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!!

Remembering Soobe

Good evening!

Welcome to my blog series. Today I’m sharing you with another emotion-triggering story and incident that happened in a city where I never set foot but feel 100% home (Mogadishu), Somalia. This story will go through your teeth quickly and I hope you will enjoy it as you read but first my usual throwback times.

No matter what age group you are, if your mind is cooperating well, you may recall an incident that happened in the world or a mystery that unfolded on the planet sometime in the past. If you are a golden oldie and your mind and memory are cooperating, you may even recall incidents as bad as Harishima or Nagasaki, Tsunami in Japan or recently Beirut Port explosions. no matter when, Throughout history, we came across moments of unforgettable tragedies and incalculable human losses.

On this day exactly 3 years ago, the Somali capital, Mogadishu had witnessed one of the world’s deadliest blasts in recent times. The explosions went off in a busy junction called Soobe in the heart of City’s largest Market and a crowded place for local vendors, street sellers, restaurants and all types of regular business people. The blast took off in a rushy afternoon at around 2 o’clock in Mogadishu, The biggest capital city of the Somali people. Explosions and scuide bombs aren’t new to Somalia and I only think it’s one of the few things that pops up to your mind once you hear of the big country of Somalia but that one was as big as you might not have seen or heard it.

What was I doing when the bad news came out?

Soobe explosion is one of the most memorable incidents that has ever happened to our country and it is by far one of the moments I remember the most—not because it claimed more people but the lasting impact it left on our minds. On October 14, 2017, I woke up to my usual routine and it was like any normal morning that I expected. My plan for that afternoon was big. I was expecting to spend the rest of that afternoon watching and cheering for my long-time fan club, Liverpool Fc. For nearly 14 years, I was a big fan of the famous English big club, Liverpool. As a young boy, I watched Liverpool lose to Milan in the champions league final in 2007, lost to chelsea in the champions league semis and Liverpool ended the league title race by 86 points and 4 points behind the winner Manchester United in 2008-9. Liverpool was and still is my all time favorite club and I spent so much of my time watching the team lose and win behind the millions of fans around the world without a regret. Talking about Liverpool in the past one and half decades will bring up countless moments of tragedy and triumphs but I need to carry on my story (barden me) I’m often overwhelmed by my own stories and don’t stop unless I find out why.

Liverpool was playing against Manchester United which was a huge opponent ever since the sir. Alex Furguson coached the Red Devils. I had moments when United defeated Liverpool in numbers and that day, I was looking for revenge. I began to secure a spot in the DSTV so as to not lose my front seat as people were flooding into the dstv. English premier league is typical football and most watched by the people in Ethiopia, especially Somalis and unless I appeared in the dstv before all seats were to be occupied, I wouldn’t be able to watch that big Match so I came in the dstv early and watched players warm up and fans shout their team songs, something that makes football interesting to watch. as the match edged to the beginning, I unlocked my iPhone and opened my Facebook with a shocker, the headline said: “an explosion happened in Mogadishu” but this wasn’t quite a surprising news from Somalia, explosions and roadside bombs were happening in Somalia ever since the civil war started so I only hoped it wouldn’t be as bad as it sounded. However the news that came out later that night was extremely terrible.

After the match ended goalless, I watched videos of people dying everywhere in the streets, I could see and hear emergency paramedics speeding up with their crazy loud Horns in the streets, people running up to the wounds for help, the streets of Mogadishu’s biggest market was filled by blood and streets turned into a red. It felt like a horror movie and I couldn’t easily believe everything before my eyes but soon came to understand that once again the terrorists hit us hard. The death toll was rising steadily time after time. The videos that emerged later were even horrifying and made us believe that the explosions were so bigger than everyone’s imaginations. The Soobe explosions had claimed the lives of 500+ people and over thousands were injured. The trauma and pain of the people who lost their beloved ones shook the foundation of the Somali people everywhere in the world. A moment of grief and sorrow started in the city of love and patience again. 

