Eid prayers and celebration in Jigjiga

It’s Eid day and everyone is happy today. After 30 days of fasting, it’s time to have breakfast again. Muslims around the world are marking the Eid al-fitr, the end of Ramadan fasting this morning. I arrived in Jigjiga, my hometown, on Sunday to witness this beautiful occasion. My initial plan wasn’t to come to Jigjiga but circumstances allowed. Eid began early this morning and people came like a flood. As always, people pray in congression at a big outdoor area in the heart of the city. The place is so big but people from the city fill up every empty space. 

I should have taken plenty of pictures of people and children if I came early, but I was late to the Eid place and missed some nice shots. I will shoot you some of them so you will see what this day looked like on our side. Below I will upload some of the most recent photos of Eid celebration and prayers in my Jigjiga

Eid prayers – Jigjiga stadium
Jigjiga this morning
Jigjiga this morning
Downtown jigjiga
After prayer ended

My Jigjiga and the vibe for the Eid.

After a week of being MIA, sounds crazy?, missing in action, now you’re good I think In the beautiful city of Hargeisa, I’m finally back on the hill, My Jigjiga. I arrived in my city yesterday and I couldn’t be more happy to spend my Eid days here with my family and friends. To my esteemed WordPress followers here, Jigjiga falls in the western most parts of what used to be greater Somalia but now with the shift of the geopolitical landscape, the map says eastern most part of Ethiopia. Yes, legitimately Jigjiga is the largest Somali city in Ethiopia. Somali region is roughly one third of Somalia’s total landscape but British colony who occupied and administered the land since the 1950s had unlawfully ceded to Ethiopia after their departure in mid 1950. However one final colonial mistake that cost millions of Somalis including me our country is the new Ethiopian administration which not only claimed our ancestral land but also denied some of our basic human and democratic rights. Since then, Ethiopia claimed the land forever.

The Howd reserve area hosts nearly 6 million indeginous Somalis who are mostly pastoralists. They herd livestock and follow some farming practices. The region is one of the most fragile and hostile environments in the world as decades of endless war between Ethiopian government and the secessionist group called Ogaden national liberation front (ONLF) dominated the region. As I said earlier, Somali region or more famously Ogaden territory is a vast landscape, second largest territory to be sure after the big Somalia and for that reason, Ethiopia has always had a hard time controlling the region. You wanna read my prevous post on Ethiopia if you do please click on the link above. Below are some pictures of old Jigjiga

Old Jigjiga- Google photos
Old Jigjiga – Google photos
Old Jigjiga- Google photos

Jigjiga is thus the largest city of those 6 million inhabitants. It’s one of the growing cities in Ethiopia. Close to one million people live in the town but there’s no clear census about that. Despite years of poor governance and leadership crisis, the city continued to thrive on its own. Urbanization is growing, business is on the rise and life seems to be slowly returning to normalcy.

How are the people preparing for the upcoming Eid-Alfitr?

Eid is now right around the corner. Muslims around the world are fasting the 28th straight day and that means only a day or maximum two will end the fasting. As this important occasion gets closer, people in Jigjiga are filling streets in numbers buying Eid clothes and other essential shoppings.

Here are some pictures of the market and our morning skies

Aerial photo of Jigjiga market – – photos are mine
Clear sky – Jigjiga 05-10-2021, 11:39 AM
Busy Tuktuk in busy road – Jigjiga
Our neighbor
Typical three in our city

People are filling in streets, banks and grocery shops. Unlike Somaliland, Ethiopia isn’t a free market affiliate therefore all institutions are run by the government. Banks, telecommunications, electric power and internet companies are dominated by the government. Here are some pictures of people waiting to withdraw their cash from one of the national banks of Ethiopia in our city. I’ve been waiting an hour to withdraw my money from the bank and I had to make a long que to reach my turn. This’s the reality of the Ethiopian public service provision. This’s a typical Ethiopia commercial bank. I took some quick pictures of people in the bank desperate to withdraw their money. Here are they:

