See also:
» 01.03.2010 - Somalia’s TFG hailed after one year in power
» 23.02.2010 - Journalist abducted in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - US restrictions hamper aid distribution in Somalia
» 17.02.2010 - Somali refugees moved to Ethiopia
» 08.02.2010 - Kenya dismiss reports on Somali army training
» 02.02.2010 - Somali militant group declares affiliation to al Qaeda
» 13.02.2008 - Somalis await peace talks
» 22.11.2007 - Somali appoints Premier

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Culture - Arts | Society | Politics

Identity Crisis: the last fortress of Somalism is about to fall

afrol News / Awdal News Network, 16 August - [Opinion analysis] The attack on our society has many fronts, and particularly the destruction of our once proud, serene and unadulterated culture found its momentum today in everywhere in our communities. We are in identity crisis for the first time ever today in our own villages and homes, as the nation that was once vibrant and proud has been brought to its knees by its own people and by others who have seized the opportunity to finish the business that they have been longing for centuries. Our own Somali language has been diluted so much to the point that our heritage and cultural values are in the risk of becoming extinct.

This is not an accident that we just woke up to it, but it has been the interest of many Arab countries to force the issue of Arabism into the Somali people by way of adulterating and raping our language, so much so it got to the point that it could be replaced with Arabic language today.

Any available warlord in Somalia is running for an office and many for the presidency chair these days, or so it seems at least. A new breed of non-nationalists, unpatriotic, uneducated, mostly criminals, who committed crimes against their own people, are running for the highest office in government, presidency. They are fighting over on how many seats each one gets for his tribe, clan, or maybe "GILIB".

When I think about it, which is very often, I usually picture a horrifying scene where a group of hungry, gargoyled humans attacking a weak but attractive and beautiful lady, the nation, and each one is grapping and pulling as many pieces of bones and flesh, internal organs and all, head or tail, while others are charging to have the whole torso (presidency) for themselves, for their clan, of course. Nowhere in that long shopping list that each warlord has could you see or read anything to do with rebuilding a nation, a Somali Nation. Each one thinks it is someone else's responsibility, the rest of the world, for that matter, to deal with the question of rebuilding the nation.

The extent to which such a complex issue could be logically explained and understood seems beyond one's mental capacity, but building a nation and maintaining its success requires the spirit of nationalism of its people. Nationalism is not something you pick and choose but rather something one is born to be and is expected of, as an individual, to have a sense of national consciousness. According to some definitions, a nation is a distinct group of people, usually demarcated by common language, religion or culture. It is an identification with and devotion to the interest's of one's nation.

After decades of separation, East Germany united with West Germany, a testimonial to the argument that once born a German you are always a German. Once born Somali, one remains Somali whether one is in Ethiopia, DJibouti, Kenya or in the republic of Somalia. Many different and distinct groups consider themselves as one nation called Indonesia; more than 50 States called themselves the United States of America; Great Britain is another example; China is trying to stay as one China; there are even talks going on that may, one day, bring South Korea and N. Korea closer in order for them to have open borders again and reunite families that have been separated for decades; and as much as ethnic or clan cleansing Rwanda had had few years back, people are willing to forgive, decided to forego hatred and anger in their society, agreed to rebuild their lives and their nation again together and joined hands with their neighbors who have slaughtered their love ones just the other day. No matter what have happened, they belong to one nation, one nationality, Rwandans.

Apartheid in South Africa wouldn't have been defeated without a nationalist movement, nor Somalia would have gained its independence without the spirit of nationalists who sacrificed their lives and material to secure our independence. The non-nationalists of today will try to make you believe otherwise, but ask them what they have accomplished since the collapse of our state, other than the destruction of our unity and the nation we loved.

What we need today, more than ever, is a nationalist movement that could build bridges of brethren; leaders who could help bring us back together in order for us to have an ownership of our problems without resorting to violence. Nationalists like Martin Luther King jr., Mahatma Gandi, Nelson Mandela, to mention a few, have all succeeded to bringing their people together and presented their cause without violence. They did this in the face of power to be working against them.

