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Wiil Intuu Ood Ka Boodo Ayuu Taladii Ka Booda

Dhibaatooyinka qurba joogidda waxaa ka mid ah sidii loo fahmi lahaa baahida waxbarashada caruurta, gaar ahaan wiilasha soo gaarey barbaarnimada. Waxa ugu badan oo dil ku dhintay iyo colaad waa wiil ayagoo ka marin habaabey kana weecday dhismihii aayatiinkoodii oo dadkoodu ku han weynaayeen. Runtii aad ayay u adag tahay in la fahmo sababo qaarkood oo keeni kara in wiilkii uusan waxbarashadii rabin ama uu focus (diirad) saarin wixii laga rabay inuu qabto oo mustaqbalkiisa wax u tari lahayd. Kolleybana xalku ma noqonayo in la dhaho dhulkii baa la gaynayaa ama dhaqan celin baa loo samaynayaa waayo wiilkii xirfad inuu barto ayaa laga rabaa uu beyadda uu ku nool yahay wax uga soo saarto taas oo ay ugu weyn tahay social skills. Xirfad barashada inuu ku guuleysto waxaa ku caawin kara waxaa ka mid ah inuu saaxiibo yeesho, inuu sports galo iyo in lagu kalsoonaado wiilkii oo tarbiyad fiican uu helo. Diintu waa barasho iyo ku dayasho u baahan maskax dhisan oo fahan leh, ma noqonayso suurado la xifdiyey oo keliya. Waa in lagu dabaqaa critical thinking, waayo wiilkii hadii uusan cadkiisi goosan karin daciifnimo iyo dadnimo la’aan ayuu la dayacmayaa. Wadaado badan oo meelaha wax ka wacdiyana ma lahan aqoon sidaa u badan oo dheelitiran waayo naftaada shaqsiga ah markaad si daacad iyo hawlkarnimo leh u horumariso ayaad taqwaddu sii xoogaysanaysaa. Arrimahaas oo u muuqda wax fudud laakiinse ah wax aad u adag oo u baahan dulqaad iyo waqti badan in la geliyo. Marar badan suurto gelaynin marka aad fiiriso qaabka qoyska soomaliyeed u dhisan yahay, midkaas oo ka kooban inta badan hooyo keligeed iyo caruur faro badan oo aabe la’aan jooga. Waxaan ku soo gunaanadey hadalkaygan kooban dood dhex martey wiilal soomaliyeed oo ku nool dalka England oo ka hadlaya farqiga u dhexeeya xirfadaha shaqada, waxbarashada jaamacadeed iyo habka loogu adeegsan karo in mustaqbalka show shaqo lagu aado.

Everything You Believe About East African Women Is Wrong




The recently published Heritage Institute of Policies Studies (HIPS) policy brief on “Federal Somalia: not if, but how?” is not fit for purpose. The main reason for my assertion is in relation to its lazy methodological approach.  Perhaps one may concede and understand the logistics and the security difficulties associated to undertake such research in Somalia, but the erroneous approach of this study doesn’t do justice to such an important topic which deserves closer scrutiny and effort. In my opinion, on this occasion HIPS has regrettably failed to meet its stated organisational remit “to fill in the existing gaps in understanding, to raise awareness and to inform policy”; it makes a number of tacit assumptions and it omits essential information required to understand Somali sentiments on this pivotal topic.

  1. A total of 213 professionals and students were surveyed…Really?

Arguably, the only way this study would have been acceptable is…

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The Basket Weavers of Somalia and the Legacy of Hooyo Hawa Nur Hirabe

It is with sadness that I read in Somali websites the passing of hooyo Hawa Nur Hirabe (1931-2015) one of the lovely basket weavers portrayed in the 1000 shillings banknote.  

