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Archive for the ‘Somali politics’ Category

Somalis have suffered much. They have endured much conflict and have lost countless citizens as a result in the past twenty years of fighting. Yet, to this day, no one knows exactly why we went to war in the first place! In order to find a solution to the problems currently facing Somalia, it is imperative to understand and consider the causes of war in the first place. People from all walks of life, inside Somalia as well as the Diaspora, have raked their brains in a futile attempt to understand the Somali problem – the cause of the war and the civil unrest. Their efforts yielded nothing fruitful so far. Their answers, as expected, turned out to be nothing more enlightening than the blameworthy Qabiil which we all know. But there has to be some deeper meaning to be unearthed…

Several attempts have also been made at reconciliation, and they too produced nothing effective of several reasons, which include a Lack of Common Objective – With each and every individual thinking primarily about his/her own concern, then his family’s, then his Jilib’s, his clan’s, his Qabiil’s interest, and his land’s, it is hard for Somalis to have a unified common objective to be progressing forward. We are stuck in a rut!

But how can Somalis have a unified Common Objective when, particularly after the war broke out, they don’t live with each other and every clan lays allegiance to his region and piece of land. I suggest:

 

Land Rotation

Just as the case is in plants, if the crops are left in the same place year after year, the many pests under the soil that thrive on these crops will soon diminish the health and vigour of the plant. The soil needs to be balanced in order to yield good quality crops and it is for this reason that rotating the crops is essential.

The diseases that thrive on Somalis are many, but the incurable Qabiil Syndrome (QS) has reached endemic levels and needs to be curtailed. And as I mentioned QS is nourished primarily by the Somalis’ allegiance to land. So, as to eliminate this I suggest a rotation of land carried out on a massive scale.

Just as it is important to consider that the crop doesn’t have to be in the same place for two years in a row, Somalis should not be allowed to settle the same region or Gobol for more than two years in a row. Then the intrinsic meaning of Nomads shall be applied to all and adhered by all.

People of Bay should be relocated to Mudug and vice versa, people of Awdal to Hiiraan, people of Bari to Shabeelada Hoose, people of Togdheer to Bakool, people of Sanaag to Galguduud, people of Jubbada Dhexe to Sool, people of Gedo to Waqooyi Galbeed, people of Nugaal to Hiiraan and so forth…

Before the rotation begins though, the land needs to be tilled completely. Once the land is tilled, and sprayed of the previous pests and diseases that might have been infesting it for the two years, relocations should start promptly. It is essential that the soil is treated as there are some greedy feeders that have some strong roots and are hard to get rid of.

It is also important to remember that:

  1. No matter how much the crop is rotated, the pest will always find it and soon reach epidemic levels once again – but the more we keep rotating it, the more of a chance we have of curtailing the problem and weakening the pest.
  2. The pest cannot be killed.
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MOGADISHU

 

Another year went by – almost slipped without being noticed much. It has been one long volatile year for Somalia with the arrival of the Ethiopian forces to help the incredibly incompetent Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia. Today the Ethiopian forces have almost obliterated the weak and vulnerable people of Mogadishu and the very government that was supposed to protect the feeble residents has but given the scrawny Ethiopians carte blanche to exercise their authority. The residents of Mogadishu, instead of celebrating the New Year with their loved one, are burying their dead relatives, mourning the deaths of their young one while despondently clinging on to the one thing that unites them all- hope! They are bracing themselves for another year of misery – their cheerless eyes half-heartedly fixed on the perilous road ahead, expectantly awaiting their fortune or misfortune… They have become refugees in their own country!