The bravery of Ahmed Guray to face the powerhouse of Ethiopian force comes to mind, a plan by Ethiopia to occupy the coast of Zeila (Ahmed Gurey's birth place), where Ahmed Guray defeated the Ethiopian forces in 15th century, and helped Moslems reclaim their land and property in Ethiopia. That was nationalist war and a dream of Greater Somalia of its kind. The Sayyid Mohamed's uprising was another kind of nationalist war and resistance to occupation.

The struggle of the Somali Youth League (SYL) against the Italian power was a nationalist war and a dream of creating Greater Somalia. They gained a power of educational systems, administrational development, economical structure as well as political parties to help them prepared to lead their nation to freedom and independence.

It was during this period when the SYL strengthened its leadership of creating nationalist sentiments and foundation building, and decided to take risks on the face of power against them. They succeeded to have control of their future, even if that meant going to jail for their cause. And going to jail they did for protesting against a system they didn’t trust.

Their struggle paid off when they were allowed to participate in the discussions proposed by the Italian authorities (AFIS) where they gained experiences in handling social problems such as conflicts of tribal land issues. These political movements gave rise to the elections of 1956 where the first prime minister of the government, Abdullahi Iise, came from the SYL leadership. His term of office (1956-1960) was believed to be the most stable period that the nation ever had. It was during this period when women's right to take part in the political system gained a wide support and the practice of clanism in the government was less common in momentum.

Historians wrote that their nationalistic sentiment was succinctly stated in their vision of Greater Somalia, and rightfully and responsibly so. Waves of nationalistic fervor spread across regions and valleys in the country and produced nationalistic parties like the SNC and USP an later in the north, and later NFD in Ogaden region, which greatly fuelled the nationalistic movement towards united Somalia on their free will to join hands and declare independence, a birth right for all mankind.

A vision lead by loyalty and devotion to one's own nation or ethnic group; idea that the good of the group can best be served by independence for its people. It was that vision that successfully brought the south and the north together and gave us the best president Somalia ever elected, President Adam Abdullah Osman. What a great service he provided us, so much so that he enjoyed respect and admiration of his people way after he left the presidency office. Tell me another African leader, as to late, who has done that. None of today's warlords could ever wear his shoes or command such respect in their communities.

Contrast that to today's society in our country that failed to agree to live together peacefully. It is because we don't have nationalist leaders who believe the power within. What we have are notorious, power driven tribal warlords, and the rest of us are following the blind. Warlords in our society of today are here not to rebuild a nation but only to exercise the one thing they know how, and that is power.

Power, as defined by social science scholars, is an instrument of rule, while rule, as it is known, owes its existence to the instinct of domination. In the words of Voltaire, "A man feels himself more of a man when he is imposing himself and making others the instruments of his will, which gives him incomparable pleasure." To the extent that this definition is true, the Somalia situation stretches the limits of this known phenomenon to where one whole tribe wants to impose itself to make the rest the instruments of their will, ignoring that fact that others don't want to be dominated either.

There are those who make the claim that dreaming about Greater Somalia was a sinful attempt that should have never been committed, because it had been, as they claim, a consequentially damaging political decision that, at the end, resulted the death of many Somalis in Hargeisa and elsewhere.

Or was it? I don't get it. Somali tribes, though to lesser degree, were killing each other before the independence of 1960 and are still fighting even after Siyad Barre has been dead more than a decade. It is the nature of tribal culture where killing is common practice without consequences but the predictable destruction of human lives.

