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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hargeisa water supply will no longer be a conundrum

It was a sunny day at around 13 hours Hargeisa local time. The temperature was far beyond bearable as a result of scorching sun in the mid of a clear day. During these hours pet animals even seek shelter to escape from the heat of the sun, let alone a human soul. I was at the wheel on my way home when I incidentally set my eyes on a mother holding bunches of both empty and filled or half-filed five liter-sized plastic Jerry cans in her hands.  My brain instantly helped me address about the mother’s job to be a milk seller__ not at a single static kiosk but just moving on foot across the width of her neighborhoods and by using her modest voice to bring her potential buyers’ attention towards her presence with a fresh milk. My brain waves further immobilized all my feelings towards assessing curiously the kind of message her physical status sending not only to me but to every human__ capable of thinking about others’ lives. Absolutely exhausted; but under her personal or familial circumstances, still robust and moving. Within fractions of a second, the mother called a man standing at a door-step of a shop roughly 50 meters away from her and requested him drive his water-tanker-mounted-vehicle to her house and fetch a drinking water.

 A bigger feeling suddenly struck in me again__ just asking myself how this woman was suffering from the reality in which her right to access clean water was long in between big questions marks. Tough times never last but tough people do (Robert H. Schuller).Owing to my personal evaluation; the mother was seemingly tough, wise and responsible as she has presumably taken the hot seat to be the bread winner for her family in the absence of her husband, either by death or otherwise or under the shadow of addiction-driven-irresponsibility behavior that molds differently the lives of many Somali families in and around the world. Yet, a bitter feeling embittered me a lot knowing the cost of such water is quite burden on her and everyone in her peers. It enormously affected me beyond words as such cost of one barrel of water (roughly 2.00 USD) is not onetime cost but recurring for her family 24/7 and 365 days of the year. In other words, such cost is great burden vis-à-vis the meagre income she generates from the sale of milk daily.

 Hargeisa is a city with unique qualities; the city rests in a beautiful mountainous landscape; residentially expanded and abundantly populated as well. It’s a city on a course of embracing its multicultural demographics by just transforming from exclusive homogeneous inhabitants to cosmopolitan. Unlike many other cities in Somaliland, it’s simple to see many expatriate communities who are running with their lives freely in Hargeisa today. The city’s water infrastructure, which is deeply dilapidated, was built by the Chinese in the early 1970s, just to serve the inhabitants of that time roughly 200,000 people only. The water system of the city had suffered the damages so reached by the wars resulted the dethronement of the authoritarian regime of Siad Barre.

Hargeisa water scarcity had never been attributed to low volume levels what so ever, but apparent negligence and mismanagement in great deals. No tangible expansion was made with the city’s major water infrastructure by the former Somaliland administrations either; whilst huge sums in the form of donations from the international donors are said to have had mysteriously been disappeared into the hands of the corruption ridden individuals/institutions.

According to 2008 EU-funded study on Hargeisa Urban Water Supply Upgrading Project (HUWSUP), by UN-Habitat and in the partnership with the Hargeisa Water Agency and the then Somaliland Ministry of Mining, Energy and Water Resources (now separated into two full-fledged ministries). The European Union has generously granted 15 million EUR from the European Development Fund to help alleviate the city’s long problems on clean and portable water. This huge capital underlying project was said to have been subjected to a timeframe of roughly 40 long months of construction and capacity building and would hopefully be ready to deliver by mid or late 2016.
HUWSUP will build a new pipeline network, and revamp and improve pumping capabilities. In addition, HUWSUP will rehabilitate old water boreholes, and drill new water boreholes so as to further develop Hargeisa’s current water system, and expand the water sustainability.

Water shortage is not common for the city’s neighborhoods as mostly the northern and some parts in the middle neighborhoods enjoy the blessings of the old water-lines, whereas, mostly the southern, eastern and parts in the western of the city do not sooth their thirst with a single drop came in through the ordinary water-taps!! Unlike the former Somaliland administrations since its birth, the incumbent administration has taken a different policy with regard to the in betterment of the city-water-supply by simply taking advantages of similar donations given by the UAE patronages. UAE funded project on water explorations and drilling new wells in 2008-09 was behind the boreholes in the Humbo-wayne area in Hargeisa outskirts. These new water discoveries would come through the most viable road map to mainly two big under construction reservoirs with the latest know-how and is aimed at serving water for parts of the middle, eastern, southern and southwestern neighborhoods of the city. Both the EU & UAE funded projects were in progress to meet their objectives amid tentative hindrances by interest-oriented challenges and sabotages of both individuals and tribal disguises.

Hargeisa principal water-supply-system “a quite long conundrum” seems to be eventually answered by action not by words any more. People of the city are eagerly waiting to equally enjoy one day with the most precious natural resource in their homeland (the water). The mother with the milk in the streets would hopefully divert much of her daily expenses on water to the saving-box of her family.

Khadar Hanan
Doha, Qatar. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SOMALI WOMEN ABUSED IN AU CAMPS SUFFER IN SILENCE


Somalia had perfectly conformed to a sinister road map drawn by some exogenous powers using her frontline neighbors with other African countries as their mere Trojan-horse to accomplish their consciously architected plots against the Somali people and they really succeeded it. The thousands of AMISOM troops deployed to Somalia under the name of “UN backed African Union peace-keeping mission” have like Black-water agendas to execute, arrest, intimidate, rape and steal as much wealth as they can. Their hidden agenda is to disintegrate further the Somali people state and social wise, turn against each other among themselves, compartmentalize and later on balkanize the entire country into small puppet territories, so that dictate to every small part in the way fits in their both common and individual interests . Their mission is apparently too dire savagery in disguise and far beyond humanitarian mission.

