• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by galbeedi

  1. Buraha, what took you so long?, any way I was expecting you to come from the woodwork. we all have an agenda, but do not at least misrepresent this particular sentence. What I was referring was that, unlike the SNM guys, the opposition could be discussed on the issue of Somalia. I did not say the opposition is more reasonable than Siilaanyo. Let us make that.
  2. Hargeisa, the land of the free, unless you write news papers. In Hargeisa, whether you resident, visitor or happen be to a Somali, in Hargeisa you will feel the freedom. There were no Al-shabaab threat of terrorism and bombing, there were no fear of the state security interfering your life, unless you involve in the media, and finally there were no threat of being kidnapped by ethiopian agents. Unlike what the internet extremists project, this place is as Somali as they come. This is the land of the Somalis. By nature freedom of expression is cherished very much. One of the biggest complaint people have is the state trying to muzzle the media. Talk and talk is part of the culture, and the government do not understand that simple formula." waar afka hana qaban, waxaasi waa waxaan ka soo dagaalanee" is one statements you hear. Almost every month some paper editor is arrested or his equipment confiscated. The ruling class is paranoid. The city has grown a lot. much bigger than what it was before the war. In fact " Naasahablood" mountain which was literally out of Hargeisa is now becoming a suburban of the city. One of my sisters live probably a kilometer or more from the mountain. Each district has it's own market. Business is good. Traffic jam is growing and thousand of cars fill the streets of Hargeisa. I will talk about life, liberty, trade and other aspects of Hargeisa, but first let us meet the political class ( from Awdal) in Hargeisa. The political class. First we had an audience with the vice president of Somaliland C/raxman C/laahi Zaylici. We had few exchanges about politics , economy and the general outlook of Somaliland. In my group we were people of different political stripes. Some were Somaliweyn adherents, others were Somaliland believers, while some were open minded about the whole issues. We asked him about the development issues, and he said " we do not want to promise things like the former regime , but if we say will do some thing we will do it" . He then went on to talk about the issue of Somaliland and the Awdal Diaspora. He said " if you ask the Mogadishu community(Hag), about Somalia, the first thing they will say is " caasimada Somalia waa Muqdisho, dawladuna halkaa waa in ay tagtaa, regardless of the safety situation; If you ask the "D" community about Somalia they will say " midnimada Soomaaliyeed waa Muqadas"; and finally if you talk to the " Duriyada" , they will say Somaliland waa Muqadas". Finally he looked at us and said " haddad tihiin Qurba Joogii reer Awdal waa in aad leedihiin meel biyo kama dhacaana." he was probably insinuating that we should make our our mind on the issues, but, the fact was, he was urging us to join the bandwagon of Somaliland and stick with it. as one of the Somali weyn guys present , I did not debate but listen. I had to be an honorable guest who should listen and learn. He knew some of the guys, and after the early serious talk, they started exchanging normal conversation. As we talked and the atmosphere seem relaxed, I decided to ask that nagging question which was in my mind. Both in Hargeisa and Borama there were rumors about the health of the President Ahmed Siilaanyo. I said to him, " how is the health of the president?, is he have serious issue? and God forbid if things get worse, are you prepared to lead?". He felt uncomfortable by my inquiry , but firmly Said " Subxaana Allah, Ilaahay naguma keno, AlxamduLilaah, the president is doing very well and healthy. Some of you will say " waar kuwani ma geerida ayey sugayaan" , but it was a fair question. He encouraged us to come back and invest what ever resource or knowledge we have. I did not had the opportunity to meet President Siilaanyo, but one of my friends did . He said, his face didn't had any expressions and seem tired. The fact is, unless a certified medical doctor declares him healthy, this question will remain always. Also, the actions of his aides indicate there something missing. " waxba is qaban la" Then we met some of the members of the Parliament from Awdal. They were as hard as anyone you can meet when it comes to the issue of Somaliland. For these guys, there is nothing other than Somaliland. They immediately started to criticize us by not contributing enough to the economic growth and investment in our region. One of them said " waar dhulka waxa min Burco ilaa Boorama Dhisanaya waa dadka ee maxaad hayado iyo waxuun u keeni laadihiin" another one said " G' reer awdal way Guuraane ma dhoofaan" . he said very few of us came back home after spending time in the diaspora. Another member, who is probably one of the youngest member of the Somaliland parliament, by the name Ahmed Yasiin Sheek Cali, boosted that " We are integral part of Somaliland, and kept talking about the usual " Somaliland anagaa Dhalay " and added, "we will decide who becomes the president , we can affect change and in the next election, we may even elect one or two guys in the Hargeisa city council". Finally, Some suggested that less than five percent of us comes back permanently. In contrast among the Duriyada, large number of the diaspora have completely settled back in Hargeisa and other places. Any way in terms of Somaliland, these guys were even talking about recognition and total separation. When I tried to raise with one of them about the youth unemployment, and the lack of government contribution in the region, he jumped and said " Adeer meeshan yar Hadii la aqoonsado, Abudabay baynu Noqon oo waynu dhargi , inagaa shaqo la inoo soo doonan". Well, I have to pass the Iqaamada uu bixin doono" . I