Was it the operating policy of a government, the ever existed tribal segregation among the Somali people, including government officials, the lack of knowledge of the Somalis to understand how a system of government should work in order to advance its agendas of promoting the welfare of its people, or was it the unification of the northern and southern Somalia in 1960 that resulted the collapse of the government, as some Somalilanders claim these days? It is true that there were unmet expectations, shortcomings and miscalculations, disappointments and missed opportunities, and above all greed and tribalism that resulted the collapse of the union, but isn't it a self serving prophecy to blame our selfinflected wounds wholly on the attempt of dreaming about the possibility of unified Somalis, especially when they were in great need of help, both moral and material support, from the union.

If the creation of the union was responsible for our situation of today, or at least for that argument to have any merit, have we succeeded building a better system of government since the collapse of the union? Show me one, other than those tribal enclaves calling themselves governments, and I will be willing to listen.

Non-nationalists will make you believe that the dream of Greater Somalia was something of an after-thought matter, an idea that found its way into the minds of some and then forced into union after the independence. To the contrary, there were nationalists in every region of the union and nationalism was the impetus of the unification.

The idea of creating Greater Somalia existed well before the independence and the unification of the north and the south. Nationalist sentiments were flourishing in every city of the country, including the north, way before the union, and it is absurd to read the claims some Somalilanders are making these days. Some sound as if the idea of uniting Somalis everywhere was something of a southern issue. To the contrary, it was a Somali issue and all nationalist in every region participated and fought for it.

However if the claim that unitary failed us does continue and regional segregation and breakaways persist, then confederation or consociation will not help us either. And even in our present state of the union, the only option left, besides dismemberment of the nation, is giving federation a chance. Then and only then, could we be able to move forward and solve our problems peacefully. No need for empty rhetoric, unsubstantial muscle flexing or bad mouthing other Somalis who are in the same predicament as everyone else. Time the Somalis look for genuine nationalists who care and could lead this nation.

Clearly, this so called 4.5 formula that the Somalis have been trying to sell to the mediators during these multiple conferences that have already failed, is the major obstacle that contributed to the failing outcomes of these conferences. No tribe trusts the rest, and each tribe would want to do away with the rest and formulate their own government. This could create an act of violence when the tribe in power tries to compel the other tribes, as the power holders would wish to see it happen.

From Siyad Barre's era to the present warlords, such practice of power to force the others into submission has increased violence and a wide spread hatred in our society. Somalis in every region would rather have dominance from within, instead of someone else (another tribe) dominates them. This may not make sense, but that is why Somalis in different regions of the union don't trust the institutionalisation and legitimisation of such symbolically assembled government that is based on a formula of clan dominance, a recipe for instability and violence.

If the essence of power is the effectiveness of command, even if it leads to death and destruction of innocent human lives, then there is no greater power than that which grows out of the barrel of the gun. Each region of our union has its own accounts of the sufferings it has been subjected to under the power Siyad Barre, and no one is willing to go the same road again, at least I hope so.

What we see today, in the absence of viable and responsible government, are interest groups organising individuals who make claims for them, groups who, even when variance in principle, negotiate with each other in order to accommodate each other and adapt to the ever shifting power balance. An interest group seeks to influence specific policies of government, which always means to achieve control over government as a whole.

These groups concentrate on winning public office under any and all circumstances. Interest groups in our culture are mainly a sector of the society that is businessmen, ex-government officials and politicians, who do not necessarily represent the rest of the society. The object has been to appropriate stolen public resources to one's kin or once ethnos who are considered more reliable upon to sustain one's power in the country.

Clearly the public interests are not protected in this scenario and as such the system alienates considerably groups of the society who have not shared in the general affluence of the society. One of the first causalities of this system is the basic infrastructure of the society like education, health, environment, and community rebuilding. Many parts of the country experienced decline of these important social welfare, especially the rural areas where life has been very difficult to maintain, particularly building schools, health clinics or dealing with the daily grip of diseases like tuberculosis and malaria and stroke.