The endless whole sale and retail topsy-turvydom in Somalia have caused the people suffer from horrible crimes committed by their collective savages viz. government soldiers, African troops and Terrorist out fits. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report released in Nairobi recently on how the so-called African Peace Keeping Mission abuses with impunity the very venerable women who enter their military-facilities for seeking medical help or fetch drinking water __ hurts a lot not only every compatriot, but the very essence of human consciousness.  Crimes being committed by such armed strangers within the existence of all weak yet corruption ridden institutions that forms the Somali government headed by President Hassan Sheikh.  If African Union enjoys the power loop wholes of its host nation and feel it like a congenial atmosphere to work in; history would never exonerate them and the lost accountability would one day be materialized in the face of justice. Furthermore, it would be a shameful amulet that would keep hanging from the neck of President Hassan Sheikh and his government officials; it would as well remain a social disgrace amongst the entire nation whose actions bread the seeds that germinate the endless vicious-cycle in the country. 

The African Mission’s carnivorous troop actions manifest the vacuum of neither strong military code of conduct from within nor external regulations imposed by the Somali government. The chain of invasions orchestrated by exorbitant powers of similar types on Somalia since the genesis of her implosion in 1991__ had been committing almost the same fashion of abuses amongst the Somali people. All the different crimes so committed differently by Somali different invaders since then, remain not apprehended and the incurable deep wounds so reached the Somali impoverished people still bleeds from inside. This is because, apart from feared social stigma reprisals; the Somali strong yet conservative culture have instigated into the hearts of thousands of raped women to omit their ordeals; forced them accept to live with the physical and psychological scars reached by the heinous abuses against them. Thousands of tortured innocent civilians accepted to live with their pain without fear; yet thousands of war disabled, orphans and widows had accepted the reality to live with such conditions never pleases a living soul to bear.

The HRW group have mentioned in their report that very young girls below the age of 15 are among the victims of this inhuman crimes. Some of the victims are said to have even contracted with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from their abusers. The heart agonizing feeling is on how these internally displaced people (IDP) especially women had become a defenseless prey for such foreign cannibals within their very unfortunate homelands.  Burundian and Ugandan solders are said to have been the culprits of all the abuses so far recorded, however, the military basis of the other forces on the similar mission__ viz. Kenyan, Djiboutian and Sierra Leon was difficult to be penetrated, but believed to have had the same abuses done in their premises as well (the report adds).  All these systematic crimes against the priceless Somali women were neither a Stockholm syndrome nor a choice less sale of their bodies per se, but a deliberate force to degrade further the already depleted pride of the Somali people at large and in particular our women.   

The other nerve-racking issue is that, all the ugly-missions’ soldiers enjoy with the blessings of the exclusive jurisdictions by their root-countries and no strictly monitored external disciplinary guidelines were ever placed in the best interest of the protection of any potential wrong doings against the Somali people. 

Where things have gone wrong?

It is certain phenomena that once foreign troops are dispatched to a foreign country with either politically motivated or humanitarian mission, they virtually commit to crimes against humanity. Just glance back at what NATO, UN and US missions have done with the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, and many other countries out of their jurisdictions. Most crimes committed by combined forces of NATO and US are by drone bombardments on the civilian cities targeting individuals whom they have concerns in their so-called war on terror. To see troops with a clean sheet would be very unlikely if not impossible because it is perhaps a psycho driven action and counter reaction in the absence of noble self-restraint. UN, NATO and US led troops, however, have their own combat-code-of-conducts in place with respect of their soldiers’ extra judicial crimes. It’s hard to be digested fact, that the AMISOM mission in Somalia lacks any common curbs on their loathsome behavior with their absolutely unprotected people.

A thoroughly investigation of these crimes is wisely acceptable to be undertaken as being hinted by the AU officers, but again those who are responsible to check and monitor the genuine process are the officers of the same mission. This is like a thief entrusted to judge a theft-case in which he was involved.  Would he judge justly? The answer is NO.  

Government merry-go-round

Power hunger, bureaucratism, tribalism, opportunism and corruption etc. are the only commodities that are widely traded well within the government in Mogadishu. The bureaucratic MPs who represent the needy people are made like voting machines in the influence of whoever bid to tap the power steering to drive the nation.  Notwithstanding, cabinet ministers are transformed to external stooges implementing commands given by the above said extraneous powers. Imagine why every new prime minister appointed and the incumbent president often have immediate loggerheads that would prompt untimely legislative meetings to redress the portfolio they have already ratified. Why such misunderstanding often arises between two intimate friends who came forward together to serve their ruined nation? Why? Why? 

On the other hand, stray government soldiers feel no sympathy for their exposed people either, owing to the fact that many of them are challenging with undiagnosed trauma inflicted by the long-standing hostilities of every scale. Many more of them are trained by the abusers in their countries and programmed with the same versions of abominate ideologies; where as many others have slipped into the whim of the extremism by giving them an audacious help to act against the nation and the government.    

Politicians often believe in that the ends would justify the means; all campaign rhetoric often fades away soon as they fit their self into the seats. But their words would never deplete from the hearts of the cheated nation. Surely, all the abuses against our brethren are happening in the absence of strong and just governance. Still Somalis are people in search for the right leaders and a country in search for the right people”.

May ALLAAH SWT guide the Somali people to the righteous bath and the wisdom to know the stake they have in their future. 

By: Khadar Hanan
Doha, Qatar.






Monday, May 26, 2014

Every drop of blood spilled from the Somalis in Kenya would REALLY mark a bold spot in the book of modern history.


The so-called shifta war during 1963-67 in the 20th century which had caused the loss of lives of thousands of innocent but defenseless people and confiscations of hundreds of thousands of livestock was far from over, yet it has merely taken a new but deceitful scale of modern skullduggery. Let’s glance back at the history, ethnic Somalis in the Northern Frontier District (NFD) were axed from the Jubaland region in the southern Somalia in 1925 by the British colonials as they had concur this fertile territory with the immense gift of nature and resources. The British ceded the north as a hard pay-cheque to the Italian in return to what presumably had been the price they had paid in lining up with the British in the World War One. What was left behind, “the southern part of the said region had been rebranded as NFD (todays Northeastern Province) and annexed to Kenya by the British Colonial Administration”. It is Kenya’s third largest region borders Somalia in the north, exclusively and sparsely domiciled by ethnic Somalis.