People lining up in the bank to withdraw their cash – photos are mine
People lining up in bank to withdraw their cash – phots are mine

So to anyone other than Ethiopian, this is what it feels to be in Ethiopia and – – again what Ethiopian public provision services are like. The market is also busy full of people and goods. Ethiopia is sa landlocked country that means most of the clothes and electronics are imported from Somaliland and Djibouti. As I continue my expedition to the Somali world, I’m taking every moment to capture the lifestyle of the places I come across in the Somali world. This city, Jigjiga is where I grew up and partially educated so it offers me an extra pleasure to be back during these busy days. I’m still keeping my line in the bank so I’m actually completing this post as people before me wait to get their cash withdrawn. Below are morning pictures of Jigjiga market. I hope you will like my blog and my stories. If you do please don’t forget to subscribe to my WordPress blog so that you will always have a chance to see my stories and pictures from the other side of the world. Thanks for always being a close reader of my blogs. It’s a bright morning with a few scattered clouds in our sky. Till I get back to you with another interesting blog, Stay safe!!

Hargeisa, the peace of the mind.

By Ahmed Abdi

Hargeisa, this sounds a bit foreigner to many outsiders. Even the name in the Google is more scary in the first glimpse than what might have already been in your mind as you start your Google search. However what you will read here will raise your eyebrows may be at least will convincingly change the scope of your knowledge about this tinny oasis piece of land. Hargeisa is not a recent name, it’s been an old city for a long time, but 30 years after rising itself from the ashes of destruction, its geographic split from one of the most dangerous places in the world changed its view and enabled it to thrive peacefully for decades to count now. I’m a Somali origin so unlike western media borrowing suffixes like “Most dangerous” breaks my heart but given the current reality of our country, it’s a favorite word for nearly every blog post and report about Somalia. In the face of uncertainty, Hargeisa rose it’s head out of the rubber and continued to stand by it’s own but the story of it’s recovery is far from anyone’s imagination.

Hargeisa is the largest capital city of the self-declared republic of Somaliland or legitimately northern parts of Somalia. Somaliland has officially broken away from Somalia after a brutal civil war against the powerful south in 1990. Somalia has once been dubbed as “The Irish of Africa” simply because of its power and progress in Africa at the time but it’s golden era had soon its own shortcomings. Somalia went into an endless civil war which continues until the present day. Even though what’s happening in Somalia is a war on terror today, the side effects of the civil war could widely be felt across the country. Somaliland began to split after Siyad barre, the last president of the great and peaceful Somalia masterminded his invasion idea to the northern provinces of what is today the new Somaliland. It was a destructive war that caused civilian casualties and mass evacuations of the people of the north. History teaches us that Hargeisa you’re reading now was leveled to the ground. At the time, Siyad barre was advancing his military muscle in Africa and to the peak of Somalia’s military mighty, One lost mistake that brought Somalia in the mercy of war was his unthought decision to invade northern provinces inhabited mainly by a different clan called “ISAAQ” Below are pictures of Hargeisa during the civil war

Hargeisa in 1990 via Twitter
Hargeisa during the civil war – Google photos

How did Hargeisa overcome from the ashes of the civil war and began to stand by its own feet?

Yes, that was a picture of Hargeisa in 1990 when the civil war was at an infant stage. During days of Ariel shelling and ground attacks, people in Hargeisa and Somaliland fled the war to all horizons of the neighboring countries. They left everything they had behind and went on to flee from their houses in masses. Even though the war stopped a few months after it broke out, the aftermath of the battle left millions of Somalilanders unable to return. Some suffered the trauma of war, others made dangerous journeys to the west and immediately became fresh immigrants of Europe and America. Some found home in countries they never thought of, others suffered along the way. In any possible scenario, the people of Somaliland’s number one choice was to head off to Europe and America for protection but what they later found was the product of the new Hargeisa now. They found a life that sustained not only themselves but also those extended families left behind. The land they considered themselves as immigrants immediately turned their sufferings into a land of opportunities. Through resilience and hardwork, the tiny semi-desert had survived and Hargeisa grew faster than it could recover making it one of the fastest technologically and economically booming cities in Africa now. Yes you read it correctly, it’s all that I said but only became in the face of difficulties. Here are some pictures that I’ve taken recently.

