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
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
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:
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!!