In such system, where decisions are made by the affluent sector of the society, it is particularly important that the rest of the society has no means of expressing themselves. As a result, political cynicism and feeling of political alienation have been on the upswing in many regions lately. We have witnessed the recent civil disobedience in Buroa few weeks ago. Distrust of government and related feelings of helplessness and inability to help one's own family and community is increasing.

Whether one wants to operate a business or looking for job, one has to travel to the capital to fetch for something in the same container where everyone else is sifting through, which is probably an empty container anyway. All other towns and villages have been swallowed and have been deserted due to this migration of all NEGOs and government jobs to the capital of the region. One can easily observe that in Hargeisa today as it has been in Mogadishu in the past. Consequently, people are leaving their families behind in search of jobs or moving their businesses to the capital where the money is. Families are torn apart, women and children and the unable bodies are left behind, which, at end of the day, destroys the family unity as well as community rebuilding.

The belief that a few big interests run the government is a common public sentiment. The belief that the government wastes money, that the people running the system do not know what they are doing are all firmly held public opinion. And this wouldn't have made a damn difference even if the ruling party has been replaced with another one. It has, however, a lot to do with the practice and the belief of clan loyalty in our culture. The problems of yesterday, lack of trust in government in general, though somewhat obscure, still remain well and alive. This keeps everyone on his/her toes, suspiciously wondering about what next.

However, the narrow-minded, non-nationalists of today will try to make you believe that the unity and the nationalistic consciousness that brought the first independent Somali nation home, was wrong and should have never be attempted. Remind them that unitary was not even one of the major factors that contributed to our demise. Let them, if they could, try something else like tribalism and regional conflicts.

Nonetheless, however, it is far from being as simple as some non-nationalists make it sound. Today's non-nationalists are trying to find faults in the principles of sovereignty that resided in the dream of Greater Somalia and the creation of inclusive nation that protects its own people, as all successful countries did.

It has been written that virtually every nation regards itself as being chosen, like Israel, for a particular destiny and as having a unique responsibility to contribute to the development of mankind. The feeling of belonging to a group united by common racial, linguistic, and historical ties, and usually identified with a particular territory.

Unfortunately, today's non-nationalists are trying to exercise authority that does not emanate expressly from a nation but from small regions and segregated sectors of clan enclaves that failed to protect its own people and burdened the rest of world with everlasting cycle of violence resulted an exodus of refugees seeking help, even when that means risking their lives in the face of humiliation and mistreatments as if God created them to be deservingly just that. The practical capabilities of the nation today in any general fashion fall short of those of yesteryears during the struggle for independence.

To make a case against a criminal dictator like Mohamed Siyad Barre, or against the thousands of warlords in every clan who ordered or had a hand in the death of thousands, if not millions, of innocent Somalis, is understandable, but to say that the nationalistic sentiment and the courage to dream about Somali unity in the 60s was the cause of our present situation is ludicrous, and it is a lame excuse for clan dominance.

The argument that the birth of the Somali republic in 1960 was unnecessary and a sinful act, as some are trying to make us believe, is nothing more than an absurd claim sugarcoated with a clandestine attempt to belittle the struggle that the founders of this nation had to endure, and it is by way of promoting the emerging clan dominance of today's Somali society.

Well, do the Somalis have leaders who could take the ownership of our problems and salvage the ruins of our country without IGAD interference, as the nationalists of yesterday did? I believe they do, but obviously are not looking for them.

Today's non-nationalists in Somalia will make it believable that some entities of warlords like SNM, SDA, USC, SSDF, SDM, SPM, to mention but a few, should be treated as the liberators, the freedom fighters and the founders of our nation. Far from it, to the contrary, all that these factions contributed to our sufferings was the reinforcement of the segmentation of Somalia into clan and subclan lineages, and exploitation of interclan rivalries, which itself failed to produce long term political stability in the country.

It must be all clear to the non-nationalists by now that, given the diverse nature of our society in its inherent beliefs of the unwritten rules of clan association much more than we believe in Islamic laws, only a transformation towards more centralised government, in principle at least, could produce a political order based on democratic consent. This may help rearrangements of the associations among groups or different parties across tribal and/or non-clannish lines by, at minimum, opening the doors for the emergence of peaceful political coalition of dominance, one way or the other.

