
“As you got up this morning, I watched you, and hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday. But I noticed you were too busy, trying to find the right outfit to wear. When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy. At one point you had to wait, fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet. I thought you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip instead.
I watched patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to me. I noticed that before lunch you looked around, may be you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn’t bow your head. You glanced three or four times over and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn’t. That’s okay. There is still more time left, and I hope that you will talk to me yet. You went home and it seemed as if you had lots of things to do. After a few of them were done, you turned on the TV. I don’t know if you like TV or not, just about anything goes there and you spend lot of time each day in front of it not thinking about anything, just enjoying the show. I waited patiently again as you watched the TV and ate your meal, but again you didn’t talk to me.
Bedtime I guess you felt too tired. After you said good night to your family you popped into bed and fell asleep in no time. That’s okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you. I’ve got patience, more than you will ever know. I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well. I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought or a thankful part of your heart. It is hard to have a one-sided conversation. Well, you are getting up once again. And once again I will wait, with nothing but love for you. Hoping that today you will give me some time. Have a nice day!
Why do people send such blasphemous things! When did Allah say this and to whom or is this a new Holy Book that we are not aware of?
And then they ask you to “forward it to all your contacts, if you fear Allah”. Or even worse, “If you forward this, something good will happen to you in three days. If you don’t forward it, bad luck for 9 years, guaranteed!” Strange, that they can see into the future!
“Oi, he’s buff innit!” she exclaimed to her friend, upon which they all giggled. The three girls (probably skiving from school) were just on the threshold of a new era – the alluring era of adolescence! Two of them wore jeans and that I took no notice of, but the third provoked me entirely. As if she hasn’t oppressed us already with her loud mouth and obnoxiousness, what she probably thought an admirable fashion sense was far worse. Thankfully a dull brown Yankees jumper spared us from her gluttonous belly, but the tracksuit bottom she wore didn’t. It hung very low, provocatively displaying a coarse undergarment that merely stopped her ass from falling out. And there she walked, strutted around I should say, with an intention of flamboyance – pride more like! What a disgusting creature, born to disgust. People like that should be publicly flogged for their indecency..
Shouldn’t it be against the conventional standards of morality and decency to display half of one’s ass in public? That depraved soul ruined my day!
Paint anything you like! That was the instruction given to the class after handing them each a cardboard, a colour palette and a paintbrush. About 40 minutes later and the entire room was chaotic – newspapers that were meant to protect the tables from the messy paint were all higgledy-piggledy on the floor, books were smeared with an assortment of colours, paintbrushes frantically thudded on the cardboard in a slapdash attempt to originate fresh, juvenile ideas, children had their faces and hands smeared with paint squirted it all over their clothes, and overall the room was given an overcoat of tender tones of yellow, red and green.
But the beauty of it all was that despite all the doodling, the mess and anarchy, pleasant yet subtle colours materialized; creative ideas of different strengths and different depictions were embodied in the simple and unadorned drawings. Beautiful portrayals of serene sandy beaches and palm trees, of houses and cars, or people and soothing waterfalls were on display. And one cannot but admire such work of art by the most creative individuals whose minds haven’t yet been tainted. And like Herrick such disorders “Do more bewitch me, than when art is too precise in every part”
Only one thing worried me though. Whilst other children were busy creating beautiful things, the Somali children created mayhem. One kid used black paper and glue and drew a pitch-black forest – That’s it! Nothing else. The symbolism of which i did not understand. What really worried me though was the kid who drew a CSI crime scene, with a deceased person’s body on the floor marked by a chalk outline. A splatter of red paint on the man marked his blood and it also spread to the walls behind him and the area beside which he lay. I wondered Why? but never really got to ask him.
An 8-year old child that came to school on his own a few days got a severe scolding from his mother. At the school gates the next morning, his mother stopped me as I walked in and told me about the situation.
“I shouted at him yesterday so he wouldn’t talk to the teachers, so can you please talk to him and work with him today” she asked me. And indeed he wouls be willing to work with me – being Somali that is.
