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Posts posted by STOIC

  1. By Larry Wilson


    When, just out of college in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I worked as a technical editor at a massive construction project in Saudi Arabia, I didn’t make all that many Saudi friends.


    British friends, Indian friends, Kenyan friends, yes. But the Saudis in our offices were often such princelings that they put in just a couple of hours during the middle of the day. Or they were older and very high up and there would be no reason to get to know a 23-year-old Yank.


    Saeed was different. A year or two younger than me, he had been to college in the United States. He spoke fluent English. He was shy but friendly. Very observant, so that he stuck to Pepsi when he came to the young guys’ gatherings that — don’t be too shocked, now — involved bathtub hooch in a country in which alcohol is (supposedly) strictly forbidden.


    While Saeed was a Saudi citizen, he was also clearly of African descent. I asked him about his name — Saeed Omer al-Somali. “Well, really, Larry, my name is Saeed Omer, plain and simple,” he said. “But when you are black like me, and are born here, they tag the country you came from onto your name on your passport.”


    It would be as if we called someone, well, Juan Reyes the Guatemalan just because of where his parents are from — called them that officially, on a passport.


    Actually, I was amazed at how multi-cultural and essentially non-racist Saudi society was. Muslim Africans were everywhere, some fairly high up in the social and business heirarchies. Saeed didn’t complain of discrimination.


    He came from the merchant class, his father a sheep trader whose boats came around the Horn of Africa and up into the port of Jeddah laden with livestock. That’s how Saeed had been born in the Western Province where we lived and worked.


    After my tour of duty was over, Saeed came back to Parsons’ Pasadena office and worked for a time. He brought his bride-to-be, the lovely Amal, and they were married in a house on Woodbury Road in Altadena. I introduced him to my parents. When I went off to graduate school in international management, I wrote my thesis based on an imaginary import-export business Saeed and I would set up, and he helped me with some of the Saudi legal rigamarole.


    That was 30 years ago, and at some point in the mid-’80s we lost touch. Years later, I tried to contact him by going through folks in Parsons’ HR department. They said they had no record of a Saeed Omer al-Somali as an employee. None. Hmmm.


    Thursday night, when I caught the current flick “Captain Phillips,” I was startled into memories of Saeed at the first sight of the young Somali-American actor who plays the lead pirate in the flick. They bear a marked resemblance — though the actor is much scrawnier. We were very well-fed in the company cafeteria in Yanbu.


    At home last night, I did another internet search for Saeed. Nothing. Well, there are people with similar names out there, but not the right person.


    As I was leaving Yanbu, my Yemeni friend Saleh gave me a hug and said: “Larry, my brother, Saleh is not my real name, I must tell you, after all this time. I came across the border illegally. I can’t tell you my real name. Goodbye.”


    Perhaps Saeed Omer wasn’t my other friend’s real name, either. Who knows? But I miss you, Saeed. Whenever I hear of Somalia, and all the strife in your ancestral homeland, I think of you, and of Amal, and I hope you are keeping well.


    Larry Wilson is a member of the editorial board of the Los Angeles News Group.

  2. I just got news that a Somali won city mayor of Clarkston, Ga.If the news is true you got it first here haha.. This is a small commuter city East of Atlanta. This city made it to the New York Times and even had a book published about it when the old racist Mayor refused kids to play soccer in the city park. Today the city has a Somali mayor! In your face old racist! They wanted to make a movie out of the story maybe now is the right least a positive Hollywood story out of that mayor racism.

  3. Congrats now Somalis have a someone to represent them in the city council when it comes to matters of licensing, and city ordinance like policing crime areas..The council is not a big post( I don't even know my city councillors I live in a big city) but still this shows there is a possibility of one day being a State senator to many others political careers.Congrats Warsame!

  4. NN, this scandal piqued my interest in Mogadishu politics.Looks like giving the right answer is tougher for the govt. Seems like the gov't is just hoping with time this current wound would be tolerable to Somali people.You might think wounds which are as raw as this scandal will shudder them , but seems like this got nothing on them. What they forget is that failure isn't fatal, but failure to curb corruption might be the downfall of Somalia. I was listening to a hypocritical window dressing interview given by the PM to some Somali channel and I chuckle when he said they have been fighting for good governance since they took office. I guess in Somalia contradictions abound. You might think not only as a moral obligation, but as an imperative for enduring trust in their institutional building they will at least fire someone for this scandal, but no all is gravy in Mogadishu. The president doesn't realize much rides on the outcome of how he reacts to this scandal after all the money is coming from outside world and they may put future restrictions on them. Most of those people named can unhook themselves from this scandal by keeping quite, but ultimately it is the president responsibility to act on his values and call out on thievery! You don't have to be superbright to see where your government needs improvement. The proximate cause of this scandal is not difficult to locate. He just needs to look harder

