Saturday, February 16, 2019
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On Somali women, Violence and their suffering

By Abdiwahab M. Ali

Events related to the AMISOM’s recent brutal act of assault against Somali women in Muqdisho forced me to think about the non-stop violence against Somali women.

AmisomWith their arrival, says Chinua Achebe’s book “there was a country-personal history of Biafran”, came the horrendous stories of nurses and local women being raped and violated in unthinkable ways, so for the Somali women.

This-also reminded me of dreadful, non-fictional story that has happened to young Somali women who had migrated to abroad.

It was July of 2014. I was going to Addis Ababa for an excursion, having booked an early flight from Ethiopian Airlines. Getting inside the airplane, my eyes stumbled across Fiasa, an ex-neighbour.

After an interesting chinwag, our conversation, eventually, ended up on the recent dramatic rise of youth migration, those purveyors of death.

While hearkening to Faisa’s words of wisdom, a lofty man who was sitting behind me patted my back.

“Excuse me please, are you both Somalis?” asked the man, authoritatively, in broken English.

“Yes”, we responded in unison.

There, the man kicked-off a lecture on ethics and citizen responsibilities, problems of tribalism, and a great deal of mumbo jumbo talk.

“I wonder why you people kill and hate each other,” addressed the intruder, “Sorry, if I have interjected your tête-à-tête, call me Sergy.” He was from Ukraine, a UN staff based in Somalia.

This was not the only time I have met foreigners who attack us-Somalis-as a bunch of quarrelsome, divisive, clannish, and pugnacious people who can’t build their own country in peace. Some even go further claiming the country’s instability is due to foreign intervention. Unfortunately, it is the Somalis who are fully responsible for their country’s state of affairs.

Faisa felt the same like me; too many aliens, interfering our national affairs and each prescribing unsolicited advices.

I have No future

“This is how the horrifying story of the young girl started” “Faisa told

Hawa*, 19, angelic, alluring, is like a statue of Venus coming to life. This pulchritudinous, little girl began her “journey of hope” from Somalia to Ethiopia, then to Sudan. With each place experiencing new situations and circumstances; Stowaways, bruises, storms, floods, weariness, to name a few.

Hawa was among a total of 11 Somalis; 2 women and 9 men. Libya was their “hell-on-the-earth”. Band of robbers took all their little belongings. They had no hope but go forward. Alas, the kingpin of the mercenaries stuck a finger on poor Hawa’s chest, ordered her to make a separate line. She protested, but the big-man explained that he had “special-business with the girl!” Almost all her Somali colleagues knew what was coming next.

Surprisingly, and on that very spot, one of her Somali fellows, perhaps their self-proclaimed leader, growled: “That girl is the odd-one out, she is from wrong clan”. Hearing that, another man raised his hand and volunteered to kick the man, while still talking.

Inter-group fighting started. Countless Kicks, boxes, slaps ensued. Libyan robbers were looking the spectacular drama, just like people watching chess-boxing

Somalis had left from one war zone, only to start another war; but this time in foreign soil.

Ultimately, the Libyans pulled the trigger, injuring one Somali. “Everyone do what you can to escape” said Hawa.

From the eyes of her captives, Hawa realized that her dilemma brought her the end of her life.

“Come and undress yourself”, ordered one the mercenaries.

Hawa’s was caught in a quandary: run, plead, or take no action. .

She felt lonely and betrayed by her fellow countrymen who abandoned her. Now, she was her against 6 well-armed gangs.

Then, immediately, someone grabbed her neck and forcefully undressed her. She protested and shrieked and vowed not to let them rape her, no matter the consequence.

The assailants left her unconscious. She woke up afterwards distressed, dishevelled, and traumatized; not even knowing whether it was a day or night.

“I have lost my virginity and womanhood; I have no future, I hate Somalis and their clannish and stupid way of thinking. Beware of migration.” These were her final words.

“That was February 2012, she disappeared from my chatting list, just like a light gone far away,” concluded Faisa. ”-it was the first and last time I saw Hawa, my Relative.

For every word Faisa said, tears were pouring down from her shinning eyes. She was unable to control her emotions that, she finally cried to the point all the passengers were rudely interrupted by her weeping.

I remember the Ukrainian acquaintance leaning forward to help Faisa stop her crying.

Ah! I sympathy for the poor Somali women; those bear children, feed them, while their husbands are engaged in a nonsense war and “fadhi-ku-dirir.”; My heart goes for those Somali women who go to AMISOM bases for food, only to encounter an interpreter seducing them to sleep with African soldiers; those, like Hawa, who planned to migrate to Europe only to see their fellow Somalis dashing their hopes, here, there and everywhere.

Then, I thought for a while and asked myself: what if there were a strong Somali government, what if there was no fighting; what if there are visionary leaders that promote national pride and interests than their own little interests. ,

But, I am optimistic that, perhaps, things will get better sooner than later.

*not her really name

Abdiwahab M. Ali
Email:[email protected] 


Abdiwahab M. Ali is a freelance writer and social commentator. Fellow@Waberijr.

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