Downtown Hargeisa – photos are mine
Night life in Hargeisa

What is the economy of Hargeisa based on?

Hargeisa has a great deal of business already in place but recent developments in technology is adding a big volume to the growth of the economy in the city. Hargeisa is a business city. Most people’s means of economy comes from small-scale businesses. Somaliland has a sea called Berbera. Ships to and from the coast placed Somaliland at the center of business and growth in the horn of Africa. Somaliland has made significant progress in technology ever since they adopted the free market economy model but public services are in low. Education and healthcare system in the country is in complete shumble. The government here does little to support people’s life but diaspora communities who fled the war are filling that gap now.

They take part in much of the economic activities happening in the region including infrastructures like roads, hospitals and emergency appeals. Hargeisa had progressed itself through the world of modern technology. It’s worth remembering that just a day ago, the private communication company called Somtel which is one the institutions operating in the region had introduced e-Simcard, a no sim card cellphone adding itself into the list of the only 4 African countries already made this breakthrough. Below are some recent pictures of the Hargeisa especially close to where I live. It was a downtime so I had to rush against the clock to capture some sunset photos and I won the race.

Hargeisa, photos are mine
Sunset in Hargeisa
Jigjiga yar road – Hargeisa
Jigjiga yar -Hargeisa

The more I try to write about Somaliland, the more I need to learn but I know it’s only what I know that you are reading now – – and of course what I see every day through my lens. Somaliland is unrecognized by the international community but it’s path to democracy and transformation is one step forward to putting itself on the global spotlight. I’m in the beautiful city of Hargeisa tonight as I had my 23st Ramadan Iftar with my old university friend at Ramaas hotel in New Hargeisa borough. Hargeisa is growing and current development progress is a sign of even more milestone development to come. this’s my series of my latest blogs on Hargeisa. I’m proud that my blogging work was thankfully endorsed by Faiza Mohamud,, one of the famous writers at Star tribune in the Somali populated twin cities of Minnesota and Minneapolis. I hope this sheds lights on what this unrecognized tiny city and region is about. Till I come back to you with another blog of mine, it’s a clear sky with few scattered clouds in Hargeisa sky. Till then, it’s me Ahmed wishing you a great weekend ahead.

Hargeisa is ready for the Eid-Alfitr

By Ahmed Abdi

The market in Hargeisa is in full swing ready for one of the biggest holiday in Islam, the Eid-Alfitr. With only 10 days to go to the celebration of Eid-Al Fitr, the end of Ramadan holiday, shoppers in and around Hargeisa are flooding to the town filling streets and cloth stores. This time around, Families set their glossaries for the Eid. Street vendors are one of the popular places where people are stopping by to see what they can purchase. Hargeisa is a booming business hub in the horn of Africa offering life to many neighboring countries like Ethiopia where I spent much of my life. Eid marks the end of 30 days long fasting that is observed across the Muslim world. It concludes a month of spiritual connection to Allah. Muslims fast from before sunrise to downtime refraining from all kinds of food, drinks, sexual intercourse and fighting. Ramadan is an important time to wipe out one’s sin and get closer to Allah.

As Ramadaan edges to its end, families in Hargeisa combine their shoppings for the upcoming big day. For most parts in Somalia, every Ramadan ends, families wind off fasting in a good mood like buying clothes, toys and presents for their kids and themselves. Hargeisa is now dealing with a large number of people completing the long list of eid purchases. One could no mistake feel the busyness of the downtown where people are coming in numbers.