The stories

Maryam Cabdullaahi was a 25 years old graduate nurse from the university of Somalia. A day after the Soobe explosions, her father called her from England and told her that he would no longer wait to see her and attend in her graduation day which was due on Sunday Oct 15, 2017 so he booked a plane ticket to Mogadishu in order not to miss out her graduation day which was a day after the Soobe blasts but the explosions on next Saturday Oct 14 killed her. Her father landed in Mogadishu only to take part in her burial ceremony. Such a pain a loving father has to bear. This is by no doubt one of the rare sad stories that broke my heart and the heart of every kind-hearted human into pieces.

Late Maryam Cabdulahi — photo by the BBC Somali

Faa’iso Xasan Cali was 24 years old who ran a local restaurant near Soobe market. She lost her life to the blast that destroyed the entire market near her old restaurant. She had a long dream of transforming her life to a better one by expanding her business to greater heights but sadly she became one of the victims of the Soobe explosion. 

Cumar Xaaji Axmed, a physically diabled father pictured waiting for the news of his two missing kids. I’m not sure enough where his children ended up later on, but I only hope he found them safe and well. Who knows? Fingers crossed for this struggling father but these are the frustrating photos of people who rushed to the scene looking for information of their children and loved ones soon after the explosions happened.

A disabled father waiting for his two kids at an emergency support center in Mogadishu—by the BBC Somali pictures Oct 2017

How did the world react to the Soobe explosions?

The world watched Somalia suffer but not so many countries reached out for help except Turkey which became the only true ally and friend of Somalia in both happy and hard times ever since Somalia went into endless war. As usual the turkey government stepped up to deliver emergency aid services to the injured individuals, sent the serious injuries to Turkey for further medical diagnosis and stood by us firmly in that particular moment of grief. The rest of the world sent a pool of condolences and condemnations. Soobe is a day to remember all the beautiful lives that have been mercilessly taken by the terrorists Al-shabaab and a day to look back at the horror we once witnessed. Our nation will never fall in the hands of enemies and we the people of Somalia will continue to struggle to defeat our enemies. We have been in wars for so long but our path to a prosperous future lies ahead. Soobe will remain in our hearts forever! 

Thank you and have a great evening from along way from Jigjiga.

Pain, Patience and Pride

Good morning!

Take a sigh of relief! Close your eyes, and imagine what the world will look like after 40 years? That’s a rough guess but trust me, our inner imaginations will give us different pictures. I am Ahmed Abdi, and this time, I’m going to be sharing you with a story that will melt your heart if you read.

My today’s story is by far one of the best I’ve ever read on the internet. It’s one of the few stories in the world that sheds hope to every dead human heart. And a journey from darkness into a light. The story had originated from a small town called Xudur in Bakool province in Somalia. if you can recall, I once said that Somalia is the only country in the world where one can find a happy and sad story. Rare accounts of stories never reported by the mainstream media.

Nishooq Isaaq Aadan is probably a 74 years old mother who lost her most precious part of the human sense organ (her vision) 40 years ago. She had last seen the world 40 years ago, and since then her experiences about this world were only through what she heard from people and radios. for a long time, seeing the world was a distance dream for her, and her hope of getting her vision back one day was even one of the impossible 

last week, thankfully Nishooq’s vision has returned once again after 40 years of darkness in front of her eyes following a successful eye surgery by the doctors. for Nishooq, seeing the world again as I keep writing was a dead dream as she grew older but her patience and reliance on Allah that one day, she will open her eyes wide and see the world again remained in the back of her head. Last Tuesday, mother Nishooq saw the world again with the same eyes she had seen the world 40 years ago. It was an unbelievable real world experience and momentum to someone who has only seen the world by their inner imaginations. “ I saw it, everything around me and people I loved, cared and things I often used to hear is what I am seeing now” Alhamdulilah (all praise is due to the creator) Noshaq said crying out of joy.