assumed it was a Typical politician talking. While these members of parliament from Awdal were hard liners on the issue of Somaliland, they will not be the major obstacle for Somaliland to unite with Somalia. First, the power of Somaliland is now concentrated in the hands of very few well connected people, second Ahmed Siilaanyo being astute politician and the last high profile politician both in Somaliland and Somalia, if he decides to embark the The UNITY issue, he knows that he will not be confronted by the Awdal members of parliament, but a vocal group who happen to be former SNM veterans. Do not worry about the sultans or tribal chiefs, they could be brought in a room, then, the government will explain the reasons it decided to make the move. The SNM veterans are well respected in Somaliland especially among the " beesha dhexe" . In a recent encounter with Ahmed Samatar , Siilaanyo said " Taking a gun and waging war is much easier than running a government". Well, the SNM folks had bad experience running a government in Somaliland. Soon after the liberation, a quarrel which later became a civil war started immediately. There were accounts that even the first president (Ahn) C/raxman Tuur was stopped at gunpoint and forced to walk from his car. Having said that , Sheekh C/laahi told me that one of the biggest and most successful thing the movement did was by giving back the power and the decision to choose another government after their mandate of two years were finished. That was the opportunity to elect President Cigaal (Ahn) in Borama. Which probably made them different than the other movement like the USC. yet they are still not ready to lead. If you watch the news in Hargeisa, you will not miss their rant by threatening people in the media. Even Cigaal fought a bloody war against them. Before Cigaal cleverly stabilized Somaliland, tribal militia were holding the airport until mid nineties. even Faisal Waraabe said, without Cigaal we would have warlords ruming the land. We all realize that Siilaanyo didn't spent all these years in the wilderness just to debate with SNM and rule between Hargeisa, Borama and Burco, while he could be The Somali tiger in the horn with big the stick. We will discuss Silaanyo in the next segment.,,,, Siilaanyo knows in order to have any chance of peaceful integration of Somalia and Somaliland, he must eliminate the influence of the former members of the movement. Ahn, former president Cigaal eliminated almost the SNM from the power in the nineties. While they were part of his administration in his first term, he decided to neutralize them in order to move forward. To do this, he started from the top. Just before the Second Somaliland Conference, which elected Cigaal as a president for the second term, he called a couple Awdal elders and said, " Adeer ninkaan maad i dhaafisaan Lama Shaqayn Karayee, ood Nin kale Maad ii Keentaan". Cigaal was referring to his vice president, C/raxman Aw cali Faarah, one of the few SNM commanders who hails from Awdal. C/raxman Tolwaa, as he is called, gave Cigaal hard time by making decisions without the president while aligning himself with movement. Few weeks before the conference, the Borama elders came back and the President asked " Adeer yaad ii Wadaan ", they said " Mudane Madaxweyne, Caano madaadshe aan afka juuq ka odhan ayaan kuu Wadnaa". By that, they introduced the former Somali Intelligence service, Colonel Daahir Rayaale Kaahin. The rest is history. after that coup, Cigaal proceeded to enact his reforms and agendas after . Tough guy " jabhads", are always hard to deal. When Ahn, C/laahi Yusuf became president in 2004, he appointed prime Minister Cali Mohamed Geedi. Some of my Hag friends, kept complaining About about C/laahi Yusuf and how he was trying to take revenge from them and so on. I said, didn't one of your guy is the head of the government as a prime minister, why are you pretending like you guys are outsiders from the power?. He said " Xageed Ku Aragtay Nin Jabhad Ah iyo Nin Qalin Wata oo La isku daray? waar ninku qolka markay galeenba wuu bireeyey". They said " we need another Jabhad like him to deal with ." Siilaanyo like Cigaal already sidelined most of them from positions of influence. They are less than 5% of the cabinet , but they are still load by forming pressure group and other councils. They have every right to pressure Siilaanyo in the management of the state but on the issue of Somali Unity they will not be reasonable. One of them Mohamed Hashi Cilmi, objected in 2005, when the world bank offered some development money while incorporating through Somalia or under Somalia name. He said people paid high price to be associated with that name. Also, civic elections expose how much power one is holding or pretending to command. Many of these guys couldn't win direct elections among the public. Faisal and the opposition are reasonable people. Faysal Waraabe want honest discussion on the issue of Somalia and he will be reasonable. The move is already started. A third of the cabinet is now from the former old guard of the UDUB party. They may be corrupt but they are pragmatic and can get along with the leader. among those sidelined are : !- Mohamed Hashi 2-C/raxman aw cali 3- Dhagaweyne 4-Hassan Ciise Jamac 5-hassan guure 6-Cali guray 7-Mohamed Gaboose 8-Boobe yusuf Duale 9-C/raxman C/qadir 10-Mr. Dixood 12-general Tanni and other law level directors. At the same time there are few who do not hold offices , but are party members. 1- Muuse Biixi 2-Mohamed Kahin 3-Jaamac Shabeel These are nominally leaders of Kulmiye party. They will be eliminated in due course, after Siilaanyo wins the next election. If the opposition do not come together and form one single front , he could win it easily. To understand the future, you must learn the past. On that note, we have to talk about the the big elephant in the room, Mr. Ahmed Siilaanyo. Ahmed Siilaanyo, next...... since most of you voted to continue both the past and present we will do just that..
