Final instructions are out, and they are decisive and crystal clear. No questions and further clarifications will be entertained: Elections are taking place in Mogadishu in the month of August 2011. Arguments and pleas for another date will be ignored and relegated, as the organizing authorities will have no patience for such audacity! This decision is set in stone! Do you hear?
So, folks, get ready to exercise your voting rights! But wait—not every Somali will vote. Some will, most will not. Who makes that decision, though? Unfortunately, it is too late for anybody to raise such a question now. You have all renounced, in unambiguous terms, your God-given right to be free and make decisions about the future of what was once our nation. You decided to seek help from others in far off lands—so far away from your mother’s country! So, these are some of the consequences of your past decisions. You cannot go back now! Rest assured though, much more serious events are yet to come!
In the month of August this year, which incidentally and ironically coincides with the Holy month of Ramadan, politicians in and around Mogadishu, Nairobi and other cities around the world will converge and slug it out for the positions of President and Parliamentarians to govern “Somalia”. They will be doing so right on top of the corpses of the dead, in the face of the tears of malnourished children, and the woes of mothers who have lost everything in what was once a great city. These elections will occur in a now dilapidated city with a wailing and desperate populace, where, I understand, vultures start congregating at dusk to feast on the rotting dead bodies resulting from the daily fights. Alas, Mogadishu, alas! What a fate indeed.
Allow me to share with you a few of my own memories about Mogadishu. During the early months of 1971, our expatriate teacher—a Polish woman—visited Mogadishu and she returned to Hargeisa stunned with the beauty, cleanliness, peace, and breathtakingly breezy weather along the beaches of this city. I vividly remember her strong verbal and facial expressions, and with a very heavy Polish accent, she said, “Mogadishu is spotless and very clean! very clean!” This description was immediately followed by the release of the artistically evocative song by Hibo Mohamed Hoddoon(1), entitled Ma ogtihiin Magaalada Moqdishaynnu Joognaa. I confirmed these tales of the marvelous city of Mogadishu myself during my first visit in late 1975.
I look at images of Mogadishu today through televisions and documentaries bearing glaring scars everywhere, and I can hardly retain my tears. It feels like an eternal nightmare that one hopes to wake up from one day. My heart goes out to this city, the historical structures, and the valuable memories destroyed for nothing and—more importantly—the mothers, their children, as well as the old and weak who continue to suffer immensely on a daily basis for reasons unbeknownst to them. Of course, Hargeisa has also had more than its own share of abuse and mayhem, but it is today a thriving and peaceful city. Many lessons can be learned from Hargeisa’s experience and the process that led to its recovery.
Before I invite you to read the lyrics of my two songs, I will take the liberty to recall the moving words of the great and prolific poet, Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame “Hadraawi” in his jiifto Heego muuqdheer, in which he concludes:
Hadhow iyo mooyi hawlo dambbee
Horjogaagu heello igu dhali
Waxaan hidiyaaba waa hees
Ku hoyo nabad heego muuqdheer
Since my job takes me to many countries—mostly in Africa, but elsewhere as well—I cannot help but recall the times in my past that were, never were, and may never have been. Verses of lyrics by great Somali men and women about the country that was the Republic of Somalia keep lingering in my mind. The following just came to mind:
Somalaay Giddigiin intaad guddideen
A good question indeed! The artist that sang this was either Habboon Abdullahi or Dalays (correct me if I am wrong) and if you can ever find the lyrics online, I would be ever grateful to have a copy. This song must be used as the background song to many Somali occasions and functions! I cannot tell you who the author was but these are definitely moving and rather poignant words.
Another song that comes to mind was performed by Hassan Derie. However, I do not recall who the author of these lyrics was:
Dhulku waa barwaqoo,
Bilcilkoo caleen liyo
You must agree with me that these words have strong elements of truth in them. Let us all hope that there are still Somalis who agree with these words and think alike.
There are many more songs like these gushing through my head, but I would not wish to derail the intention of this note, in which I basically want to covey and share with you, my dear friends, my own thoughts about the current lamentable affairs of the members of the Somali tribe.
Heestii Moogoow Soomaalidu waa mashruuc!!
This song speaks to every ethnic Somali individual who has an iota of conscience and a sense of patriotism, regardless of his/her political persuasion, region of origin, and country (ies) that he/she calls home. It seeks to postulate the view that the Somali tribe, as a block of people with a common destiny, is in danger of annihilation. Furthermore, it seeks to convey the conviction of the author that unless something drastic is done—and done quickly—ethnic Somalis, as a viable African tribe that was once one of the major tribes on the continent, is coming to a painful and inevitable extermination! The tribe has already started melting away into other countries and will soon be forced to serve the needs and whims of other African tribes. The signs are staggeringly unequivocal. Those of you who wish to argue to the contrary may do so at your own risk.
This piece has been prepared for posterity to judge. This song addresses Mooge (a person who is unaware):
Heestii Carruurta Ilmada ka bi'i
This second song is centered around two main physical locations in and around Mogadishu: Bakaaraha and Ceelasha Biyaha. It also makes a reference to what happens to innocent people and their possessions in and around these two locations. It originates from a recent scene where a newscaster captured in video a very young boy around Ceelasha Biyaha. This is the place where the weak and the dispossessed take refuge when their homes in the Bakaaraha are bombarded and pillaged.
I hope you enjoyed the songs and context
Abdirahman Beileh PhD
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