Mother Nishooq’s photo after her successful eyes surgery (photo by Ali Adan Mumin) -Somali journalist

Vision is, as I said is the most important organ of our life that without it, our world means nothing more than our inner imaginations. Only a person without a vision can truly imagine what it means to see everything through the images we have in our mind. Things surrounding us, games that we love, adventures that we take, people that we love, everything we see in this world is because of our eyes and to someone who can’t see the world with their own eyes means they have to judge this world by their beautiful imagination only.

Nishooq is urging everyone who lost hope to never give up from what they are dreaming about no matter how impossible things seem to be. To Nishooq we have to be patient and optimistic about what we dream about this world. “ It will happen by Allah’s grace” Noshooq said it loudly and her story proved all the odds and impossible she believed wrong. This story made me remember the prophet Zechariah’s one when he was mercifully blessed with a baby son in late adulthood. Zechariah’s story is another hope that if we put our full  trust in Allah, nothing is impossible no matter what!  Zechariah’s story is here

If you enjoy this story, please spread the word and hope. Thank you for taking the time to read this story!!

Dikimt is upon us (cover up yourself)

If you were up early in the morning at around 4-7am and went outside to go to the masjid or simply went to work or a morning run, then you must have noticed that the month of cold had finally arrived.

We have enjoyed an endless time of rainy season like no other wet autumn in the past 12 months. It’s been raining literally everyday for the past 8 months or so. Even the ice rain was pretty unique in the Somali world. However it seems that the weather is making a shift from warm to extremely below a freezing point in early mornings (barden me!) I don’t have the tool to measure and neither does my iPhone tell me that but honestly what I mean below a freezing point isn’t to upset any individual from Iceland or places where -10 degrees are all the time living weather but a way to prove our actual hot weather has changed to a freezing point considerably. 

I can recall Dikimti as being an old name to mean a cool month in Amharic language. This year, it is up for the breeze again. It’s often a time when a bad cold breeze blows out our faces, hands and bodies leaving our skin vulnerable to crack. I’ve been feeling too cold on my entire body as I walked to the Masjid without wearing a jacket this morning. I put on an unzipped hoodie because my thick jacket needed a loundry.

A clear sky with few scattered clouds in central Jigjiga.

In the opposite, the weather gets extremely hotter in the day. High humidity exits till afternoon which my body can’t withstand. The heatwave is 26 degree celsius now which is colder than I should sound but really hot in the real sense. The heat in the morning is accompanied by a strong dusty wind which is very uncomfortable to anyone taking a walk through the town. Dikimt has long been a month associated with low temperatures but as I spent some time in neighboring Somaliland and experienced relatively different weather lately, I may be getting it wrong. 

Covid-19 is a virus we are all familiar with since the beginning of this year. It’s real but the myth about this virus grew much quicker than it’s own reality. you may have heard that the virus is bad in cold climate environments but I’m less scientific on this fact. I only think that because it’s been prevalent in the west, it could have probably been the weather that gave the virus an easy spread. However I’m relating this fact and fantasy to our city, Jigjiga now that if the current weather continues longer than usual, it will allow the virus to spread faster in the community. 

I haven’t been used to living in a place where wet or cold weather was a thing of everyday and that’s why I am complaining about a temperature around a normal scale for many people. Perhaps you are wondering how on earth 26 degree Celsius or 9 could be a weather woes but due to my writing urge, I sometimes exaggerate a bit—I am not alone to this, the world’s most popular papers do too.

I looked at a clear sky and saw a few scattered clouds moving around with my bare eyes and captured two shots. I’m not a good photo taker but at least you saw the sky in our atmosphere. 

Yesterday I made a nice comment at a blog and one of my favorite reading sites, Good morning at Chronicles of an Aglo Swiss and got nice feedback on my poor but growing blogs. It’s a golden oldy mom (I’m stealing this word from the op herself) but this mother as we call aging people here in our culture is real world experience of the things you see online everyday. From her pets, birds, skies, tours and towns, it’s life of its own quality. I made a tag I wasn’t permitted to but I hope it doesn’t offend anyone. I have gotten the chance to learn about a country I haven’t seen. That blog helped me a lot and I need to take the opportunity to thank this special mother! That’s all for me today, I gotta go and take shower to cool myself down.