 

I am hereby wishing the residents of Mogadishu in particular a very Blessed Eid and all the best for the bleak year ahead. The following song is dedicated to them as a show of support. It is patriotic song from the legend Muse ismaciil Qalinle and it is called “Hadii aanan dhulkaygow” Enjoy…

 

Hadii aanan dhulkaygow

Dhuux cadaawe kuu Karin

Hadii aanan dhulkaygow

Dhiig kuugu fool dhiqin

If, for you my land, I don’t

Cook an enemy’s marrow

If, for you my land, I don’t

Rinse your face with blood

Hadii aanan dhulkaygow

Gobanimada soo dhicin

Soomali kama dhalan

If for you my land I don’t

Sovereignty reclaim

I wasn’t born of a Somali

Maalkaaga maan dhaqan

Caanihiisa maan dhamin

Ciidana dhab uma ladin

Your wealth I did not keep

Its milk I did not taste

And the soil I did not truly inhabit

 

Hadii aanan dhulkaygow

Gaaja kuugu dhuubnaan

Hadii aanan dhulkaygow

Dharka kuugu duubnaan

If for you my land I don’t

Become emaciated with hunger

If for you my land I don’t

Become draped in your clothes

 

Hadii aanan dhibaatada

dhexda suunka ku adkayn

Hadii aan dhaxantiyo

milicdaba u dherernaan

Soomali kama dhalan

If for the difficulties I don’t

Fasten my waist with the rope

If the bitter colds I don’t

and the scorching heat endure

I wasn’t born of a Somali

Dhirta miraa kamaan guran

Dhuunigaaga maan cunin

Kuma dhaqaaqin magacaa

The fruits I did not pick from your trees

Your food I did not consume

And your name I did not preserve

Maalkaaga maan dhaqan

Caanihiisa maan dhamin

Ciidana dhab uma lihi

Your wealth I did not keep

Its milk I did not taste

And the soil I did not truly inhabit

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Derv-big copy

click on the above image to read entire letter or click here to read

 

This letter dated January 1904, speaks of of the tragic battle of Jidbaale where so many Somalis lost their lives. Though the Dervishes lost a thousand men in the Battle of Jidbaale, yet the opposing forces led by the British Army also consisted of thousands of Somalis, many of whom lost their lives on that day. Speaking of this battle and other battles the Dervishes engaged in, Ismaciil Mire composed the following poem and speaks about the gravity of the situation.

History has it that Ismaciil Mire and his friend Maxamad camped at some people’s hut one night and a woman charged towards him and accused him of several things, including killing her sons, looting her camels and so forth, in order to set the local men against him in retaliation. Ismaciil Mire was at the time the leader of some regiments of the Dervish army, being the second in the chain of command after the Sayid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan. Relating the tale of the woman and her accusations as well as shedding light on the conditions of the battlefield, Mire said:

 

Gelin dhexe xalaan Maxamadow, geyrtay oo kacaye
Gam’ina waayey hadalkay i tidhi, gacallow naagtiiye
Adigay gabley tidhi markaad, geyshka wadateene

Midnight last night, oh Maxamad, with a jolt I awoke

And I couldn’t sleep, my dear, of what the woman told me

You murdered my offspring, she said, when you with your army came

Waxay tidhi adaa igu gondolay, garangartaan iile
Waxay tidhi aday guridhigoo, ma lihi gaadiide
Waxay tidhi adaa gelengel tubay, garayartaydiiye

She said that you have tied me to this uninhabited wilderness

She said you have rendered me home-bound and I have no camels*

She said you have, in the deserted fields, left my flock of goats

Waxay tidhi guyaalkii adaa, gaajo ii dilaye
Waxay tidhi gurboodkii adaa, geesaha u dhigaye
Guhaadeeda aan jirin bal aan, gabay ka soo qaado

She said you have, over the years, starved me to death

She said you have killed all the youth

Of her false intimidations now, let me recite a poem

Gumburo iyo Cagaarweyne iyo, geedkii Daratoole
Goobtii Jidbaaliyo Xargaga, guuldarradii joogtay
Gembigii ka dhacay Ruuga iyo, gudurigii haagay

At Gumburo* and Cagaarweyne* and the tree of Daratoole*

The location of Jidbaale* and Xargaga*, the defeat that prevailed

The turmoil that took place at Ruuga* and the Guduri* that feasted

Gabooddeeda Beerdhiga wixii, la isku gooraamay
Maydkii gabraday seerigay, Good ku tumanaysay
Gawarkaad maraysaba laftaad, galayaxaa mooddo