In 1960s as the Somali nationalistic waves engulfed across the horn of Africa to form a ban Somali government (inclusive of all five Somalis viz; the present Somaliland, Somalia (south), NFD, Somali people in the eastern state of Ethiopia and the Republic of Djibouti). Such patriotism driven force with the anticipative dream to breath in the breeze of freedom in their own lands had shortly been faded away after the Somali right-of-self-determination was deceptively taken by their oppressor (The British). Just try to shed some more light on this; we are talking about the Somali people prior to quarters of a century, who almost had no professional doctor, no professor, no engineer, no charismatic political leader and in toto no civilization rather than tribal war tactics. In contrast, they lived with dignity and pride fostered by a well-founded culture, which would prohibit them became jackals for their enemy and smear themselves with such stigmas on the faces of many Somali politicians of all walks today. They accompanied with such strong culture that breaches to prefer death over slavery, straggle over humiliation and hunger over handouts. In a nut shell, a noble culture that would prohibit them did much of our today’s business as usual.

As the history narrates, the real focus of the British policy on the region was about to bring all Somali territories under one administrative roof belongs to Somalis at large, but this has drastically taken a U-turn shortly after when Somaliland was granted its full-fledged independence by the British on 26 June 1960. The NFD was granted to Kenya far beyond a formal plebiscite expressly depicting the collective choice of the ethnic people in the region. The faith of the Somalis in NFD had further doomed when Kenya was too granted its independence roughly three years after Somalia on August 1963.  This is because; Kenya had apparently refused to give up this land to the Somalis and their common oppressor had had the biggest hand in glove with this plot against Somalis. 

It was neither adoration nor naturalization based temptations, but a trial to legitimize the annexation of such lands to the territory in their jurisdictions to enjoy with the wealth and promise that this land held in a store. In the same year infamous uprising forged by the Kenya-Somalis had inevitably begun using anything that could amount to be a weapon. To accomplish their job; Kenya had engaged in a disproportionate force with the people, massacred unrecorded number, turned their ancestral lands into concentration camps, deprived them from the very basics of livelihood, death from starvation, torture of every scale, rampant rapes and confiscation of enormous number of Somali livestock. That gloomy era was sealed off with a deal between Somalia (the backbone of the revolt) and Kenya brokered by the government in Darussalam (Tanzania) in the year 1967. A delegation led by the prime minister of Somalia Mr. Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal was sent to sign the ceasefire accord.  This deal had undermined the armed revolt,  helped Kenya retained the firm control over the region and transformed the long standing primary pastoralist transhumant-lifestyle into more static secondary Villagizations, impoverishing the people by killing and taking their only wealth in hand (the livestock).  Despite a sporadic banditry the faith of that straggle had no choice but ended up to surrender.  This had dropped a no choice sense of stability across the NFD region, and dressed up both the physical and psychological scars. The question is, thought the wounds were dressed up__ are they really healed?


Right from the late 1970 till early 1980s_ different atrocities were unfolded that prompted the occurrence of the one of the worst collective punishment in the region’s history, “the Wallaga pogroms” in which thousands more ethnic-Somalis were systematically killed and raped in response to what Kenyan government mentioned the execution of four Kenyan officers by unknown armed bandits.  A heinous crime against humanity which Kenya still enjoys not apprehended in the eyes of the contemporary world, whereas today many Kenyan top officials are under the world’s microscope for the crimes they have committed during the postelection bloody violence in 2007-08.  


On 29 January 1991; the genesis of Somalia showdown

Roughly, ten years old armed rebellion hails from some major clans have collectively succeeded the ultimate derailment of the military government headed by Siad Barre (the hardline dictator). All the armed opposition groups are said to have had a common goal congruence, just to remove the dictator from the helm and proceed to building a stronger and more inclusive government. Soon after Siad Barre was ousted; Somalia had slipped into a vicious circle, unleashed the entire country specially the “South” into an even darker era which still counts its aging years for more than two decades and on (it’s more than the tenure of Siad Barre). Civil wars coupled with starvations, diseases, warlordism, terrorism, regional and international interventions, have collectively undersigned the death certificate of hundreds of thousands of Somali people. This had eventually triggered a huge exodus to the neighboring countries and the other world as well both by land and sea, just seeking shelter to refuge from the conflagration in their homeland.  Hundreds of thousands of them made their ways crossed into Kenya. The refugees initially drew a warm welcome and friendly hospitality from the Kenyan government and people with sing boards written a short phrase (Kenya Hakuna Matata) which translates “in Kenya there is no problem”. In turn, Kenya has benefited and booked billions of dollars from the hand it had stretched out to these needy people in terms of employment and investment etc.

Refugee Status permutations

Somali people are said to be very good at making business and this had caused many of them move from the refugee camps to the mega cities in an attempt to grab their share and transform their living conditions. Nairobi one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities hosted Somalis both the refugees and the citizens in the same corner. Eastleigh neighborhood known as the “little Mogadishu” turned into almost an exclusively Somali inhabitant area of the city; businesses flourished, opportunities blossomed and the sky seemed the potential limit for their success stories.  Kenya’s failure in understanding that there are inextricably strong ties of blood and culture between her ethnic Somalis and those from Somalia, has also failed to draw a line between her people and the refugees, all are painted by the same brush and all are heavily paying the price of what their government imported from abroad (Somalia).