I replied in the affirmative and reassured her that I will have a word with him later on. During playtime he wasn’t allowed to go out because of his coming to school alone at 7 in the morning, so I stayed with him in class and kept him occupied (otherwise he would have spent the morning sitting in front of the headmaster’s room) I thought I should do something constructive with the time and asked him what he likes doing.
“I like drawing. Can we draw pictures” he said. So I got a few plain sheets and we started. A while later I lectured him on what he did and the importance of listening to one’s mother – I am not sure he got everything I said but i kept rambling on with profound sense of passion. Then I said “I know what, how about we make a card for your mother” he agreed and came up with the beautiful card above.
The funny thing is, while making the card with him, I for some reason had my mother in mind and made the card solely for “her”. The recipient of the card might have been the mother of the boy, but the intent and the thought was with my mother! It felt as if I was creating something special and creative for my mother by decorating that card. Unfortunately she is in Miyi!
The next day i asked him whether he did what i told him to and what he did with the card and he replied “my mother put it on her wall”. That delighted me! my mother too had seen the card and hung it from the canopy of her tiny hut!
My dearest Friend,
There are moments you can’t get back – moments you must treasure and rejoice in their greatness and magnitude while you still have the chance and ability to do so, for soon these moments will be nothing but fading memories filled with regrets and self-condemnation.
The moments I share with you every so often, my dear friend, are truly special, incomparable in closeness and comfort. From the simple banter to the sharing of the most intimate secrets to the pleasant late-night conversations when others are in deep slumber, you bring pleasure to the simple things in life. Ours is a friendship that can endure the test of time – And that’s what friendship is in its purest form!
But that’s just the surface, for in the deepest recesses of my soul lies a heart drenched in admiration of you – a heart that like a garden with wilting foliage and withering roots has been waiting for too long to rain and lacked the vital nutrients to anchor the body together. But now with the roaring clouds, the drooping leaves are starting to feel the tiny droplets of revival, for the moments I share with you bring along with them a faint fragrance of hope igniting emotions unbeknownst to you. Like a shore undiscovered, you tread upon the banks of this heart, leaving your footprints wherever you tread. With every print underlies a story and as vast as the shore itself, and there the memories linger, cemented in the sand, and withstanding the rising tides and turbulent waves.
Every time I look into your eyes, I discover vibrancy and richness in their soul and tranquillity in their depth. Deep within them, I also sense a spark of love suppressed – an intense yearning for love that lies dormant waiting to be fired up. Every touch stimulates sentiments beyond revealing and with everyday that passes my yearning for you is intensified.
To conceal these feelings and suppress them, I tried many things but deep within them they have taken a life of their own with your sight serving as their source of nourishment and growth. And how did this all come about into being you might wonder. Surprisingly it’s the little things that people hardly notice that can have an effect on a person so much so that they completely change them. Like the way you laugh that I find oddly amusing, or the simple conversations we share that I deeply cherish, or even the simple jokes we share unbeknownst to others, and your unpretentiousness whilst we’re together.
Its unbearable now, for I can no longer sit next to you as I did before, without having to feel a tinge of desire, or without having to foresee myself regretting my actions. And you know I would have shared these feelings with you a long time ago, but the fear of the inexplicable has obliterated the remnants of what courage I had.
You of all people, my dearest friend, know that I am a man accustomed to solitude, for great responsibilities weighed me down and spare time I had little. But to share the remaining chapters of my life with you, a person I am completely comfortable with, would make the boon of life doubly precious. Now, my friend, look profoundly into the depths of your soul and tell me. What lies beneath the surface of you?
p.s Forgive me if I have erred, for even the most eloquent err in words as delicate as these
You too can make a difference today! If that seems too much, you can atleast support World Aids Day by wearing a ribbon, if not areal one then atleast a virtual ribbon. And if you are very courageous to do so, you can share you story to inspire or strengthen others and offer some words of advice.