Whether that would give rise to the emergence of ideological groups of the left, right and center would be a function of time and space nonetheless. It is, however, an alternative to the present warlord besiege that our society seemingly accepted to endure. However, without much of movements that could transcend our potential human capacity into kinetic energy of consciousness, and in the absence of vehemence, irritation, insolence by some social groups, who are willing to force a change towards social systems of higher order, we will remain outsiders to our own cause.

There is a dire need for the creation of politically conscientious nationalists that could initiate a start up of a political power with intense patriotic emotions, a veracious, truculent vernacular of some sort that would be new to and impossible to be controlled by today’s warlords. That, in my view, would give rise to a new beginning of a new breed of nationalists, who are convinced that they could, against the force of warlords, clanism and non-nationalistic movements of the present day in our country, still reclaim this nation and restore dignity in our society.

The attack on our society has many fronts, and particularly the destruction of our once proud, serene and unadulterated culture found its momentum today in everywhere in our communities. We are in identity crisis for the first time ever today in our own villages and homes, as the nation that was once vibrant and proud has been brought to its knees by its own people and by others who have seized the opportunity to finish the business that they have been longing for centuries.

Our own Somali language has been diluted so much to the point that our heritage and cultural values are in the risk of becoming extinct. This is not an accident that we just woke up to it, but it has been the interest of many Arab countries to force the issue of Arabism into the Somali people by way of adulterating and raping our language, so much so it got to the point that it could be replaced with Arabic language today.

The so-called Somali-Peace negotiation in Kenya has become, in fact, a hotbed of pseudo critical thinking, with a variety of misconceptions and flaws emerging. But while its intellectual value is low, its political value is high for many, especially for those who are engaging vested interests in the destruction of our nation. Some are there not because they want to help the Somalis to put their pieces together, but, in fact, to bury some of these pieces of this badly fractured nation. One of the integral pieces of our history and heritage that is under attack is our language, the Somali language. This is not a fluke neither a new thinking.

Many Arab nations have always engaged attempts to change Somalia into an Arabic speaking nation. The issue is never about converting the Somalis to become Moslems, because Somalis accept Islam by birth, but it is about infiltrating the Arabic language into the Somali culture and lifestyle. It is about changing the Somali language and replacing it with Arabic.

It is very common to run into some Somalis who mistakenly equate Arabic to their faith (Islam) and believe Arabic should be the Somali script. And if it was not for the persistence of Mohamed Siyaad Barre, chances are the Somali language would have little chance to develop its own script. Some Arab countries approached Mohamed Siyad Barre's regime with money and other influences in order to put a roadblock and undermine the teaching of the Somali language long before Somalis started succeeding in their campaign of writing their language in 1972. It was only Mohamed Siyad's refusal and his commitment and support for the Ololaha of the Somali teaching that have saved our language from a possible early distinction (yes, he deserves credit for doing that).

The 1972 decision to introduce a Somali script made a dramatic change in the lives of many Somalis, who found some doors open from them, and many even realised their dream of working in government and private offices without learning a foreign language. Even the Somali officials were required to learn the script, and a countrywide literacy campaign was launched.

By some estimates, a literacy rate of 55% was reported in 1975, though some believed that it was a little stretched by the government. But even the UN report of 1990 estimated a national literacy rate of 24% in over all Somali population. Considering the small resource and the short time spent on the campaign against illiteracy in the country before things gone out of hand for Siyaad's regime, 24%-55% national literacy rate achieved within a short period of time and with a limited resources, in contrast to 5% national literacy rate before the adoption of the Somali script, should be considered a significant progress. Many who are enjoying writing Somali language today may not have a clue of its history.

