Here we go again! (ma xusuusan tahay?.. ma dhammaado wakhtigaad soo dhaweysataaye, dheeraa, dheeraa, dheeraa muddadu).
During a coffee break in one African conference that I attended, I shared a table with few colleagues including two senior officials from two African Countries, Dr. Bakwald Jameson (I call him “Ina James”) and Mrs. Ardouina Louis ( I call her “ Ardo” : “So, Mr. ADB”, says Bakwald, “what can the Bank do for us”? … “we need funds”. Then, the lady seated next to him, Ardouina, asks in a raised voice, “by the way, where are you from Doc?”. She volunteered to answer her own question. With a number of wrong attempts, she gives up and yields to her colleague, Bakwald, who is from another African country to give it a try! He too was unsuccessful to place me. I came to their rescue and told them with confidence “I am from Somalia”. After a visible but momentary lull in the discussion, she hastened to correct me and said “what was Somalia!” . “ OK! What is your point?”, Bakwald asks. That is not a very positive statement, I thought to myself, and as I was about to provide a mild response, Mr. Jameson takes the parole and recalls, though sheepishly, what he called the Somalia of the past which he thought was a great country among African nations but how, all of a sudden, it has disappeared from the scene. As he was making this statement, he had this look on his face of inviting me to make a comment on what he was saying. I am used to this sort of discussion and comments and I was willing to provide a short but evasive response. But before doing so, Ardo comes back with even more unnerving statements. She says: “I understand that, whatever it was in the past, this country has now broken down into many Lands. This land, that land, the other land and so on, and the biggest among the Lands has just decided to become part of country X… this is better for them instead of the continuous infighting and the mayhem. Won’t you say Dr. Beileh” she had the nerve to exclaim!.
I listened to this torturous diatribe with a churning sensation in my stomach. But I knew I was constrained by the atmosphere of diplomacy in this gathering and as I was not there to represent any government or specific group of people, I could not be courageous enough to do justice to the issues she raised. I have lived with a diplomatic and general response. As I listened her talk, I went back deep into my memory and remembered all the songs, poems, speeches and even down right funds, that we, poor Somalis, gave to her country to get them liberated. All that effort! and she has the audacity to make such malicious and humiliating statements about a brotherly African country that is going though trying times! “What a nerve” I thought to myself.
In response to her, I mumbled trying to conceal my burning anger inside me. I reminded, in the most diplomatic terms possible, about the specific effort that Somalia put in for their respective countries to gain the independence they are enjoying today. I recalled about some of the speeches of high Somalia Government officials in the 70s and 80s talking about their issues and outlining ways to liberate them from colonialism. I quoted and tried to translate for them the songs of Waaberi, Mohamed Suleiman, Hassan Aden Samatar, Magool and others galvanizing the rest of Africa and the Somali people to be ready for a war to liberate them. At the end, I think I succeeded to make them feel ungrateful for what others did for them.
The gist of the story is that the Somalis have done a lot for the struggle of other Africans to gain independence. In fact, we have always been keen to go to some other people’s lands and “liberating” them like some sort of a messiah sent to save humanity, leaving our own affairs in tatters . In addition to the songs, you would all recall many other very emotional poems about Ahmed Siaka Toure of Guinea, Kwami Nkrouma, of Ghana. Jamal Abdou Nasser, the Palestine, the Arab plight, and in support of places as far away as North Korea, Philippines, Cuba, and Cambodia! Believe it?
What good did all this do for us in our hour of dire need? None whatsoever! I had the opportunity of visiting most of these countries, and let me assure you, folks, a great majority of the populations of these countries cannot tell you where Somalia is, let alone assisting you. Even the closest ones have let us down and the history is clear on this. To make matters worse, we do not learn from it. You still see Somalis talking about liberating others. We never get it!? Somalia has been dumped literally, and no one cares if it decided to self-destruct itself out of existence. In fact, some would be more than ready and willing to give the Somalis the ammunition to do so in the quickest manner possible. If you look all around Africa and ponder on those countries that had been through similar challenges, you would be amazed to note the magnitude of support they received from the international community and their respective brethren countries to help them resolve all difficulties until countries were brought to peace and stability.
Let me come to the point and to the conversation I had with Ardouine in the following Affarrey
Here it is:
Heestii Ardo: Dr. Beileh iyo Ardouina
Mar baa waxa jiray Ardooy
Sidaad ereyada u tidhi
Runtuna waxy aaddan tahay
Intaad aflgaado iyo
Runituna waxa aaddan tahay
Runtuna waxay addan tahay
Runtuna waxay aaddan tahay
Haddeerna ma iilannoo
Ardooy adiguna i maqal
Ka shub, (you….xxxxx) !!!
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