The tragedy at Beerdhiga* and the bloody slaughter that ensued

The death that filled the grounds where Good* had trampled upon

On every bank that you tread and the skeletons that dried

Gob ninkii ahaan jirey wuxuu, gibil madoobaadey
Giddigiis naflaa’iga wixii, gobolba meel aaday

When the noblest of men became emaciated with hunger

The entire population, when every region scattered to a place

Dayuuradaha gowliyo wixii, samada guuraayey
Daarihii gelgelintaa noqdiyo, gebiyadii ciiray
Wixii guuldarriyo hoog ka dhacay, dunida guudkeeda

The planes that roared and the things that travelled the sky

The buildings turned to rubble and the walls that collapsed

The defeat and devastation that overwhelmed the world’s pinnacle

Gembiyo jahaadkii arlada, gaday wixii joogay
Gaaliyo Daraawiish wixii, uunka kala gaadhay
Keligey ma wada geysannine, la isku geeryooye

The destruction and holy war that engulfed the earth’s inhabitants

The infidels and Dervishes and between the people what occurred

It’s not only I to blame, for both parties suffered countless casualties

Geyigii rogmaday oo dhan baad, guudka ii sudhiye
Waxbana hay gurraynine dembaad, galabsanaysaaye
Gartaa maaha naag yahay inaad, ii gilgilataaye

All the ravaged land, you have saddled on my head

So accuse me not, for you are only accumulating sin

You have no right, o’ woman, to threaten me

Gashi kaama qabo oo ma layn, gabannadaadiiye
Gambana kaama furan baan u fili, gulufyadaydiiye
Naa gefkiyo beenta daa yaadan gelin, godadkii naareede

I owe you no blood money, and your sons I did not kill

And I don’t think my regiments robbed you of your scarf

So stop the transgression and lies, o’ woman, lest you dwell in the pits of hellfire

 

Gaadiid = the actual meaning of Gaadiid is vehicle of transport. So, since the Nomads’ only means of transportation is the camel, Gaadiid hereby refers to camels for transportation – usually Hayin

Guduri = a bird that feeds on corpses

Gumburo, Cagaarweyne, Daratoole, Jidbaale, Xargaga, Ruuga, and Beerdhiga – These are areas, stretching from the vicinity of Laascanood, and scattered all the way from the Nugaal valley to Burco, are the sites where the Dervishes engaged in battles with the British forces. It is in the battle of Jidbaale where they suffered most casualties. An anonymous man was cited to have said…

 

Abidkeyba meel lagu jabaan jiqila buurnaaye

Dagaalkii jidbaaley ninkii joogey baan ahaye

Ilaahay I jecelaa muxuu jiray arwaaxdayda

I have always dwelled in the horrible places of defeat

I was the man present at the war of Jidbaaley

O’ how God loves me for he has protected my soul

 

p.s I have removed a few lines from the poem containing tribe names simply because some people have the tendency to read tribal names out of context. The lines i have removed too shed more evidence of the disaster that struck the Dervishes.

p.p.s Any corrections/suggestions to the translations would gladly be welcome.

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Salaamu Calaykum dear friends,

I have been rather busy lately and have been unable to update this blog, and probably would not be able to do so for the next few days either. So, until we meet again in a few day’s time, I shall leave you with this brilliant video. Do enjoy…

Native, I haven’t forgotten about the Somali weddings account
and as I promised you I will bring you an extensive write-up of what the custom
entails. Bear with me…

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SOMAL

An old lady escapes in a wheelbarrow

Plumes of dust sombrely soar above the once beautiful city of Mogadishu. The putrid smell of decaying bodies and the stench of blood nauseatingly drifts in the atmosphere. In the ravaged streets, the ruthless sounds of bullets, rocket-propelled grenades and rattling gunfire coupled with the loud cries of bewailing mothers form a cruel cacophony. And in their hideouts, the mothers struggle to raise their under-nourished children and lay them in their laps knowing that they would soon breathe their last. They have nothing to feed them. The few buildings that are left now stand derelict and desolate. Life is slowly seeping out of Mogadishu. The last remaining inhabitants are either too weak to relocate or lack the means and wherewithal with which to do so. And the whole world stands unconcerned…

The Somali media has been gagged and more than a million people have been displaced, leading to the worst humanitarian crisis in the continent, and not a brow is lifted?