Somalis in Nairobi have injected millions of dollars into the country’s economy; created thousands if not hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the locals; pay tax with integrity and contribute to the national fiscal-policy. All those revenue flowed out from their pockets had never bounced back from the government’s treasury even to the least percentage to develop health, education and infrastructure for the under privileged shabby corner contained with the Somalis. Despite depraving all these necessities; Eastleigh progressed into a ghetto of great abundance and hope for the Somalis, but for the Kenyans as God’s gift to wait and closely watch with eagerly eyes.

In October 2011 Kenyan forces have crossed into Somalia to fight with Al-shabab in the pretext of protecting their nation. Protection has turned into a severe retribution in which Al-shabab vowed to repatriate the outcome of Kenya’s invasion back to their homes.  Kenyan people have largely experienced a wave of attacks including the siege of Nairobi Mall on late of September last year, in which scores of innocent people have lost their lives. Though, many Kenyans similarly believe this as the consequence of their government’s invasion_ again many others do believe that Somalis in their towns are part of the problem. This is why every Somali in Kenya’s big cities senses the heat of an untimely backlash.  President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech on the eve of the West Gate Mall siege has in fact dosed any potential flames of backlash and sent cables of tolerance and co-existence across the nation. It has dropped a positive message into the hearts and minds of many Somalis that they owe the country a lot more beyond they thought. To everyone’s astonishment, the president’s message-tone was different from the script it was written. Early in April last month, Somalis in Nairobi woke up in a different morning; a huge raid on their residents and businesses, detentions without trials and deportations back to the lands they have lost in hostilities in which Kenya had become a part. Much of their wealth has been destroyed, forcefully confiscated and much more disappeared into the best interest of the relentless watchful eyes we have inked above.  This crackdown against Somalis is happening every single minute we pass by and still has invited no firm outcry or concern from the international community.

Make no mistakes!!! The amnesty of Somalis in Kenya is growing weaker and weaker in the hands of their own government, the sign boards were eroded and never repainted, the welcome phrase was replaced by a silent abominate. Hate graphs are on the rise amongst the nation, the finger is on the trigger, the hateful hands are reaching out capable weapons of all kinds, simply waiting for a sinister command to do.  

But the history would REALLY judge, mark bold and unchanged in the book of modern history.


By: Khadar Hanan

Date: 25-05-2014

E-mail: Khadarhanan@gmail.com

Doha, Qatar.




Friday, July 12, 2013

Arabian Shisha Addiction; the hidden Scythe for Deforestations in Somalia

Kismanyo, a small city with a very small population strategically rests on the peninsula of the Indian Ocean coast in the lower juba state in Southern Somalia. Kismanyo corridor, which was built in the early 1960s for Somali-navies, today acts as a key business causeway between Somalia, the gulf and the east African countries.  After the collapse of the central government of Somalia, this resourceful town had unfortunately fallen into the hands of various malicious headed by some of the most notorious warlords before the up to date Kenyan backed forces who took the control from Islamist sect “Alshabab”.  This town had since became one of the worst gateways for Somali natural resources outflow, where much of the intangible wealth had been shipped away, like mammalian-livestock and the living trees. 

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The climate deteriorations have touched the world at large, but the western countries in particular. Kyoto Protocol was therefore held in Japan on 11 December 1997 and came into force on February 2005, where several unanimously agreed pre-emptive measures were made. Many prominent countries worldwide were the official signatories of this environmental pact, as it has invited a contentious ecological, economic and political argument among the world’s industrialized countries whose major concern was seeking a mutual policy on cutting the green-house-emissions in an attempt to promote a healthy green environment for better living conditions.
According to the National geography forests only cover 30 percent of the world’s land area, but widths of the swath in miles are lost in every single day by the hands of modern sinister business mongers. The world’s rain forests could completely vanish during this century at the current rate of deforestation proportionately.
 Prior to the colonial land border demarcations, Somali people who are one of the largest ethnic societies that occupies much of the lands in the eastern part of the African continent were livestock herders, artisans and agro-pastoral societies as well. Even more than half of the current Somali population in today’s contemporary world belongs to the same conventional life-style, enjoying with the nature in their terrestrial strata. Remember, the recent famine in some parts of the south-Somalia that terribly invited international media attentions was due to the pro-longed draughts, the underlying cause of which was attributed to the meager rainfalls and loss of the rainy forests by the hands of the mindless loggers. The said draughts have also driven many people from their territorial lands to a shanty refugee camps temporarily built in Mogadishu suburbs, still severing and exposed to an endless abuses.

USA on Somali charcoal imports:
A UN resolution on the ban of commercializing the territorial animals and trees was adopted in the year 1975 by its members__ provided there should be a legal license formally issued by a legitimate government.  Furthermore, two decrees numbered 20 and 27 issued by the last government of Somalia in the years 1967 and 1969 respectively__ were due to nix all exportations of mammalian animals and the charcoal. As there was no a functioning Somali central government for the past two decades the above said pact and decrees had dramatically disappeared, lawlessness and chaos taken the lead.  Today’s international outcry on Somali charcoal exports was prompted not by global concerns over the environmental abuses but apprehensions on Al-shabab’s financial sources.
 President Obama of the US has ordered the abrogation of the US imports of the Somali charcoal during his first tuner, not because of the appalling ecological situations there in Somalia but, his concerns over the Al-shabab’s significant revenues generated from this illegal source. It’s really disappointing that Obama only reiterated on the financial gains for Al-shabab but not on the environmental abuses caused by this cynical type of business.

 According to the UN report on July 2011__ the tax revenue that al shabaab used to levy on charcoal exportations was about 15 million US dollars a year. This is why Al-shabab’s presence in many parts of southern Somalia was in existence, yet gained firm grounds for exercising their power.  Though Al-shabaab seems to be losing their last standing leg today, yet this type of business remains unchanged.