Street vendors attracting buyers and pedestrians – photo by me
Hargeisa downtown street vendors – photo by me

Is buying new Eid clothes for children an obligation or option?

For children mainly under 20, Eid means just a little more than a mere fasting, it’s an opportunity for them to have something new and that has to be just a new dress. Yes, it isn’t an obligation to buy your kids for fresh clothes if it’s above one’s purchasing power but to the lowest income family even, it’s a tough time to think about what their children would wear for the day and for that reason many families end up doing everything they can to buy new clothes for their children but it’s obvious that some can’t avoid by any chance. Even grown people feel the eid pressure too. they need to be in the same mood with children to carry the most of what Eid offers to everyone in the family. I remember back in the days, whenever Eid loomed, My full attention was what kind of cloth I would have but I think now, I’m just getting used to it and I don’t actually need that much but I’m sure buying new clothes is on the top of my head now.

What is it like to have your eid in Hargeisa?

This’s my first Eid-Al Fitr in the beautiful city of Hargeisa and I could never be prouder to be celebrating here. last year before I departed to Abaarso school where I’m working now, I had spent Eid-Adha, the second Islamic holiday of the year in Hargeisa but trust me, Nothing feels like the real atmosphere of the Eid after Ramadan and that’s why I’m excited to be here this Eid. Hargeisa is now in the very beginning of the spring season. The spring rain has recently devastated through the town leaving some casualties to the most ordinary people. Hargeisa much like Jigjiga doesn’t have a better sewage and drainage system therefore whenever it rains too much, mass floods wash away cars and people living near the river banks. You can read my last year Jigjiga Eid preparation here

Rescue team monitoring flood site in Hargeisa river- photo by Khalid Foodhaadhi

Is Covid-19 currently having an impact on the people in Hargeisa?

The answer is NO, Hargeisa prepares itself for the Eid and it seems that everyone is getting themselves ready. Even though the second wave of Covid had a devastating impact on the people of Somaliland, the death trend in the country didn’t change people’s perception on the virus. It’s worth remembering that yesterday when I was making my way back to Hargeisa, I was the only one wearing a face mask and people in the car stared at me as if I was different. Somali people in general are so indifferent to the severity of what is now the world’s greatest nightmare.

Eid is now around the corner and millions of people like me are patiently waiting to witness. I paid my visit to the Hargeisa market today and the Eid vibe is so marvelous. As the day awaits Muslims around the world in general and Hargeisa in particular, I wish you all a happy eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating. Till I shoot you to another blog, It’s me Ahmed leaving you with Allah’s care and protection. STAY SAFE AND SOUND!

The start of spring is restoring life in Somali state and beyond.

Last week, a long time awaited rain had showered onto the dried lands of Jigjiga. The late rainfall had fed people, animals and the land and expectedly came at a time when people of Somali state and beyond were experiencing one of the worst drought seasons of the year. I’ve never seen my city as thirsty for water as I witnessed in a spare of two days after my arrival from Abaarso, a popular American school in the desert of the Abaarso village. When I first arrived in the border town of wajaale, I’d already glimpsed the real picture of the drought across my surroundings by looking out of the car window I was riding. From Abaarso to Wajjale, every look I paid to the dry land was a reminder that the winter drought had deserted all living creatures

People in my state and mostly in Somalia are highly reliant on seasonal rains but delayed rains often affect agriculture and farming production. In our Somali state, roughly 85% of our state’s population is agro-pastoralists which means they have to move back and forth from place to place in search of water and posture for themselves and animals. 