Have a good day!!

No TukTuk in Jigjiga

I woke up in a ghost city this morning. The streets were deserted. I looked around and every direction I turned was empty. The city’s major transport services are halted again. The order came in mid-last night when the special city police carried out a man-hun search for group gangs who have been disturbing the security of the city recently. reports indicate that Hundreds of youngsters were detained in Jigjiga police station. more others were car-trucked to Godey, Somali state’s second largest city which is 400 miles east of Jigjiga. 

Group gang fights have been on the rise since 2019 onward where violent youngsters split into groups fighting each other with dangerous objects like machetes and sharp knives. Gang rape, stabbing, Robbery and all sorts insecurities became the dominant order of the days forcing police to conduct a city-wide search for gang groups. Last year, Jigjiga violent-crimes protection unit arbafatana have indiscriminately deported hundreds of kids to a far prison in godey accusing them of committing various anti-social crimes. Many families have been separated from their kids and currently have no idea where their children were taken bringing the child rights movement campaign into a light. Police insist that detaining groups mean nothing more than rehabilitation. 

Last month two girls were gang-raped and one of them was later killed by TukTuk drivers. Another Ethiopian girl was raped by a group linked to immigrants. The latest city crimes were highly alarming. The public had expressed a growing concern in certain nowhere to-go scenes linked to gangs whereabouts. The police have been dealing with an excessive amount of crimes in major city streets. Somali state chief security officer made remarks on their operations calling the youth detentions an effort to reduce and end Gang crimes in Jigjiga. 

Hundreds of Jigjigaawis filled the streets of the city waiting for buses but few TukTuks could be spotted causing major delays to people’s work and businesses. You can also read my previous article on Jigjiga transport crises. More communiters are currently stranded at major TukTuk stops in Jigjiga wondering where Bajajs are gone. It’s yet unsure how long we will have to wait until the transport is back but this time around, it seems that they will be kept in police stations for a while. TukTuk is the largest mini transport service working in and around Jigjiga. They are easy to be found everywhere and more quicker than buses which don’t often operate in many places. There are few Public buses working in the city but these buses still charge travellers the same amount of money that should be ridden on Force TukTuks. Jigjiga transport fares have increased by 45% following Covid-19 restrictions. In May, the number of people allowed to take on—six people Force TukTuk was reduced to two persons in the back and one at the front seat where they used to be six in the past. 

It’s yet unclear how long it will take the public to wait until TukTuks drivers are released to the streets and have people’s schedules running again but we only hope the government understands the very real circumstances surrounding people’s transport nightmare. Until I get back to you with another interesting fact on my Jigjiga, I will walk to my one mile home on foot.

Karamardha raod, County 05 at 12:30pm

The state of betrayal

You have heard of the big country of Ethiopia, Right? You probably have visited Ethiopia or to say the least, you may be planning a journey once in your lifetime. If that is on your to-do list, then you chose the right place to experience the beauty of the world again.

By Ahmed A. Abdulahi

Independent blogger at Voices of Somalia 

If you are emotionally too vulnerable to react to sad stories of war, please don’t read this article. It contains some tragically moving lines. 

Ethiopia by history is one the oldest countries in the world dating back centuries before the Arrival of Prophet Mohamed’s صلى الله عليه وسلم companions in Abbyssinia. It’s geopolitical location in the Horn of Africa developed interest in Mediterranean traders And Persian merchants in 1534. The old states of Damat and Punt served as long distance trade hubs between the Mediterraneans and local merchants. The exchange of commodities between overseas merchants served as the primary means of currency and trade items.