Where charcoal exports end up:
The relentless demand from the world in general and that of the Arabian countries in particular is what keeps this product’s market bullish. This lucrative business was said to had been involved in hundreds of thousands metric tons of charcoal exports per year, the revenues of which is narrowed into the best interest of small groups of business predatory.  In the gulf, the charcoal consumption for households cooking is relatively less than that for shisha/hookah smoking.  The number of Shisha outlets mushrooming in the Arabian Peninsula is well reflecting on the growth rate of the charcoal demand levels on daily basis. This smoking habit was originally generated from Egypt but later on exported to the Middle East and many other countries across the globe. The global fight against tobacco is less effective due to the fact that it’s facing a fierce resistance from such addictions.



Somali charcoal exports lifecycle:

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As we are in bound with the time, as we are unsure about what tomorrow holds for the entire nation, if the current rate of deforestation keeps unchanged in Somalia, for how long it could take Somali forests to completely vanish?

By: Khadar Hanan
Doha, Qatar.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The best places to be in the World; if best place matters!


Finally, we have got our bags loaded up into the Umra bus and started our journey to Mecca via Medina on Ramadan 18th at around 11:30 a.m Qatar local time. As a traveler, to have mixed perceptions and anticipations on almost two weeks long journey to a new discovery is a common phenomena but, one aim was the real denominator of our journey___ glorifying the oneness (monotheism) of Allaah (S.W.T) and seeking His forgiveness for our sins.


Our trip started with a joyful atmosphere, but adventurous tribulations were also timeless actors that add a real flavor to the test of our mission. For example, it is too easy to get to the border between Qatar and K.S.A roughly one hour drive, but to leave from it soon is one of your miscalculated figures, this is because, you are subjected to an intense scrutiny exposure by the Saudi border security guards. In addition to the document verifications, your finger prints are collected, eyes scanned and your personal possessions are sniffed by police dogs for security reasons__ this hassle took us around 10 long hours. We pursued our trip to Medina after the check-in time, snaked through the main Arabian sand desert for roughly 16 long hours we’ve got to Medina.

Here is the holy city of Medina, the local time is around 3 pm, the city is quite seclude, no more traffic whizzing around, pollution or any other kind of disturbances. Very high thick mountainous landscape seems to be naturally fenced in one/two side(s) of the city; some of the roads are nicknamed with the names of the companions of the prophet (s.a.w). The people of the city (I do not know a concurrent attribute to tell), but the best of mankind on earth, soft-hearted and very helpful by nature. We reached to Quba mosque in the heart of Medina, where we have offered two raga’as of sunah-prayers and performed obligatory Asir prayers along with a huge congregation from different parts of the world. As per the pearls of our prophet (s.a.w); “whoever purifies himself in his house, then comes to the mosque of Quba and prays there, he will have the reward of ‘Umra’” Narated by Ibn Maajah. All our trip tiredness and repercussions were in fact soothed after these prayers.


After Quba mosque, we were guided to our hotel at the brink of the holy mosque of our prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). After short refreshments, there was a moment which none of us could wait__ to pay a visit to the holy mosque of the prophet (s.a.w). When you step into the mosque__ the mosque is absolutely thrilling, expressly depicting about its uniqueness, either the kind of the history that buries beneath the walls of the mosque or the architectural quality as well. By the grace of Allaah (S.W.T) we have offered isha prayers in the mosque at that night, and in the subsequent day we paid a visit to the graves of the prophet in the mosque compound along with two of the khalifas (Abu Baker Sidique and Omer Bin Khatab r.a), the real sculpture of the mosque (known as rawdat al-janah) of the prophet (s.a.w) within which you should offer two rag’as of sunah prayers is just adjacent to the graves of the prophet (s.a.w) and the two other khalifas (r.a), exactly where the house of Aisha (one of the wives of the prophet (s.a.w) was. Many more of his Sahabas “companions of the prophet s.a.w” are in a much bigger cemetery (known as bagi’e) beside the mosque, like Osman Bin Afan (r.a). being beside these graves you would find yourself emotionally covered by the immense feeling of not the image of the graves but the contents of the graves. You could see some of the visitors are struggling to suppress their tears from running down on their cheeks. At the main entrance of the cemetery there was an elderly Islamic-scholar on a peek of a short wall briefly guiding the visitors the Islamic way to pay a visit to a Muslim graves and the kind of intercessory-payers (du’a) should be recited over__ preventing the Muslim visitors from committing to any kind of shirk (polytheism), as some misguided Muslim brothers seek blessings from graves of the good people.


After the isha-prayers of the next day, we got into our buses again to continue to our trip to Mecca (the holy city where umra had to be duly performed). Before getting to Makah ‘niyat’ (intention) is a prerequisite for umra performance from specified locations (known as meqat) in different directions of Mecca, but ours was at the outskirts of medina. At ‘meqat’ too many shower-booths are readily made available to the people on Umra (mu’tamirin in Arabic), where they would clean and purify their whole bodies like cutting finger-nails, removing unwanted hairs and performing ablutions. Everyone would come out wearing only a pair of soft white sheets, called as Ihram-clothing. At this moment everyone is set to be 100% pure. The top sheet is draped over the torso and the bottom is secured by a large white-belt; plus a pair of sandals made with no threads. Women can wear any cloth but within the boundaries of Hijjab. This is to show that everyone (regardless, scholar, king, president… just name it) is equal in the sight of Allaah (S.W.T). A small window for fatwa (Islamic advisory opinion) is also in the middle of these shower-booth-compartments from which you could seek a complete guidance and expel all your doubts on to the best possible ways you would get your umra-mission done.


Mecca:


Now, heading to the holy city of Mecca, roughly 350 km away from Medina; it is a nighttime where your vision to observe things fades-away without your control except the dazzling busy highways between the two cities. In the early morning we reached to the city check point, where the traffic would flow in two different routs “one to the city at large and the other to the Haram-mosque” shown in a pig sign-boards over the check-point. Taking ours is to the hotel in the Haram boundaries, where we would secure our rooms and of course unload our possessions. Here no refreshment like shower had to be done, because it’s already been done at the ‘Meqat’ (the intention place). We have taken special bulk jam-packed buses designated only for Hajj and Umra with bus-tickets provided by our agency.