What is happening in Somalia today is nothing more than a systematic and a well-orchestrated displacement process and here is what I think is happening. The Ethiopians along with the much reviled warlords we have for a “government” intend to:

  • Kill as many Somalis as possible in order to curb/deplete the population
  • Make Mogadishu uninhabitable – so much so that it turns into a ghost city.
  • Repopulate the city with Ethiopian troops that gradually bring their families, relatives and their scrawny tribes to infest it.
  • Move to other cities

And this looks very probable and practical for an army with an implacable hatred for Somalis. But never would it have been possible for a withered nation to invade Somalia had it not been for one of our very own blood…

My God! What has become of us? when have we sunk so low…We live in a world where the perpetrators of crime are supported and applauded whilst the ill-fated victims are disparaged and castigated.

Quote of the Day:
“Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”–Martin L. King

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These are the words to the classic song Soomaali Baan Ahay that I’ve tried to translate. I must say, though, that any translation from Somali to English doesn’t give much justice to the original and doesn’t convey the message accurately. If you spot any mistakes in the translation, or you find any better words to use, please do let me know..

somali.jpg

Sinnaantaan la magac ahay
San-ku-neefle ma oggoli
Inuu iga sarreyn karo
Anna garasho sogordahan
Sooryo ruux ugama dhigo
Soomaali baan ahay!

I share names with equality
A mortal I do not allow
That he surpass me
And allusive words and hints
I confer not on anyone as gifts
I am Somali

Inkastoon sabool ahay
Haddana waan sarriigtaa
Sacabbada ma hoorsado
Saaxiib nimaan nahay
Cadowgayga lama simo
Soomaali baan ahay

Though impoverished I am
Yet my hardships I endure
And my palms I do not extend
A man with whom I am friends
With my enemy I do not rival
I am Somali

Nabaddaan u sahanshaa
Colaaddaan ka salalaa
Soomajeesto goobaha
Ninka nabarka soo sida
Gacantiisa kama sugo
Soomaai baan ahay

I am in a quest for peace
And from enmity I am terrified
But [from the battlefield] I flee not
And the man who brings wounds
From his hands I await not [I launch assault]
I am Somali

Nin I sigay ma nabad galo
Nin isugeyna maba jiro
Libta weli ma sii deyn
Gardarrada ma saacido
Nin xaq lehna cid lama simo
Soomaali baan ahay!

A man who endangers me lives not in peace
And there isn’t a man who did wait for me
Gratitude I have not yet abandoned
Nor do I support not any transgression
And a wronged man I compare not with others
I am Somali

Ninkaan taydu soli karin
Uma yeelo suu rabo
Sida dunida qaarkeed
Sandulleynta ma oggoli
Ninna kabaha uma sido
Soomaali baan ahay

To whom my ways do not appeal
As he wishes I do not comply with
Like some parts of the world
Coercion I do not accept
Nor do I carry any man’s shoes
I am Somali

Ninka Iga sed roonow
Siintaada magaca leh
Ogow kaama sugayee
Hana oran sasabo badaw
Dareen seexda ma lihiye
Somaali baan ahay

O’ you who is wealthier than I
Your offerings for name’s sake
Know that I expect them not
Say not, too, persuade the ignorant
For I have not a conscious that sleeps
I am Somali

Ninna madax salaaxiyo
Kama yeelo seetada
Sasabo ma qaayibo
Sirta waxaan iraahdaa
Saab aan biyaha celin
Soomaali baan ahay