All languages have social and psychological, as well as expressive and rich epistemological roots. Every language has some specific character, unique identity of purity and authenticity that no other language could match no matter how well one translates from one to the other. Words of historical roots exist in every language, and Somali is no different. Something is always lost in the translation, as they say. We can always try to translate one language to the other, but construction of "meaning" is not an end in itself.

Every language has its own culture based on meaning of things and story telling styles. One could even appreciate understanding all that his/her language could offer by knowing how to express them. Misconceptions; perceptions; illusions; prejudice; stereotypes; delusions; beliefs; selfhood, and all other intellect that one acquires through his/her environment, shape us and present the uniqueness of one’s own, who we are and the uniqueness of our ecosystems. It is what makes every culture different and helps its inhabitants to construct meaning in their minds, understand and relate.

One doesn't have to be schooled to acquire this in his/her lifetime. The environment and the media of communication (language) is the only school one needs in order to express one's own thoughts - every culture has great poets, philosophers, anthropologists and ecologists who see different things; write about it, sing about it and express the uniqueness of it all. Somalis have this and express their thoughts not in Arabic, but in pure Somali with its extraordinary expressive style and language that existed through traditions that has enriched its vocabulary, which is as old as and as time-honored as Arabic language itself.

However, times have changed since then and that safe environment has been under attack for sometime now, and given another century, we would have a society where the Somali language became diluted and lost its richness and uniqueness. Our culture has been infiltrated and impregnated with Arabic language and it is ready to deliver a hybrid with Somo-Arabic features that lacks originality and loaded with heavy foreign accents.

The domination of Arabic media and the strategically designed attack on our language is apparent in every household of our broken down country today (satellites of Arabic media). We have a society that is unrecognisable so much so that one can detect the works of Talibans, Wahabists, Al-Qaida, and fundamentalists flourishing in our society and taking a strong hold to water down and dilute our once rich and pure cultures.

Though many of these fanatics and fundamental teachings are losing their place in many Moslem countries like Saudi Arabia, Afganistan or Pakistan, especially after 9/11 when many Arab countries were forced to revisit the method of Islamic teachings in their schools where hatred towards others and oppression of women is part of their Islamic teaching curriculum, these agents of hate are finding their way to make high leaps over our unprotected borders in order to secure their existence in our society.

But those agents are spreading the same teachings in our society so much so that one can observe the success of their teachings in our society today. It is another invasion that the Somalis don't even know it is happening; it is another failure on our part to protect our precious culture and language.

Of all the money in the world and wealth they claim to have, these Arab countries have yet to build a single hospital or maternity ward to save the lives of our sisters and their children who are dying in great numbers in front of empty delivery rooms in our country for the lack of oxygen or simple drugs that could save their lives. Instead, they are spreading vicious teachings of how to subjugate our sisters, daughters and mothers and shut them up in their homes, where they remain subservient to their husbands and follow their orders; it is in the Islamic religion, they claim.

I have even once witnessed some Somali men in a wedding gathering, who refused to sit and eat where everyone else was dinning, because they didn't want to sit around women and eat; it is against their Islamic faith (Wahabism), they claimed. We are suffering from identity crisis without even knowing it.

As if that was not enough, many Arab nations, particularly UAE, contributed to destruction of our precious ecosystems and burning down our irreplaceable trees in order for them to have a free charcoal from which they tremendously made profit by exporting it to the Gulf countries. At the same, Somali tradesmen cannot have an access to their markets where they once used to sell their livestock.

The consequences here, as one could imagine, are deadly. This practice of environmental invasion and economic assassination by obstructing the accessibility of their market for the Somalis caused the death of thousands of Somali children due to starvation and malnutrition, as reported by NGOs operating in Somalia.