Mecca is a city naturally trapped in extremely high rocky Mountains. The buses for the Haram would go through very long tunnels some of the longest tunnels I have ever seen. Stepping into the Haram compound, everyone he/she is inside out, humble and voiceless mood, fully covered by the almightiness of Allaah (S.W.T) and His signs in this holy place. Your first sight at Ka’ba (the black stone) is absolutely amazing, catching and bringing all your senses to a point which I cannot express in words. Some of the people would purse into tears, some suppress and physically changed. Coming down to the Ka’ba we would start the circumambulations (dawaf in Arabic) which count seven uninterrupted rounds. Each round starts from the right angle of the Ka’ab and counts as one as you reach to your starting angle. During the circumambulations you would recite some supplications (du’aas) applicable within specific areas you’re moving and for your own in others. What is remarkable here is that circumambulations are going on 24/7, 365 days of the year without a single stopping__ except the obligatory prayers where all the people in the procession would be stopped by the mosque security personals to offer the five obligatory prayers. Your umra performance would be sealed with shaving or shortening your head-hair as per the umra-principles after dawaf, the journeys between Safa & Marwa (400 yards apart) etc, and from now on you are permissible (halaal). Offering prayers for the dead Muslim brothers and sisters (a form of intercession) is common for both the Harams in Mecca and Medina after every prayer, which would take you so close to hereafter and that everyone is indeed mortal. On the other hand, praying behind the famous Imams (leaders) of the two Haram-mosques like (sheikh Hudhaifi, Shuraim and Sudaisi) would mean like one of your weirdest dreams ever came true.



What is funny about Mecca is that, as the city is cosmopolitan__ your name doesn’t bother at all simply because you are called as Muhammad (name of the prophet s.a.w) as no one has the patience or time to ask about your name what so ever. Food and soft dirks are mainly served takeaways as millions would flood into the nearby restaurants and cafeterias, but would you feel more comfortably to have your meal? To answer takes a time. Apart from street food and beverages, zamzam-water and the unique dates of Mecca is made available in almost every corner in the Haram-mosque by the government, inhabitants and the mu’tamirin. I do not know much about the miracles in zamzam-water, but what I have personally witness about this holy water is that__ the more you take the more you would never feel like to urinate, heavy or full up what so ever. You would never know where this water gone in your body and why you need to take more and more always. I really convinced myself that this is a kind of the water’s hidden miracles. One of my friends once joked; if this water would cause us to urinate, where would these millions go for toilets “is this one of the hidden miracles?” I do not know.



As the matter of fact, the unforgettable tales in these two holy cities is far beyond something which could be contained within a single discourse, but good enough to make a serial or a book. What took me to frame about what we have seen in these holy cities is not only to address about the amazing facts there in them, but also to encourage my Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide to make their first trip out of their world to these cities and perform either umrah or hajj as they have the means, and those who do not have the means to achieve ends should at least intend to go once before their death.



May Allaah (S.W.T) accept all our heartily prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, shower His mercy unto us all and secure a place for us and Muslims at large in the apex of His heavens.



Aamiin, aamiin, aamiin.

Khadar A. Hanan

E mail: khadarhanan@gmail.com

Doha, Qatar

20 years on; Somaliland vows secession is irreversible

The upward hands for hope to have the Holy Grail (recognition) and prosperity are still firm, tireless and relentless. The child that was born with the birth of this young country is no longer an infant, toddler or even in his/her adolescence, but a democracy-fed mature, yet strong enough to vote or express his/her rights freely without coercion. What the world cannot understand is that more than 70% of the roughly 3.5 million strong population of the country are below 40s and today, the above mentioned child is recruited into the different institutions of the government to run with some sort of responsibility. This transformed child will undoubtedly never bow to any externally orchestrated proposals on possible remarriage between the so-called former greater Somalia. 
 
This is what makes me surprise whenever I hear or see people stressing on non statistical based possibility to have Somalia back together, even if the principle could be correct, their means and approaches to this issue is absolutely expired, off the trail and not coinciding with the status quo. Furthermore, the more years we pass; the greater is how Somaliland would become much stronger and fanatic to what it has decided 20 years back. Every ceremony commemorated on the eve of the national re-affirmation day of Somaliland would add to the value of the nationalistic behavior and mend firmer the people of Somaliland in and around the world.
This is the reality missing from the world at large. One might argue that Somali people share common values, norms, culture, religion and language etc. therefore what binds them together is much greater than what can take them a part! What we are ignoring is that this is common for many countries’ people across the world like gulf Arabian countries, they share what Somali people share but they live, rule and prosper apart. The world is even failing to learn from the ongoing revolutionary waves which have recently engulfed several mega Arabian countries of all time that nothing could be dictated against the will of the people.
As the world witnessed, despite meager resources and the lower literacy levels of the voters__ Somaliland has single handedly held several free and fair elections. Free and fair elections, not according to my personal assessment, but as per the official report of the international election observers, in addition to the report of the National Electoral Commission (SNEC). 
 

According to the UNDP Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Report 2010, Somaliland became 144th country in the political rights and civil liberties out of 208 countries (193 recognized and 15 yet to be recognized countries) , which means that Somaliland has more political rights and civil liberties respect than 64 countries.

Contrary to the widespread deem of that ‘Islam cannot get along with the democracy’; Somaliland is the melting pot of the African tradition, Islamic faith, and the modern democracy. Says the report.
My mission is not to address the success of this young people wading had through the oceanic global dirty political waves based on interest, nepotism and favoritism to spot a place in the world for their home country, but how the world is getting more deviancy about realizing facts there before them. This is what swirling in the stomach of every sensible person who advocates the rights to live in freedom, peace, equality and democracy. These young, hopeful people have promised themselves that nothing could disturb the piece in their mind and not to turn around until the moon shines a head of them (tapping the long awaited full-fledged recognition from the international community).
 