Neither man’s stroking of my head
Nor his lace on my legs [duplicity] do I accept
Persuasion I do not approve
As for secrets [about me] I say
A Saab [vessel] that hold no water
I am Somali

Dabayshaan la socod ahay
Salfudeydna uma kaco
Waabay sunaan ahay
Marna samawadaan ahay
Samir baan hagoogtaa
Soomaali baan ahay

I am of a step with the wind
And on impulse I do not act
I am like fangs of poison [when provoked]
And at times, the bearer of good [when dealt with peace]
I am swathed in patience
I am Somali

Nin I sigay ma nabad galo
Nin isugeyna maba jiro
Libta weli ma sii deyn
Gardarrada ma saacido
Nin xaq lehna cid lama simo
Soomaali baan ahay!

A man who endangers me lives not in peace
And there isn’t a man who did wait for me
Gratitude I have not yet abandoned
Nor do I support not any transgression
And a wronged man I compare not with others
I am Somali

Saan la kala jaraan ahay
Summadi ay ku wada taal,
Rag baa beri I saanyaday
Anoo xoolo soofsada,
Xil midnimo anaa sida,
Soomaali baan ahay

I am like Saan [hide] split into two
That still bears the credentials
Some men once disintegrated me
Whilst I tended to my flocks
[But] the obligation of unity I [still] carry
I am Somali

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During the Jiilaal seasons when winds and scarcity of water hit the parched Somali terrain, the nomads dig wells – Berkedo – to accumulate rain water. Those nomads who live at a distance from the Berked usually water their animals after every 9 to 10 days of thirst, thereby reducing the amount of journeys they’d have to make to the well. On the journeys to the Berked, the drover, walking alongside the herd, guides them into the direction of the Berked. The goats, being the leaders they are, pilot the herd and often seem to automatically recognise where they are going – or at least show the Sheep that they have a clue as to where they are headed. The sheep are naïve creatures and simply follow them. They lag behind and often require gentle whippings from the drover and a pebble-filled canister thrown their way to move them. Sometimes even the whippings of the drover mean little to them because of their insensitive nature and the thick fur that protects them. They have no inclination to move on their own accord and appear to be very sluggish in their movements. Having been driven out early to the watering grounds, the herd is not allowed to graze, but the sheep are often seen nibbling away at the grass.

When soo hor, cries the young herder at the well to the drover for a part of the herd to be released to the Berked, the goats immediately rush headlong into the direction of the Berked, dip their heads into the containers provided and after quenching their thirst, play about joyfully with a rejuvenated oomph. The goats are born leaders – or have qualities resembling a leader’s. They are lively and enthusiastic about life’s prospects, though they are deficient in terms of experience and, some times, competence. The young Waxar gracefully gambols around the Ardaa soon after birth and imitates the Ceesaan, who in turn imitates the Goat (Ri) in its high-pitched bleating.

They are bold and brash, principally driven by an impulsive rush into things. Their skewed judgment of their own vulnerability hinders them from looking further ahead into the possibilities of their actions. Amused by their own frolicking, they are diverted from the flock, though their senses are promptly reawakened by the hint of fox’s presence.

The sheep, however, like inebriated beings in a moment of drunkenness, dawdle absent-mindedly into the open environment, confounded by the happenings. They glance at each other in a moment of murkiness, then at the goats rushing for the Berked and, being the insipid creatures that they are, walk with some trepidation and uncertainty towards the direction taken by the goats, blindly following them. Sheep are rather shallow and slightly slow on the uptake, thereby taking years to respond to little matters requiring little or no brain activity at all. The humdrums of daily existence mean little to the sheep who, in blithe disregard for any perils that lie ahead, graze in the thickest of the forest, unconscious of the darkness that looms and the jeopardy that seeps from within.