 It was reported that hooyo Hawa has been severely ill in the last five months as she was hospitalized in the Keysaney Hospital in the Kaaraan district of the capital city Mogadisho. The defunct lady left behind a daughter as the rest of her offspring succumbed to the harshness of the civil war. She had three girls and two boys. The sad reality of it all is that even though she was supposed to be a national icon, no government representative attended her funeral only neighbours and immediate kin were present. Just like Saado Ali Warsame, the famous singer killed by alshabaab, she will soon be forgotten by main stream society.
The significance of hooyo Haawo iconic image lies in the industrious category she represented and how it is epitomized in the kun shilin, 1000 bill. The basket weavers of Muqdisho that is. I would say that it is very rare to find a female representation in any current form of currency starting from the US dollar, especially an ordinary woman making ends meets in such a humble way. 
The basket weaving practice is a very important aspect of womanhood in Somalia. Each region has its own specialty and it is regarded as an artistic form of expression. 

 Starting from the nomadic women and how they produced beautiful mats for their households and raar for protecting the skin of the camels being loaded as the family, reer, was getting ready to start the long journey to find greener pastures and rains. In the southern regions, women assembled different forms of woven objects combining different elements of fibrous materials (xaaskul and caw) as well as natural dyes,rinji. Women dutily interlocked and waved beautiful patterns to make baskets (danbiil), mats (derin), fans (babis) and different containers (haan) for their houses.   
Hooyo Haawa Nuur Hiraabe took this practice to another level as they were selling their products to tourists and visitors of Somalia in the Lido beachfront and throughout the Cabdulcasis District. I have vivid memories of these ladies and how they were sitting in the burning sun for hours carefully interlacing those green, purple, indigo blue and earthen colours in intricate patterns to form such incredible works of arts. 
My paternal grandmothers’ hobby was weaving her baskets (danbiil) as she sat near the burjiko sipping tea, cooking her meals and conversing with her friends. Getting up from time to time to check the status of her muufo bread in the tinaar, earthen oven made of reddish clay terracotta. An amazing way of life that seems to be lost somehow but still omnipresent in the collective memories of so many of us who were blessed to have experienced their childhood in Somalia.
Basket weaving was more than a subsistence means of survival, it was a way of life, an artistic expression and a symbol of how things were set but it is slowly giving way to plastic made in china products that are of all things bad for the environment. Then again that would be another story!

A Sad Quote 😢

In her [Mogadisho] orchard the trees had been born from deaths; they marked and grew from the remains of the children that had passed through her. 

Nadifa Mohamed 



“Back in the day, white people went to East Africa to find Iman, their acceptable black girl. When white people did this, former Essence Editor-in-Chief Marcia Gillespie called East African model Iman Abdulmajid “a white woman dipped in chocolate,”  highlighting Iman’s acceptable blackness while also lamenting the fact that black women’s beauty is often measured in their proximity to whiteness.”

Interesting article by Safy-Hallan Farah, young upcoming writer from the Horn of Africa

March 8th, International Woman’s Day

Calooshaadoon hif oran
Adiga oon ka haqabbi’in
Hunguri ma haweeysatee

Carays Ciise Kaarshe, Somali poet of guuroow proseImage


Misunderstandings of Somali Culture

When describing other cultures and peoples of different parts of the world European colonialists have always engaged in so called generalizations of encapsulating all in one basket.  A short cut understanding just to suit their imperialistic purpose of exploitation of use and throw away. They always spoke from a position of power and domination regarding themselves as better than Africans looking down upon who was not white and Christian.

Let’s not forget Richard Burton’s account of his experiences in East Africa in the mid 1800’s and what he wrote about Somalis in his famous book “First Footsteps in East Africa”

“….. true specimens of the “greasy African race,” wear locks dripping with rancid butter, and accuse their citizen brethren of being more like birds than men…………..The head is rather long than round, and generally of the amiable variety, it is gracefully put on the shoulders, belongs equally to Africa and Arabia, and would be exceedingly weak but for the beauty of the brow………They have all the levity and instability of the Negro character; light-minded as the Abyssinians……”. (First Foorsteps in East Africa, Richard Francis Burton Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1856).

Nothing much has changed 14 years after the beginning of the new millennium. Case and point is this brief “article” by  a British fellow who claims to be communication adviser to the president of the Somali Federal Republic. This individual has not understood Somali language and culture, the lexicon and the syllogism. He is absolutely not in the position to critique or call Somali people to be “…quite a xenophobic lot” or referring to his maid as being a stubborn for that is also sexist language.