On May 18th 2011__ Somaliland people in and around the world where in a jubilant and festive mood marking the 20th anniversary of their country. Several demonstrations in solidarity with people of Somaliland and their demand for a full recognition where held in some countries of Europe and North America, the first of its type in the history. Mr. Muhammoud (Silanyo) in his first historic speech as president on the eve of the national day praised his people as a new African democracy blossomed into a beauty and pledged that Somaliland would stay the course and the decision taken 20 years back is absolutely irreversible.
I said this before, but let me repeat it again__ any global vision for mega Somalia is absolutely opaque and like putting humpty dumpty back together. The world must put the right shoes on the right foot and recognize the new democracy emerged from the tiny country in the horn of Africa, as this would never-ever open the Pandora’s Box in the world but instead might bring a lasting solution to the problems of the east African region.

By: Khadar A. Hanan

Doha, Qatar

E-mail: Khadarhanan@gmail.com








Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unmitigated Challenges ahead for Somaliland’s new government

More professionally engineered articles have been framed differently by different authors, politicians and intellectuals on the amazingly triumph-worthy chronological tales of Somaliland, even much more have been inked about the shining star in a region, gaining infamy as a haven of terrorism, warlordism and sophisticated modern buccaneers. But the question is__ for how many more years will the world keep the deafening ear towards the Somaliland’s success story? It is a widely acknowledged fact that what has happened in Somaliland during the recent presidential elections was remarkably national momentum, absolutely wonderful and non-African character. Transparent free and fair election, democratic power-transfer and a consensus based dispute resolutions were the actual secret-ingredients behind the success in which Somaliland lies today. This was neither the first nor the last of its type happened in this country with the young but promising people.

This newly-born government headed by His Excellency president Ahmed Muhammad Muhammoud, has already crossed the so-called 100 days mark and disclosed what they have accomplished as per their pre-election rhetorical promises. Although, some critics and opposition parties have slapped heavy security and economical scandals with the government’s early political showdown, it is too early to judge the government with such short span of time. Notwithstanding, it is undeniable fact that, the new government will undoubtedly face a numerous stark domestic, regional and global challenges, in terms of security and progress.

 

Domestic Challenges:

Peace is the most precious plateau which the people of Somaliland nurture together and their decision to strengthen it will always remain unshakable. However, the heavily armed ONLF clandestine disembarkations at the Somaliland ports, mysterious murders in Burao and the other cities by the unknown sinister executioners, the unsolved farm and pastoral-land imbroglios between the brotherly people in eastern and western regions, the rampant spread of robbery by the confederacy of local gangs in the major cities, coupled with the growing number of strangers (like the arrested German-octogenarian) who have opened their doors flooded into the country with their hidden/shapeless agendas and influences, are the most alarming issues the nation faced today, the responsibility of which is constitutionally obliged to the government. It is up to the government to wear big magnifying glasses to decipher every threat against the civilian people.

Of course, safety and security is not only for the citizens but for everyone in the country and if it is so, It must be kept in mind that, any form of ill-treatment against the Somalia war-evacuees and other domestic poor or drought-driven impoverished people, who are living in far below the poverty-line (BPL) circumstances, dying from hunger and thirst, could simply trigger to shorten the people’s mature nationalistic anticipations for a better, yet a prosperous future.In addition to that, as the black-magic-tribal-card is the political denominator for every Somali-spoken society; the non-middle tribes are seem to be largely not happy with the way the power of this government was shared among the major dominant clans in the country. It is the government’s far most responsibility to act as swiftly as possible to turn every stone positive to virtually remove any fugitive ideology on its policy and to passionate any potential negative backlash what so ever, that can cause an untimely internecine among the brethren people.

 

Regional & Global Challenges:

20 years after its inception, Somaliland is no longer be a toddler, however, a bottom-up-approach based global and geopolitical strategy towards the peaceful coexistence, mutual interest with the regional and global countries must be duly initiated. Every single diplomatic relations made, like the recent state-level diplomatic visits exchanged with the front line countries could possibly blossom the paralyzed economic activities of the country, which has faced an inhospitable repetitive strangulations from both regional and international fronts. There are so many opportunities to countenance two-way commercial relationship with the neighboring countries, for example, the country experiences a huge cash outflow to Ethiopia in Khat (magic Greenleaf) importations, as a result of negative balance-of-payment. Edible salts and many other products could be exported to Ethiopia as hinted by the Minister of Finance Mr. Mohamed Hashi at the takeover ceremony of his Finance Portfolio. As Ethiopia completed one of the world’s biggest hydroelectricity projects, Somaliland could simply take the power from it, by proposing them to enjoy zero levies (taxation) on their exports/imports through the national corridors in the form of modern time barter-business. According to my observations on the entire country, the privately owned industrial muscle of Somaliland is on boom today, hence, it is the authority’s responsibility to seek and encourage regional-block free trade agreements, which, perhaps could create a sustainable platform for a potential national GDP and accordingly narrow the national deficit and the widening socioeconomic disparities.

Similarly, as Somaliland have had a very old business, social and cultural ties with the other Somali people, as many of Somalia based business-tycoons, entrepreneurs and commuters freely enjoy the brotherly hospitality given by their northlanders, to start a symbiotic smooth trade vehicle together with them could be an advantageous move towards the national economic betterment.