This year, we have faced one of the worst water shortages in the year. Jigjiga doesn’t have underground water pipe system. Most water sources are underground dams but the water taps don’t often flush in every house. Some had broken and never been repaired. Some water taps never run. In the past, the only source of water came from an artificial dam dug during the Italian colony ( according to history) and – – Even though the dam water isn’t safe to drink, it is the only place where the city’s water was trucked to by water trucks. It was the first time the dam dried out. It’s partially associated with the fact that the dam has been a punishment center for the old prisoners. The former Abdi iley dictator’s loyalties used the dam to sink political prisoners and for that reason many people believe that the dam’s dryness is supposedly a god’s punishment.

Women traveling miles to fetch unclean water in Sitti*

Last week, a long awaited rain poured across most parts of Somali state including Jigjiga, the largest Somali state city of Ethiopia. The city was immensely thirsty and cried for water for a long time. I was absolutely thinking about what life looked like in the countryside when our state’s largest city suffered from severe water shortages. A jerry can of water cost nearly half a dollar, a price most ordinary people found themselves unable to pay off. The more people waited for sky water, the less the sky clouded. It’s worth remembering that the whole people in our state came out to the streets not for a protest but to line up for prayers to god for rain water. Few days after their nation-wide call for prayer, the clouds formed and scattered across the sky and it did finally rain so much all over the city and beyond. The rain cooled off the people, nurtured the land and fed animals. It’s hard to think about people’s life at times when the expected rains don’t arrive on time leaving pastoralists and ordinary people in the cities more resilient to drought and famine.

Jigjiga, wet roads after evening rain- -photo by me
Jigjiga after it rained – photo by me.
Jigjiga an hour before the Iftar- photo by me

This blog is a series of my occasional writing pieces about our Somali state of Ethiopia. I usually write about issues that I think matter at the time of emergencies, difficulties and most interestingly stories that spread hope and inspire people. It’s a beautiful bright morning here with clear sky in Jigjiga today, till I shoot you to another post sometime soon, I will leave you with Allah’s care and protection.

Dharaaraha Aduunyada

AUGUST 14, 2020

Dharaaraha Aduunyada waxaa curisay Fadumo A. M. Yusuf “Derbi” oo ka curisay qiso dhaba. Waxay Faadumo ku daabacday tixdan bloggeeda ama baraheeda ay qoraaladeeda ku daabacdo ee fadumoyusuf.com/blog kaas ood kalasaconkartaan sugaanteeda iyo magaalada kale ay faadumo qorto.