At least have the decency to keep quiet and be respectful of our Somali culture and traditions. I wish that you were not in our country. |In fact, you do not qualify as being and adviser to our president for you know nothing about Somalia and its people.  Take it from me Caddeey Cameey |(white skin scarred check) who grew up on the history of Dheg dheer ( long ear) and swears by the poems of Cabdullahi Suldaan Timocadde ( white hair). How ironic that you have been given the same nick name of our glorious nationalistic poet.

Leave Somali culture and take the effort to understand its millenarian culture. Sadly, we are going through a tumultuous period of our existence but that does not mean that we have to be looked upon down. We are a fierce and proud people. Just wondering who is rude now!

“Colonies are the outhouses of the European soul, where a fellow can let his pants down and relax, enjoy the smell of his own shit.”
Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow



Somali Women Fall into Barbaric Rape Practices

From now on, whenever I speak about Somalia, I will put it in quotation marks because the Somalia I once knew is no longer there. We now have a “Somalia” that has fragmented in mini so called states where the definition of nation state is no longer applicable. The most troublesome reality of “Somalia” is how women are regarded especially rape victims and the treatment they receive, when they press charges against their assailers. I am mortified to read about this bone chilling news over and over again. If I were to rate a country and its progress, I would assess how women are viewed and how their rights are protected. It is morally and ethically un-Islamic to treat women in such a barbaric and inhumane way.

I just read on Al-Jazira website an article by Hamza Mohamed which talks about how a court in Somalia’s capital has handed down six-month jail sentences to a 19-year-old alleged rape victim and the journalist who interviewed her after convicting them on defamation charges brought by the accused.

The alleged rape victim – a reporter for the UN-funded Kasmo FM radio station – gave a video interview to Mohamed Bashir – a journalist for the Shabelle radio station – in which she alleged she was raped at gunpoint by other journalists working for state-owned Radio Mogadishu. The woman and journalist who interviewed her were arrested soon after those accused filed a defamation suit”.


The issue at hand remains how violence against women is being used by NGO’s and power hungry individuals to make quick bucks out of the plight of Somali women. The result is more and more women hiding this barbaric act of violence and internalizing it as a normal issue.

The article talks about the situation of  “those who have worked in Mogadishu say any statistics should be treated with much scepticism. “NGOs tell you one number, the government tells you that number is wrong and victims come to you without evidence months later. And we stay away because we can’t tell who is telling the truth. It is impossible to know the true extent of rape in Somalia.” Dahir said.

With journalists threading carefully around rape for fear of arrest or being duped, and NGOs and the government disagreeing on the prevalence of rape, the real victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Somalia will continue to suffer in the dark.


As I have said many times, this is the result of a prolonged state of lawlessness and anarchy which resulted in a predatory society that treats its women as animals. We have a long way to go. It could be your sister, your maternal grandmother, your paternal grandmother, your mother, your paternal aunt, your maternal aunt, your friend, your cousin, your neighbour. We are all one family, one nation, one people, one blood.




Social Media and Women’s Rights Discussions

The lesson learned from yesterday’s sentencing of a raped woman and her consecutive  jailing is that the majority of social media users have developed a strong introspective conscience whereby human rights violations have been denounced and seen as an impediment to a just and fair society. Time and time again our nascent federal democracy has already been under vigorous scrutiny for many of us expect to find immediate solutions after a prolonged state of lawlessness.


Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to change things fast but we can always categorically deny any wrong doings when it comes to human rights and the rights to be who we want to be in our glorious land. Each Somali person has the power to change the language and discourse on how women are treated and most of all deny all sorts of injustices. People back home need to have the chance to develop an individual conscience to voice their concerns and be given the opportunity to be independent without any string attachments.


The aim is to prepare the terrain for peace and prosperity to flourish and those Somalis who are more privileged than others who have access to means of communication must raise the bar and not act irresponsibly and politicize through primitive clannish lense real issues. We have wasted decades to be a competitive nation in the world so we must act now.