  3. No, I would not do that. That is private, but you can make your own conclusions.
  4. Well it was after 23 years of absence. Every encounter and meeting was special. The truth is, I was also taking some notes since The trip was a fact finding mission.
  5. There was a Somali jurist by the name Ina Sanweyne. The next story, I am about to tell may not diminish his stature as a great Somali " Garyaqaan", but it shows how did he got there first. In his time, a young Somali groom slapped in the face his mother in law. Since this incident is unheard of in the Somali culture of that ere to harm one's mother in law, it was a great scandal. Ina Sanweyne who never arbitrated an=y disagreement or a case before, decided to be the one who will judge the case. Before he proceeded, he requested that the case must be postponed and during the spring when all migrants and others congregate at this famous well where people and beat meets. His intention was to wait for a big audience and to publicize the case as much as possible. When the spring came, the whole community gathered around the well. Already a huge publicity proceeded. Everyone wanted to be present and hear the case that involved the man who slapped his mother in law. Ina Sanweyne proceeded, by talking how it is outrageous in our culture for mother in law to be even seen in the presence of the groom. He said" in our tradition, for the mother in law to see even the glimpse of the groom, they should hide behind a tree let alone come face to face with him". He then instructed them, " waar bal gacantiina fidiya", they did, "Bal hadaba islaanta kuu soo gaadhay intaa, xaalkeedu waamaxay". he concluded that the Mother broke the law by getting so close. By the way the accident happen while the guy was beating the bride and the mother in law tried to intervene. Finally, he judged for the groom and absolved of him of any " xaal" or damages. The father of the groom who was present told Ina Sanweyne " waar ma hal baan ku Siiyaa, mise hal baan kuu idhaahdaa". Which means , do you want me to give you a she camel or would you like for me to say for you one Ward. Ina sanweyne said " hal Iidheh". Whenever there is a case or dispute, this man will rise and say " waar garta Ina Sanweyne ha loo geeyo", getting him free publicity. As you can see, not only Ina Sanweyne judged against the victim, who was slapped, in this case the mother in law, but also got big publicity by doing this injustice. Here in the west we call that double whammy. The moral of the story is, some of you in this forum, like Tallabo, will like in " looyidhaahdo" mida ay rabaan, Being loud doesn't mean you are correct. You may like some of the narratives, others will infuriate you, while some may amuse you. Otherwise, it won't be interesting.
  6. Maadeey, do not worry. Daafeed dal wanaag sanaydahaye. I remember the tall camels drinking water around the city. It did shape my thinking very much.
