Archive for June, 2007

Help her



Please spare a few pounds for this little girl. This seveteen-year old has had this condition for about three years now and the few doctors left in Somalia are unable to do anything about it – lack of expertise prevents them from operating on her as they might exacerbate the sorrows of this already suffering soul.

There are several ways in which you can make a contribution to help her:

1- Her Mother Luul Aadan Maxamed can be reached at Tel: 002521-5582055- 002521-5889789
2 – Dayniile office in Mogadishu 002521-650899/222704
3 – e-mail – caawigabadhan@hotamil.com
4 – call the Universal TV



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You are instantly accosted by the clouds of smoke on entering through the grubby door; rings of white puffs sail along the faded walls of the corridor and softly circle up to embrace the moist ceiling. The strumming of the Oud, with Axmed Mooge’s voice floating through the thick air, can be heard coming from a broken tape recorder in some corner. And as you walk in to the shabby room, the clamour of slurred voices deafen the atmosphere. The walls inside the room, sweating with humidity, are usually of green or blue in colour with mismatching yellow patterns at times and the windows, misty with condensed air and water drizzling down to the window sill, always seem to be locked. Several stained Arabic cushions lie on the floor, going along the walls of the room to serve as the seating area and a carpet, decorated with ashes, cigarette butts and burns occupies the middle of the floor, covering a washed-out wooden flooring.

A group of about 20-30 men in dowdy garments, grinding mouthfuls of leaves with their stained teeth and a green paste of saliva dribbling from the corners of their mouths as they speak, sit huddled together on the cushions as if clustering for warmth. In front of each of them lies a blue plastic bag with his treasure in it – several small greenish-brown twigs, each with a few leaves at the top, all assembled into fine rows and ready for consumption. Beside the plastic bags, lies a waste bucket, covered in a plastic bag, a thermos flask, some bottles of still water, Shani drinks, and a hubbly-bubbly.

In the far corner, a wooden desk stands, enclosing the dealer or owner of the Marfish. Underneath the desk lies bags of Qat, clustered in bundles for sale at about £5 each. Beside the dealer’s desk is a small refrigerator, containing some more boxes of Qat and bottles of drinks. A small television set is mounted atop a desk with Sky sports channels but the sound is muted.

These men, grandfathers, fathers, sons, uncles and brothers, coteries of pitiable simpletons, of whom half rely on the dole, have neglected families and friends for these leaves. And as you stand in the room, a strange mixture of smell seeps out of it and into the corridor. One can not be sure as to what it is – the cigarette smoke, the hubbly-bubbly, or the perspiring bodies. The health and safety auditors must have neglected these premises, but the evening here is the grandest, or such a feeling their minds are imbued with, and any other sort of leisure activity to match this is deemed futile. The lavish supply of leaves and the effect they induce is simply unmatched.

Welcome to the Marfish!

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War horta ninyahaw anigu waan jeclaadaye
Gabadhbaan jeclahay oo i jecel, mana jeclaadeene
Haddii ay i jeclaatana ma rabo inaan jeclaadaaye
Ninkii ay jeclaatana la waa inuu jeclaadaaye
Kii aan jeclayn waa iyadu inay jeclaataaye
Jacaylkagya iyo keedu waa laba jeclaadoone

Gabadh jinaha dhuudhuuban waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Tu naasuhu janjeedhaan waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Middii jeer la moodoo dhan waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Garoobtii i soo jiidha waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Islaan baradho jiidaysa waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Duqdii jaadka gadaneysay waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Habar jeenyo buurbuuran waa inaan jeclaadaaye
Wadaaddaanse jeclaadee dharraar macawsta i siisay
Gurigeeda waagaan tegee ay shaaha ii karisay
Haasawaheedii kolkuu sooba madhan waayey
Feedhka iyo tantoomada sideer uguma boobeene
Kolkay qaad i siinweydey ayuu mawdku ka adeegay.

Ninkii dumar jeclaadaase wuu yara ammaantaaye
Adna waxaaban kuu soo fekeray hadallo dhaadheere
Midabka iyo quruxdaadan ayaan yarahe faalleyne
Gabadhyahay casaantaadu waa dhuxullo meygaage
Afkaagana madowgiisu waa nuuraddoo kale e
Sidaa aawadeed baan jacayl kuugu soo kacaye
Guurna waaban kaa doonaya sidaa dharraatiiye
Timahaygu siday yihiin eed cirrada moodo
Duqdnimiyo gabow igama aha oo wayska dhalankaye
Adiguna carruurbaad tihiyo sida dhallaankiiye
Isku qayrna waa nahay anuun baa laba Gu! kaa weeyne
Sanadkii Daraawiishtii baan dhoocillo ahayne

Dhallinyaro inaan nahay dadkuba waa ogsoonyahaye
Inan iyo barbaar baan nahaye waan lagaranayne
Raggaa kale juuq ha u odhan aniga mooyaane
Kii kula hadlana waa inaan feedh ka badiyaaye
Haddii layga kaa dhaco waxbaan sahayan doonaaye
Dameer dhagaxa waa inaan gurtoo qaylo kiciyaaye
Naagtana ka iga qaada waa inaan ka dhuuntaaye
Ninuu ciil lafaha buuxiyoo dibinta ruugaaya
Oo luqanta hoogaamiyo gegi xarriiqaaya
Haddii kii xumaantaa ku falay weliba maad maagtid
Sidii laba digaag sow ilkaa layska cuni maayo.


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another year has gone by another wrinkle has appeared, as a friend of mine aptly put it! Yes, today is the day I should officially celebrate my ageing, but I have never celebrated a birthday in my life nor do I intend to. Why celeberate growing old?