Dhooleey aduunyada

Dharaaraa la joogaa

Dhawr sano’oo tirisoo

Laga dheelmanayoo

Hadba dhaayaheeduna

Cashar kuu dhigaayaan

Dhirbaaxooyin kulul iyo

Dhamac iyo rasaas iyo

Marbay tahay dhunkaal iyo

Nafta waxa dhibaayoo

Lala dhalan gadoomee

Dhafaruur bislaatiyo

Dheeman iyo dahabiyo

Marbay dhayda xooliyo

Malab dhiina ay tahay

macaankeedu dheeryahay

Dhibka markii aad daristaan

Rajadaadu yay dhiman

Hoos u dhicin hankaagii

Dharaaraha kharaarkihi

Ileen way dhamaaniye

Markaad dheeman iyo luul

Iyo nimco dhex joogtaa

Hays dhiganin Dhooleey

Dharaaraha macaankihi

Ileen way dhamaaniye

Dheemaneey aduunyadan

Dharaarahan is dabayaal 

Dhigaa kaad ka doontee 

Ku daahartay dhuuxiyo

Unugyada dhamaantood 

Haduu calaf ku dhaafshaa 

Qadar baan la dhaafine 

Ka dhawrsug ayaamaha 

Dhooleey wanaagsani 

Dhawaan bay imaaniye

Ku dheeree salaadiyo 

Dheemaneey cibaadada

Adkaartana ha dhiginoo

Ku dhakhtari naftaadoo 

Dhaawacii qalbiga iyo 

Beerka dhinacyadiisiyo

Sanbabada ku dhacaybay 

Dhuxeey daweeyaan

Dhaqan sami gobaadeey 

Gobanimada dhawroo 

Dharaarihii horeeyiyo 

Iska dhaaf wixii tagay 

Calaf baa ku dhaafshaye 

Ku dhardhaar ducooyin 

Dhambaal hambalyo gaadhsii 

Dhamo dumar wanaag iyo 

Ubad dhawra oo wacan 

Iyo khayr dhamaantii

Dinac yadiisa buuxshaan

©FadumoYusuf 2020

My love story- – back in the days

Apparently this post is an obvious invasion of my privacy. It digs deep into my past and present part of my most intimate relationship with one of the world’s most reluctant crushes, yes crush, you are right! the word which is acceptable to use for relationships. This post is very private but it’s also intentional. 

I would prefer to begin from the scratch so that you will have a better sense of how four and half years old love was born in the heart of a young Saudi-Somali girl which is gradually vanishing now. In the year 2015 was my second year in my university studies and second year in Ethiopia’s largest city of Addis Ababa. It was a hard year for me because of the odds and hurdles it came along with. First my education needed money, second I had to adopt with a lonely world I’ve never been to, thirdly, I had to adjust with a system of discrimination where I wasn’t treated as an Ethiopian. It was all these things happening all together in a spare of few successive months that shaped my life like never before. While I was trying to balance my egoes and agonies with my persistence, one thing shifted the balance of my power, LOVE. how did it happen? Well… a long story, 4.5 years right? but don’t worry. I will get you started right away…

One day around 2:40pm afternoon, I walked into a language school building on the second floor located in the center of the Somali-dominated town of Bole Mekael, Addis Ababa. I knew I would get in there because my full attention was to find out something. Early that week, I had training on “development courses” with a group of people in Addis Ababa. The courses were provided mainly by a group of students from Maine in the US and I remember if I’m correct, one of them was a Somali girl named Rakhia. as I stepped up to the second floor, my eyes had accidentally caught two girls who were dressed up with the same Saudi black Abaya outfit. They looked beautiful and I was so completely changed. I took a rest on that floor as they were standing and waited their English class. I had taken a sigh of breath as if I took up hundreds of steps to where I was standing but what a nice place to end upstairs without an elevator! As I relaxed and leaned myself against the wall, I patiently waited a moment to start them but the rain that started to drop heavily saved my time.

In the beginning, I knew that I had a little time to spend there but one look changed my entire plan, I deliberately gazed at the one who was standing in the far corner of a window back and forth. that simple but powerful look was the result of my 5 years old love today. it’s so amazing how a single glance can change someone’s life so much like me. That girl is called Maryam, a girl who ruined my life, career and some of my plans because of her love. I’m pretty sure that talking about what happened between me and her would’ve been the best selling book if my feelings sold itself but that’s how I learned enough in life. to give you some priceless moments with Maryam, I once and twice traveled across land and space to see her face not even knowing if she knew I was planning to meet her. I once put myself in greater danger to save her but the most gratitude I got out of love was just “thanks axmed” which is something to be grateful but don’t make someone who’s madly in love like me feel happy. another crazy thing I’d done is that recently when she blocked me on everywhere that she thought I could sneak a text, I handwritten a letter to her in 2020 and 21 century when sending a text is virtually much quicker than our eye blink today- -yet I still chose to send her a letter via physical mail . pardon me! it’s one of my nonsense that I want to bombard you tonight.

I and Maryam have had a beautiful time together. We ate, drank and had fun together. She often encouraged me to study hard because I was winning a girl like her. She calmed me many nights when I was so frustrated and mad at her. Her voice was a real cooler, calmer and healer. We’ve always felt each other’s pain but the years that followed had its own shortcomings. she was gradually making up her mind. Even though I did everything I could to save our long-time relationship, I didn’t have her back and a shoulder to lean on. my words and love frustrations didn’t change her mind either. I continued to complain but that had only taken my feelings to a greater heights.