 Ethiopia waged a fierce struggle against the European colonial ambitions in the Horn of Africa, successfully defended its mainland territory from the Italian Aggressors. Ethiopia confronted Italians at the battle of Adwa in 1889 forcing Italian mercenaries to retreat. The battle of Adwa not only ended Italian colonial ambitions in the northern parts of the country but later became a symbol of black victory in Africa’s struggle against European colonies. History says that Ethiopia had never been colonized but experts doubt about the credibility of Ethiopian contextual History. Much of Ethiopian history concentrates on the northern frontiers where anti-colonial struggles existed the most but the British had dominated much of the south eastern parts of Ethiopia in what used to be Western Somalia or famously known Hawd Reserved plateau in today’s Somali state of Ethiopia. Much of Ethiopian history focuses on the northern and central parts of the country. A little is mentioned in Ethiopian history textbooks regarding the southeastern part of the country where I was born and Ethiopia’s largest part of its mainland borrowing biases of problems and critics among the popular historians. 

I was born here in Somali state in mid 1994 when this state was neither part of Ethiopia and Somalia. It was a breakaway state illegally claimed and controlled by Ethiopian government for no known legitimate law. The native Somali people of this state had withstood a decade of war against the British rulers who had explored through the region as part of their colonial expansion in Africa. Once the British forces planned to leave the region for its own people, they proposed a dangerous and one of their biggest colonial mistakes which was to unlawfully scede this tiny semi-desert territory to Ethiopia during the reign of Haile Selassie Regime in 1958. This can be referenced to The root causes of the political problems in the Ogaden. Since then, Ethiopia internationally claimed for what could be one-third of the total Somalian landscape—but the region had soon begun a fierce gorilla war against Ethiopian occupation. The main opposition came from the heart of the region’s largest ethnic clan Ogaden National Liberation Front but this wasn’t one clan’s bloody sacrifice rather it later became a national and inclusive internal struggle against the brutal rule of Ethiopian occupation.

The silent Desert story

My mother was born in a conflict-prone area in the heart of clashes in the mainland Ogaden territory where ONLF’s active guerrilla war was the order of the day. She spent her early life witnessing the killings of local villagers by the Ethiopian forces. My mother often told me the tragic stories of war between the ONLF and Ethiopian forces. I once accompanied my mother to a countryside visit deep in the forest of ONLF-administered Hotspots—and a strategic hideout for ONLF fighters. This was our occasional trip to the Miyi (country) with my family during the school breaks. ONLF freedom fighters often lived in the community but they had little trust in being with villagers for long as Ethiopian military would routinely expedite in the forests in search of people they thought were part of the Ogaden liberation fighters.

 One day around 10am in sunny clear sky, my mother saw an inventory unit of Ethiopian paramilitary troops circling around our huts and shacks. My mother who was standing outside the left corner of our house ran back to me as fast as she could in a state of frustration. she quickly dictated me some dos and don’ts; “If a soldier walks into the house and asks you, have you seen any ONLF fighter? Say NO” “Don’t panic or scream!” she added up as though they were about to see me in twenty seconds. In a spare of minutes, They started to come out of the jungle and moved towards us pointing their loaded guns towards everywhere. They were as though they were at a war front.

 I was watching their activities from a narrow pupil-sized hole in a traditional Somali woven piece of collection made up of woven mats, roots of acacia trees and grass branches inside the house where I was hiding in. The closer they got to us, the more my fear grew but I had to stick to my mother’s rule, the big NOs. I felt extremely frustrated and anxious as they headed towards the direction of our houses. My mother stood up in front of the house as I fearfully hid back off. They finally made our house and started their house check-out procedures looking for Men they believed were members of the ONLF fighters. my frustrated mother had formed herself as a wall of protection as they began to enter our house. Usually the military would interrogate the community about potential information about the ONLF before they did anything harmful. 