To be quite honest, I don’t even know if today is my actual date of birth. There are some contradictions you see, and I am sure you understand why…! ;)

Go ahead anyway and send me those “God gave a gift to the world when you were born…” cards! ;)

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To Somalia…

I have finally booked my ticket to Somalia. I shall be leaving on the 19th of July to Dubai, where I shall be staying for a week or even less, then I am off to Somalia to revisit my parents and sibling and put this homesick heart to rest. Expect very extensive travel features as I will be reporting on every minute detail of my journey. As for photographs, I’ll just snap away…

I will be visiting the Miyi (the nomadic settlers) and might even give you a transcript of conversations with the sagacious nomadic elders who’ve been through decades of pastoral existence.

There is one problem however. The place I will be visiting, being a hut in a vast dry land, has no internet connection or any of these modern amenities that we enjoy, so I will be posting my reports either very infrequently, for example upon visiting a neighbouring village, or upon my return to the city, or even on my return to London.

I am counting the days…

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The Somali pirates have highlighted the importance of the Somali waters. Being an important route with hundreds of vessels passing through the Somalia’s waters, Africa’s longest coast is not only infested with deadly sharks now. Yes, pirates too frequent the waters, armed with some radio equipment, several machine guns, a mother vessel and some speed boats. In that vast expanse of the dangerous Indian Ocean waters and the Red Sea, they carry out their heist, surreptitiously approaching larger ships unnoticed, quickly taking control of them and then demanding a king’s ransom for the safe return of the crew and the vessel. If the ranson is not paid, they simply kill their hostages.

The number of ships seized by pirates is innumerable, yet the identities and whereabouts of these pirates still remain a mystery. Their manoeuvres and manpower , too, is a mystery. They appear to be very well trained seizing large vessels anchored very far into the sea; get in, get it done, disappear! Sounds like a carefully constructed Hollywood thriller doesn’t it? Or is it just me who sees it that way.

But what happened to the top security firm that was employed to keep the waters safe from pirates? In November 2005, the Somali government sought the assistance of the US and paid the American firm Topcat Marine Security about $50m to patrol and secure the Somali waters, yet the situation has only worsened without an improvement in sight.

50 million dollars! Where did they get the 50 million dollars they pay the Americas whilst their country is in dire need of restoration. How many millions of people live below subsistence level for them to consider before paying such money for safeguarding the waters!

Even UN vessels have been hijacked, let alone ordinary ships. And the latest victim is a Danish ship

It is clear that this is deliberately done in order to hamper any hint of stability in the nation, but one starts to wonder, who could be behind these attacks. Here are a few of my suspects:

  • Warlords and their gang-men, having been banished from their once fertile grounds in Mogadishu have found an uncontrolled territory to wreak havoc.
  • The foul remnants of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) could have escaped out to sea. And even though this piracy started way before the ICU flame was ignited, they still are suspects.
  • The Somali government, in a desperate attempt to affirm the presence of Al-Qaeda fighters in Somalia, employ some ragtag militia to carry out the dirty work.
  • The US! ;)
  • Whoever is behind this, the situation in Somalia can be summarised thus – on the land, anarchy and confusion reign. On the waters, well, more anarchy and more confusion reign.

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    British, Eritrean, Swedish, American and Yemeni. These are the nationalities of the foreign fighters allegedly captured in the North Eastern Puntland state of Somalia. Now as much as USA, Ethiopia and their puppet Somali officials want to deceive the world into believing that foreign fighters, especially, Al-Qaeda fighters, are in Somalia wishing to turn it into an Islamic stronghold and terrorist grounds, they cannot mislead the Somali public. The Somalis are aware and mature, able to discern facts from fibs. I personally don’t believe it and very much doubt that majority of the Somalis believe it too.

    It was in January when they targeted the alleged Al-Qaeda fighters in Ras Kamboni and Afmadow but, instead, killed scores of innocent nomadic settlers. And now they want to tell us that they have escaped all the way to the Northeast.

    The only reason the Somali government keeps playing the ‘foreign fighters’ card is for the financial and military support of America and Ethiopia. And though the American dollars pouring into Somalia might now serve as a means to an end for the incompetent lackeys, soon they will wail when it turns to poisoned chalice! As for the American intentions, well they are clear: Somalia is situated on a strategic location – the Gulf of Aden to the North and the Indian Ocean to the East – with access both to the Middle East and Africa and has the largest coastline in Africa. Do I need to state the obvious here?

    Also Mohamed Hassan noted that;

    When Somali businessmen went to the American embassy in Nairobi to invite them to come to Somalia and see for themselves that there were no Al Qaeda members in the Islamic Courts, the Americans refused. They will never forget nor forgive the USA and their puppet Ethiopia for bringing Somalia back to the reign of terror and chaos of the warlords. And in their eyes it is crystal clear that the talk about Al Qaeda’s presence in Somalia is nothing else then the excuse, the lie that must justify the war. Just like the lies about the weapons of mass destruction of Saddam used to justify the aggression against Iraq .

    The little village of Baargaal that they bombarded with their gunships is largely uninhabited. It used to be a port city of great importance during the times of British and Italian rule; but once Somalia gained independence, most of the settlers moved from the mountainous regions towards the south to join their brethren and taste the fresh breath of unity and freedom. Now Baargaal is but a tiny dwelling for a small number of people.

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of the so-called Al-Qaeda targets being bombed in Somalia. Also, do you ever wonder where the stockpiles of ammunition and weaponry come from? How do they reach the warlords? Who supplies them?

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