Relationship experts can only understand what it takes someone to get a person whose atmost intention is to be your friend but the reality of someone else’s love nightmare is beyond anyone’s imagination. even though that girl lived in Ankara last October 2020 before she blocked me, she’s still an option for me. I know I’m stupid and mean to say this but I only know myself more than anyone else. Actually She bombarded me with her look, life and language. 

It’s hard to look back at whatever she said to me but one thing for sure is that the language she used to talk and text me all the time was by far the most disappointing thing she’s ever done to me. Nothing is impossible, I often hear this a lot. It sounds quite magic, right!? I may be stuck in someone’s world and be stupid but I still believe in Magic. (Trust me!) 

That’s a bit of my love story and I would like to publish it on my blog. Maybe one day I will look back and realize that I made a mistake by pouring out my feelings to someone who knows little about how I feel about her. I don’t know what the future holds but time will tell.

Have a great night/day! Stay safe!

A 70 hour countdown edges to its end as Ethiopian troops prepare for one last TPLF stronghold and the state city Mekelle

Ethiopian PM Abey Ahmed has given TPLF fighters a 70 hour countdown before he ends his rule of law military operations at Tigray’s last stronghold, Mekele. PM’s Sting warning came at a crucial moment when Ethiopian military had already advanced to almost all of TPLF administered territories. The fierce fighting has entered into its third week now with many fatalities being reported by independent media. thousands have already fled to the neighboring Sudan and millions are stuck in no-go area of the Tigray region. Despite the power blackout and communication disruptions, PM Abey is still insisting that his primary aim is to end the TPLF administration in the region. 

in a letter he posted on his Twitter page,  Abey clearly outlined a 3 successive phases of operation – – and while two of the war phases have already been put in a a place- – the third phase would decide the fate of his target and mission in what experts believe could be his biggest challenge of his time which is necessarily overcoming a vibrant region and a war against his own people. 

TPLF fighters are still at large in many places of the Tigray region but they seem to be more vulnerable to arial and land bombardment of the Ethiopian jet fighters. Early this week, the Ethiopian military had confirmed that they hit several TPLF target areas near the capital Mekelle. conflicting sources also suggest that the Ethiopian warplanes targeted religious and famous tourist sites in northern provinces rising a growing concern among others the UN, African and European Union. The pressure from the international community is increasingly mounting on Abey’s stance on the war. The Ethiopian government is still reluctant to open mediation to TPLF leaders despite demands from the international community and the African Union claiming the war will only be put to an end once the region is cleared out of the TPLF warlords. 

Abey has been struggling to bring his people together ever since he took over the office in late 2017. His first task was to settle a decade-long Oromo protests, reshuffle his cabinets, hold previous war criminals accountable and bring peace to the country and its neighbours. However as the prospect of his plans shift towards a more disastrous and bloody path, what we think of happening next is to invade one of TPLF’s last whereabouts, the famous city of Mekelle but overcoming that hurdle is easier said than done. 

Photo by the Reuters

Ethiopia has been at peace since the Second World War and a war against the region’s most powerful state will cost the country more than it can recover. Now as the countdown to 70-hour surrenderance offer nears its end and Ethiopian troops build-up and advance to the outskirts of its targeted Mekele, the world is keeping an eye on what their last operation will bring to the country and struggling Tigrians. As an Ethiopian citizen who lived and educated in this big country of Ethiopia, I’m hoping and praying for peace in the region- – and a quick return of normalcy.

It’s a cloudy sky and warm weather morning here in Somali state’s largest city, Jigjiga and till I come back to you with another briefing on the latest in Ethiopia, I say goodbye by now.

——- Ahmed

Thousands of Somali refugees watch the US election after 4 years of Travel ban

In about 37 hours, the world will witness one of the biggest elections in the world. Over 246 million Americans are heading to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether Donald Trump will stay in power or Joe Biden will overtake him. Even though 20% of the American people have already voted, Tuesday’s election will send one man to the White House.