Life stock acts as the crude oil or the core national economic stimulator, however, augmenting the existing Arabian markets and pioneering strongly competitive new market segments in non-Arab countries could be a new breakthrough as well. Almost all the former Somaliland authorities have individually and collectively failed to deal with the oil-rich gulf countries, except the predecessor’s administration who have won to set up a moderate ties with at least one or two of the above said countries. According to the recent press release held by the Somaliland Aviation Minister Mr. Muhamoud Hashi Abdi, Kuwait government is financing a multi-million dollar underlying project for upgrading and renovating the major Somaliland airports, as a result of the successor’s perpetuation of the Kuwaiti-Somaliland ties. In a net shell, Somaliland needs an all-in-one political strategy for achieving a full-fledged national identity from within firstly and secondly from the international community.

In conclusion, any tangible goal for change scored by this government will be the road-end to the negative outlooks of many people on one hand and the start of a new down for not only the people of Somaliland, but Somalia and the region as well.

Khadar A. Hanan

E-mail: khadarhanan@gmail.com

Doha, Qatar

 


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summertime; the Season for Girls’ Silent Assault!!!

Are you all amazed by the title phrase of this article? Does it seem like a weird and disgusting to frame such stories? Am I inking beyond our cultural sanctity and torn our modest boundaries?

Let me set you straight to answer your presumably mixed questions.

We all know, as the war broke out in Somalia during the late and the early 1980s and 90s respectively, a huge influx of people who are in search for a better life had made their ways into many countries across the world mainly, in Europe, North-America and the Arabian Peninsula. Owing to the above facts, the Somali communities many of whom are of Somaliland & Djibouti origins constitutes a big factor in all these countries. Unlike many communities in the world__ Somali people are said to be absolutely conservative and very much adherent to the peculiar traditions, customs and culture of their country and above all their religion. The solidness of their religious and cultural foundations is what keeps them attached to the situations in their ancestral homelands. The more Somalia revives peace; the more her people abroad come back and enjoy with the beauty of the nature and environment in their country.

Summer time holidays acts as the refreshment, relief and restructuring facility for those who were so long at work to reunite with their beloved ones in their current locations and back home if they are happened to work outside their homeland. It is the time to explore more on the cosmos to spice up the test of their lives and families. In addition to all these, it acts as the mating season for the people at home and in the Diasporas, as most of the year wedding ceremonies are usually scheduled to manipulate in this season. In the summer time, all Horn of Africa inward-outward bound flights are jam-packed with masses of holidayers of all ages; it makes the business market somewhat bullish as they pump their money into it__ for the sake of this; people call the summer time --- the money-time. On the contrary__ I call it as “the season for assaulting girls”, but, why? Allow me to keep this piece of writing confined within Somaliland!!!

On 27th September 2007, I came back home ‘Hargeysa’ after six consecutive years of varsity education to India and had spent a yearlong time in it to refresh myself with the love, passion and pride of my family, friends and the people at large. During the subsequent year ‘2008’, the summer time came with flourishing images and activated the dormant activity of the country, turning the cities almost cosmopolitan with the magnitude of the coming masses from different countries worldwide with variant languages and cultural influences. Among them there are funny young groups retuned for cultural rehabilitations (dhaqan cellis). For my curiosity about knowing the real purpose of many holidaymakers mainly men, I introduced myself to many of them between the ages of 30s-50s, engaged into good conversations. But to my astonishment was while my quest ended up with completely annoying experience far beyond one’s sense of consciousness.

Sorry to use any derogatory words against someone and his profession but, western carpet-baggers, early dropouts, taxi/bus drivers and the other blue colour job doers of North America, Europe and Middle East are the key players in the market at this time. Everyone is running with a bunch of dollars that he could hardly saved, which he couldn’t wait to serve his bad addictions and desires all. Young girls are the most delicate and threatened segment of the society in this summer market, as they are more obsessed about their future.

Where things have gone wrong?

Unemployment, low engagement levels and living conditions below average life-standards are the underlying cause to this catastrophic behaviour imported by the holidayers. What drives the younger generation out of their country through illegal immigrations across the black deep oceans between Europe and Africa are the above mentioned facts based on such future uncertainty that faced the youth in their country. In Somali rich culture the practice of early marriage of the female adolescents below the age of 18 is well prized and honoured, although it is tend to be declining in this contemporary world, where many girls are silently sliding into spinsterhood. It was not so long ago, while promissory marriages were common among the Somali pastoral societies, whereby a marital verbal promise is made at infancy or even childbirth by the parents of the families. Notwithstanding, early marriage obsession among the younger female generations have intricable relations with their strong, yet conservative culture on one hand, but it is what made them like fish in the water on the other. This is because; many of the holidaymakers use their passports to lure the young girls into unsubstantiated marriages__ promising them with taking away from home to their world (Europe/America), but this never be materialized due to the fact that, the guy actually had a wife and children back__ or might be did not want to build any legal family at home or elsewhere. The victim is the beautiful young girl who lost her virginity at the cost of seeking a better life. Hopelessness, destitution and colourless future apprehensions for the girls takes even a bigger grim in the summer aftermath, and that is why today the divorcees below the age of 20s are disturbingly overwhelming in Somaliland and it’s alike in the region.

I would like to conclude this piece of writing with two short statements; one for the men and women for the other.

Mr. Holidayer, please think beyond your bad desires and stop importing waste cultures into our beloved people, please do not crush our modest society beyond irreparable and remember that the girls are just like your sisters and mothers.



My dear sisters, please think twice and stop conforming into the man’s baseless proposals or rushing into the uncertain and dark future. Allaah (SWT) has honoured you more than anyone else could do, you are a priceless jewel that sometimes money cannot buy, remember you are the foundation stone for the entire society.

Allaah (SWT) says in the holly Qur’an “Verily never will Allah change a condition of a people until they change what is within their souls”.

[Surah Ar-Rad verse 11]



Khadar Hannan

E-mail: Khadarhanan@gmail.com

Doha, Qatar

Coming up next,

Where the Deceived Girls end up after the summertime?
(This is on hold)