By evening when the sun starts its graceful exit from the earth and it’s time to bring the herd home, the sheep walk fatigued as if in a state of infirmity and on a strenuous journey, nibbling away whatever grass they manage to scrounge around. Though in the hindsight they are aware that they would be returning home, their feeble mind convinces them of the possibility of grazing for ever…little do they realise that the cunning fox lurks in the corner burrow and the hyena is dreaming of a succulent meat tonight; even worse, little do they realise that the sun is setting on them and soon darkness will engulf them…

When it rains, the sheep are unruffled by the thunder. They are competent swimmers and will swim through any flood, come what may, despite several losses and injuries. Locking their heads together, they form a ring of black heads in the enclosure around their young one and withstand the pellets of rain. If they find themselves being swept away in a flood, the sheep wriggle their plump bottoms about in the water with their head always above the water – except when overcome by an enormous surge. They somehow manage to swim out of the tide that carries them.

The goats, on the other hand, are expert whiners and their Qalaad could be heard a distance away. Little floods could cause serious inconveniences to their health and a flash of lighting would agitate their nerves. If swept away they have little chance of survival and, as a habit, dip headfirst into the water. They are often heard making a racket of noises as they are seized by the surge.

The ones that perish in the floods, of Sheep and Goats, are never mourned for and the survivors never look back. That the floods could rise once again and swallow them is inconceivable to their brains. Death means nothing to both the Sheep and Goats. One lost Sheep or Goat does not render the average herd from pausing in their graze and reflecting upon the future that awaits them – even if that death occurs right in front of their eyes and a fox devours a young delectable Sabeen!

The Somali population’s mentality differs not much from that of the animals they rear. The general populace, with their Sheep Logic, are desperate to be led, having no capacity within them to do so. They largely follow their whims and desires and though they perceive the goings-on in their surroundings and the chaos that envelops them from within, they are too blasé about them do not comprehend all that they perceive. Their limited mental vision and the grass they graze on obstructs their view from the perils that lie ahead. Living off the handouts of other countries plotting bigger schemes on their country, the Somalis live in a state of almost total unconsciousness.

The elders of that population have passed down years and years of traditions and practices. The chain of Goat Logic is passed down through an uninterrupted chain until it reaches the Waxar. The young ones born either in or outside Somalia, with a developing sense of Waxar Logic, aspire to become just like their parents and are often seen regurgitating their ideas and behaviours. The dwelling of the young ones or their birth place, even if outsie Somalia, does little to change the inherent susceptibility to Sheep Logic which is passed down by the elders. Neither does the Waxar Logic differ much from the Goat (Ri) Logic, nor the Nayl Logic from the Sheep (Lax) Logic. From a young age, the progeny of this type of logic is infested with the endemic Qabiil Syndrome that takes root and eventually turns them into either whiners like their seniors or leaves them in a state of complete insensitivity. The middle aged ones, with a half-lived life and the logic of the Sabeen or Ceesaan, are in no position to change things and inflict the lashing of Qabiil on the growing young ones.

And just like the Goats and Sheep they rear, death is of little significance for they grasp it not. It does not engender a feeling of loss to say the least. The loss of hundreds or perhaps thousands is of no value and moves them not even in the slightest sense. This sense of insensitivity is shared by all and sundry.

The primitive admiration of inherited Goat/Sheep Logic supersedes any new rebellious, counterculture Waxar or Nayl willing to change the long-established and unequivocally revered perceptions of the elders – perceptions which any Ceesaan or Sabeen with a bit of nous would easily rubbish.

Those who rule, with their Goat Logic, are very much short sighted and scatter at the slightest hint of a commotion. They are an impetuous lot and carry huge, impenetrable solid heads above their scraggy shoulders – a weight too much for them to bear and as a result of which they disappear after a short time. With an imprudent penchant for control, they lead their susceptible flock astray into parched fields and dehydrated pastures where the Jiilaal winds have swept away the very remnants of life from the surface.

All in all, Waxar Logic = Ceesaan Logic = Ri Logic and similarly Nayl Logic = Sabeen Logic = Lax Logic.

There is no change in sight…We are all of the same Goat/Sheep

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