The US election is so popular not because of the US interest but the impact of its foreign policy on the world. The American politics are so intense that elections not only matter to the American people but the larger world as well. When president trump was surprisingly elected to the White House in 2016, many of the US foreign affairs have changed tremendously. Trump’s first executive order days after his historic election was to halt the refugee programs in majority Muslim countries including Somalia.

Somalia made it on the list of Trump’s Executive ban in 2016, since then thousands of refugees were later denied entries into the US. Trump thought Somalia was a terrorist affiliate country and blamed many of the terror acts in America and the world for Somalia in several rallies he made in the Somali-dominated twin cities.

As the US election enters its final two days, thousands of Somali refugees are closely watching what the result of this election will mean to their future— and what the democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds for their future if elected. As the world looks forward to another American four-year term president and Somalia refugees wonder what happens next in this election, I am crossing my legs to see the wonder.

Family waiting for food at Dhadhaab refugee camp in Kenya-photo by Pinterest

Somali immigrants in the US are the second largest group in any other immigrant community in the United States. They are scattered across the US states mainly in Minnesota, Seattle Washington, Ohio and Boston. Since Trump took the office in 2016, thousands of Somali refugees are still stuck in Kenya and Ethiopia.

I will come back to you with another blog on the US election and Somali refugees after the election result day and reactions on the post election era too. 

It’s a late afternoon here in Jigjiga with 10 mins before the sunset. have a good day/night!

Disability isn’t inability —the life of the deaf boys in Jigjiga.

Jigjiga is my beloved city, it’s where I grew up, finished my upper school and where I learned my does and don’ts. I was 14 when I first arrived in Jigjiga and at the time the town was very small—almost twice smaller than it is today. The life of most people in Jigjiga is based on small businesses and public service provisions. The government here does little to help people. In the last 10 years of its existence, the expansion of houses and public services had increased the size of the city but bad governance had pushed people to the lowest point of life. The man who ran and ruled this city for the last ten years was a brutal dictator who tortured and beat people opposed to his harsh laws. Mass massacres, indiscriminate arrests, abuses and all types of human rights violations happened here but the city continued to thrive on its own. 

Much of the small scale businesses are feet on the streets. Street vendors and local sellers carry their daily business along the streets of Jigjiga. It’s a great place where sellers and buyers meet everyone.

Ahmed is a probably 13 years old deaf shoe cleaner who walks around the city to polish shoe in public places like cafeterias and other public gatherings everyday. He has his own big milk can where he puts his shoe cleaners stuff in. He goes up to everyone sitting and asks them if they would need their shoes cleaned. Most people have their shoes cleaned by Ahmed since he’s a disabled child who’s constantly working hard to put food on his family’s table. When he came over to us and asked if we could clean our shoes, one of our friends who was sitting accepted him and gave his shoes to be cleaned.

Ahmed cleaning shoes at the Shaaha Ninka tea shop.

Ahmed is a true example that disability isn’t inability. His inability didn’t prevent him from earning his food. Though he had problems with speaking, he asks people with a stammering voice and they immediately recognize him as a deaf which gives him an extra advantage over other shoe cleaners. When I saw him cleaning the shoes of my friend, I gave him a shot and liked to make a blog about him in the hope that it may inspire other kids who don’t choose to earn money for a work and instead—beg people for money along the streets.

A lot of youngsters are doing this job to survive. Many NGOs call this a “child labor and abuse” but isn’t it a choice you make when you and your family have nothing to survive? I say YES and I hope a lot of kids will learn to survive too. their safety is important but their survival is the most important of all. In this world where generosity is a lost value, I believe the idea that “survival of the fittest” is the final choice.

Till another blog on my city, I’m Ahmed and I will leave you with Allah’s care and protection!! STAY SAFE!!