  5. I'm not following their logic here, either. I guess the denoted message is that there is corruption in all of Africa and it is justified in stealing as long as you don't Get caught! There is more, much more to it than simply dismissing this as yet another isolated case of corruption. The difference here is that we have someone came forward with information and am guessing it is only logical for the govt to respond in a responsible manner. Criticizing those responsible to the bitter end is a perfectly legitimate response whether you are inside or outside Somalia. Now if that will help in the future is in the hand of those elected to lead

  6. Apart from all other propagandas and misinformation the websites from Mogadishu propagates when the government in Mogadishu is caught with its pants down, what is Conspicuously absent from this scandal is a damage control PR from the president office. Seems like there is an absence of interest in clearing the air and bringing those accountable to justice. Let's see how the international community that finances this government respond.The lady is brave for putting this out in the public. The only president that I had was clean of corruption that didn't even own luxurious properties was the late (AUN) Abdullahi Yusuf ( he had his shortcomings, but not stealing from the coffers)..the president need to clean his house or history will not be on his side

  7. Alhamdulilah Kenya trip was great. The documentary was posted on Facebook by a Sijui friend( am assuming they are related). I'm hoping they post the full documentary soon. I think it was done by some Spanish crew( Spain) so I'm guessing it would be a good quality. I will post it once I come across

  8. Ibti, even though as a practicing Sunni Muslim I would be uncomfortable with Iranian Shia invasion of Somalia, I still think people are able to reason, asses claims and arrive at educative conclusion on their own. I understand everyone is able to reason, but unfortunately not everyone will reason perfectly through their propaganda. The risk is there, but hey let's be open for all kind of ideologies. istaghfurullah

  9. I didn't know Hersi speaks English. The boss man of Kulmiye politics is trying and Mama Edna is always up front with her conviction in believing in Somaliland.Looking forward to this documentary done by Somali sister from Spain.. The original documentary is in Spanish ( hence her Sijui accent). " frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

  10. This Malistar dude has no Xishoood? He first attempted to put up a picture of some random lady to justify that the honorable didn't resign. We gave him benefit of doubt till the news is widely confirmed. Now he comes back with Professor Samatar conspiracy. The saint-like quality you want to paint for us is NOT there buddy. Try harder next scandal, but this one makes you look like a fool if you keep going on in defending the indefensible!

  11. The plot thickens. Awdal press ( named and shamed the people behind the resignation of the Governor. If you click on the website of the so called investment company ( "looters incorporated") you will see the gimmick through their website. Somalia fetters progress towards building a country when the government supports looting of State properties and assets. The confirmation of these news spurs several thoughts; that Somalia will be in a mess for a very long time and that the dizzying and drastic sequence of one failure after another will hunt the country for many more years to come.President Hassan could crow about defeating AS and all that, but still his administration will be known as a corrupt one. A weak And largely indifferent president. Is he going to let history define him as the president who ruled with near-total disregard for anything other than fattening his wallet?

  12. Thought president Hassan was elected on the promise that he would restore openness in Somali politics. It is shame! Seems like he betrayed the promise. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. His government seems to come apart, as one scandal after another. The irretrievable defeat of the competent is what is worrying! Somalia will be known as a country that was always displaying a history of paralysis. Long as corruption is tolerated the future of Somalis ( including Somaliland) hung in the balance. This kind of stories will testify eloquently to the president overall incompetence! More and more critics will now point out the flaws inherent in Somalia's government

  13. Only other website reporting this news today is KeydMedia. You know I only trust Hiiranonline when it comes to Mogadishu stuff.keyd media seem to have put the source of the news Mogadishu. The rest of the sites pretty much cut and pasted from the original source. It is weird that the only source is a website from her identified regional affiliation folks.Which sort of gives a legitimacy in terms of Somali reporting. Some twitter source are confirming the news, but they could also be just plagiarizing the original source. This is a huge news for a person trusted with the State coffers to resign within month into her job! .

  14. I'm not a Islamic scholar, but I'm sure all of us commit sins intentional or not. I'm just not following your arrogance of thinking that Allah is not going to forgive sins when he himself says in the next Aya "turn ye to your lord in repentance and bow to his will before the penalty comes" obviously he is asking us to turn to him in repentance. I just can't sit here and tell you that he meant a green light to commit sins, but obviously he meant to repent if we do fall to sins. The only thing he doesn't forgive according to my understanding is those who take others as his partners.I think it is arrogant to preach that he, the merciful, is out there to get you while all along he says he is just and merciful to his creation.

  15. It is true that some Islamic scholars will make you feel like Allah is out there to get you.We are warned not to be treacherous and sinful, but also if we fall into any sins, as we are human, this Aya comes to mind. Say, "O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful." Islam calls for prayer, purity, humility, humbleness and sacrifice. May Allah make us the once who are firm and confident. Ps: for some reason as you age (like me) many of the foolish things that excite you don't move you. All you want to do is do right and do good deeds while placing your mercy on him. Or else the Quraan will not have called him the most merciful so many times.