An article titled "Singing into the vacuum" by the conscientious writer and poet, Bashir Goth that was posted on the Somaliland Awdalnews website recently, eloquently delineated a classical example of these identity crisis phenomena in our society. In his article, Mr Goth writes:

"A generation that had grown hearing only bad news and seeing depressing images about Africa. A generation that had no idea of how beautiful, how prosperous, how lush and green and how rich culturally and materially Africa was in the past and easily could be in the future if only it found proper leadership. A generation that grew up with foreign nurseries, foreign music, foreign clothing and foreign perspectives of their homeland. A generation that had no experience of sitting in a Somali theatre and listening to 'Habeen iyo dharaar, hadaladaan dhisnaa, Afkeena hooyo oo horumaraan, ku hoos caweynaynaa, Hagaaajinaa, had iyo jeer hagnaa, ma hagranee, waan u hawl galnaa' the customary choral theme of Somali artists written by the renowned playwright Hassan Sheikh Mumin Gorod as part of his immortal play 'Shabeel Naagood – Leopard among the women'. A generation that never had the opportunity to hear a mother or grandmother singing to them traditional Somali children songs."

Mr Bashir continues to write: "Of all the places to which the Somali people migrated, it may sound ironic and somewhat a tragedy to know that it is only in Muslim countries, and particularly Arab states that they found themselves as the most alien, the most discriminated and the most unwanted. Arab countries are one of the few if not the only places on earth where one packs up his bags and leaves unwanted and unappreciated after 30 years of service without any rights of citizenship for himself or for his children who never knew any other home."

This phenomena of identity crisis and the lost culture and heritage of the Somali history is very common nowadays, more so in the Diaspora. It is the self denial, the lack of social cohesiveness and common social goals, the ugly division in the communities, and the lack of preserved and protected Somali culture in the Diaspora community that failed to provide cultural centers for its future generation in order for them to learn and appreciate the richness of their culture. The result is what Mr Goth succinctly entailed in his article.

In a recent article titled "Another little piece of my heart" by our world-renowned writer and novelist, Mr Nuruddin Farah, has also pointed to same phenomena of Arabic domination in our culture and the risk of extinction of mother tongue. I have quoted him here for the benefit of those who haven't read his article.

"Even more disturbing because of the ominous omen for Somalia's future is the lack of education available. The Somali tradition of secular education is extinct. The schooling that does exist is financed by Arabs, which means Arabic has replaced Somali in school curriculums. This is tragic, especially because writing in Somali was in its infancy when the state collapsed - the standardization of the script having been adopted in 1972 - and Somalia is the only African country with a population numbering in the millions to boast of having one unifying language. This will no longer be the case if Arabic continues to be the medium of instruction in schools."

Only few like Nuruddin Farah and Bashir Goth could master the intellect to observe the tactfully planed cultural destruction directed to our communities by the foreign agents and write about it accordingly in order to wake up the rest of us to the attacks that we, Somalis, are under. Unfortunately, we are not even sure of who we are or what is ours anymore.

The alternative is clear then. Maybe we should rather focus on what we have in common as people instead of putting too much emphasis on our clan differences. We should promote and build on the things that could strengthen us as a nation, solidify our nationalistic sentiment, Somalinimo, which is what could ultimately dignify us, as a nation, and could provide a secured future for our young generations.

A new survey conducted worldwide showed that all successful and prosperous nations have one thing in common: that the majority of their respective populations believe in HELL - they are scared of the repercussions of their sinful actions that may haunt them after death. They follow the teachings of their religious beliefs, the basics of all religions that teach not to kill, no cheating or stealing public resources; abiding by the rule of law and having respect for human lives and all God's creation, including one's own life, and elevated humanity.

Many of these qualities, unfortunately, are practically non-existent in many parts of our nation today. No wonder! Maybe it is time to take break from this cycle of tribal wars. All Somalis, north, south, east and west need to expose the hidden skeletons in their closets, the ugly divisiveness filled in their hearts, by seriously discussing ways to heal the nation as a whole. Maybe it is time for the Somalis to believe in HELL.

Man, I missed yesterday's nationalist.

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Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

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