Typically the Ethiopian military would ask local people on the exact whereabouts of the rebels while scaring them in case they confess anything related to ONLF fighters but the local people had long been part of this intimidation and learned their tactics a lot. I was about ten years old at the time of this anxious moment so I couldn’t be the typical men’s age they were looking for. Literally the Ethiopian force would check in every house they came across looking for men and I was lucky that they hadn’t seen me that day. When they cleared off, I felt like I survived from a potential enemy who could kill me easily. My mother took me back to our town the very next day—but that unforgettable memory of fear was one of the few I can mention here that the people of Western Somali subjected to, for the rest of their life. I can bring up more flashy memories of war if I carry on the stories of my mother but I should stop here by now.

The Era of Truce

So now that you may recall some facts about the Somali state, I want to reflect on how a short moment of peace started to thrive in the areas of conflict for a while not that long before late 2018. In April of  2018, the Ethiopian government had a major political transformation after months of unprecedented nation-wide protests by the country’s largest ethnic population—the Oromo group. Oromo, though they made a struggle similar to that of Somali, at least they were peaceful in many parts of their land but they had also endured a century-old political subjugation and ethnic discrimination. They were killed in numbers and denied their constitutional rights. Oromo people rose up against TPLF rulers and began to protest, block roads, and made road blockades from and into Addis-Ababa, the Ethiopian capital city which ultimately forced Ethiopian prime minister at the time to end his service. This historic incident had created a huge political standoff of who would be the nation’s next premier.

 It took the parliament months to fetch ideas of who would fit in the office but that time around, it wasn’t as easy as they could. At the time, the Oromo struggle continued to reach a new milestone. In March of 2018, the movement entered a crucial tipping point and this time, the government had no time to waste. Pressure from the international community grew. Massive human rights abuses and extensive force on peaceful protests reports unleashed. On April 2, 2018, the Ethiopian House of Representatives assembled a historic meeting that broke a month-long political deadlock of the fighting parts. The HOPR elected an Oromo figure Abey Ahmed who became the new prime minister of Ethiopia for the first time an Oromo leader occupied in the position of PM in centuries. Abey served as an intelligence serviceman in the past governments and his influence on the Ethiopian politics was multidimensional. Abey ended decades-long political hostility between Eritrea and Ethiopia.You can also look at this article of me back in September 2018. Abey also Proposed peace deal to the opposition parties who were in exile across various countries in Europe, America and some parts of Africa and eventually became a footprint to an era of peace in Ethiopia. Abey was shortlisted to the 2020 Nobile peace prize and expectedly awarded to the 2019 Nobile peace laureate becoming the first African leader to have such peace honor. 

My Ethiopia

Peace had slowly prevailed in the country I was born, grew and educated. Life began to return and people’s freedom of speech upheld without interference. to anyone who might have heard of the big Ethiopia, it’s not as pure and homogeneous as you think. Ethiopia is a product of diverse people which make up the big Ethiopia. you might have probably heard and visited the people of South Sudan, Eritrea, Sudanise, Somalis and Afar. These diverse ethnic groups added up all together are what Ethiopia represents. a combination of different ethnic groups in Ethiopia not only needs constitutional equalities but also requires settling a varying conflicts of resource, beliefs and opinions. 

Being a Somali origin, I often felt strange in the country I was born and educated not because I was 100% Somali but it was because we (Somali state) people often not treated as equal as other Ethiopian groups. We were underprivileged and underrepresented. our constitutional rights as other nations had not been prioritized and given an equal worth either. My story of being Ethiopia was always full of self-doubts but this is not my gratitude to this beautiful country of Ethiopia. rather it’s what I believed, experienced and often thought in school. Our Somali is better than before and as we continue to speak up for ourselves, our demand for justice will determine the fate of our Somali identity. I feel proud to have been part of the Somali state fight for justice for a long time in a harsh political climate and I will be part of the movement as well. This article is nothing more than my take on how I perceived my own identity, where I discovered my sense of being me and where our future as Somali state people lie in the midst of an unprecedented major political shift in Ethiopia. I pray that this country of Ethiopia will prosper and follow a peaceful path.