  7. Awdal State is in the diaspora, people back home are Somaliland. When it comes to Somaliland project and the view of the local people it is totally different of what we perceive in the diaspora. The professional class: doctors, NGO operators, government directors , and the civil servants, both in Borama and Hargeisa they fully support the Somaliland project. for them there is no other alternative. When chatting with them, what you hear " Hadaanu nahay reer Soomaliland, Somaliland this, Somaliland that", they could barely say Somalia or similar things. Among these groups, there were those who never had any experience in Somalia or spent their whole life in Somaliland. Among them is the vice President C/raxman Zaylici. When he finished high school, he attended a technical school in Hargeisa and joined his family's business as an engineer building houses. He never seen beyond Burco. The second group is the older ones who had bad experience in Somali bureaucracy in the late eighties, and are not willing to take a second chance. These older guys have settled and are not trying a new adventure. For these guys the Somaliland issue is settled. Also the news from the south is not encouraging. The elders are also part of the Somaliland project. While they care about the well being and stability of Somalia, they see a distant thing that can only be discussed when the South of Somalia becomes stable. One of the exchanges I had one of the elders was astonishing. He said " adeer AAden Cadde Ma garan?, I said , " do you mean the former President of Somalia? he said, yes and proceeded with his story. Actually, these story was told more than once by other elders in Awdal. I do not know, if it is an urban legend or authentic story, but I will take on their word. He said that in 1962, the (Ahn) AAdan Cadde was touring the North West, and he stopped a small town called Boon (Famous for it's baked ribs, where young girls run beside the lorries going to Djibouti and say Loudly " solayga solayga), which lies between Borama and Zaylac. While discussing their conditions, the elders asked the president that they need water wells for them and for their livestock. As the story goes Addan Cadde said " do you guys know a town called Jawhar?', they said no we don't, "well, the president siad " it is just 90 km from Mogadishu and I have to dig the well their first, and then Hiiraan and so on, then we will dig one for you." then he told me son, " adeer Hargeisi intaas ay Jowhar u jirto ayey ii jirtaa". There were no debate here. Then I met the Sheekhul Beled of Borama, Sheekh C/laahi Sheekh Cali Jowhar. He gave me a big lesson about the history of Somaliland and how far they came, about the effort to pacify from Sheekh to Burco , to Hargeisa and Shirkii boorama. Finally, he said they are praying Allah to lift the suffering from the Somalia and its people, but your duties are to help Somaliland and it's progress. He concluded that the people are building their town and cities while the government is keeping the peace. Again there were debate , other than " sheekh waad Mahadsan tahay". Another important factor is the Somaliland system is the glue that is holding everybody together. Educated people will tell you if the Somaliland system is removed, there will be disintegration. They say it may fragment in to four different regions. One In Awdal and selel, another from gabiley to Berbera, Togdheer and the east may form another one. They say this will be a recipe for disaster.. Among those who are hopeful of Somali unity in their lifetime , there was one major trend that I felt both in Hargeisa and Borama people were expecting some kind of change both from Somalia and president Siilanyo government who were elected just a year earlier. Unlike Rayaale, Siilaanyo authorized the engagement of Somalia both in the diplomatic arena and bilateral meetings. They were expecting these meetings may produce some kind of blueprint for the future. Those who had hopes of Somali unity were also skeptical about in improvement from the south. Some even told me that " adeer Koonfurtu kuna Dili mayso, kuna Noolayn mayso" . They said that in Somaliland people did their best during the last 20 years to keep the peace and hoped for Somalia to move forward for the next step.Unlike what you see in the diaspora and the internet People in Hargeisa and Borama are reasonable. When you talk to them in private or logical manner they will tell you that " Adeer midho Guntigaaga ku jira loma daadiyo kuwa geed Saaran, Waxay noqon lahaydba, Marka hore ha la helo Dal nabad ah iyo dad lala hadlo|. For those a peaceful south was the key for Somaliland-Somalia unity. So if you are somebody interested for the future unity of Somalia, you must concentrate, the security issue of the south. WE must not let pickering or incompetent people to drail this task. Again, the people are easy to talk and are open for a dialogue, Do not judge by the tough talk of the Diaspora. Since Qoslaaye came, the perception is changing and people are becoming hopeless. Rather than looking up to that big Somalia, they see small Somali states mushrooming all over the country with no regard for unity. Many are even sticking to Somaliland in the face of more disintegration of Somalia. Those who believe principally the idea of united Somali Republic are disillusioned and are not having any help from any quarters. While every mature and people of authority seem to suggest that the issue of Somaliland was settled, the youth were totally different. The youth who represent the future are edgy and unhappy. Many are graduating from these universities and they aren't getting any prospect of jobs. Public sector jobs are rare and closed mostly for the next kin of the directors or the government ministers families. It is common that every ministry is dominated by certain subclan. major ministries like, the Interior, finance and foreign are closed for particular group of people. hundred of these youth are every where. Some are heading to Mogadishu for the scholarships that foreign governments provide, others are heading to shark invested seas. AS i was talking some of the youth to discourage about " Tahriib" , one of them said " adeer, every day we see guys who were mediocre in terms of education and other life achievements, coming back home, building the big house and marrying the best girl in the neighborhood" , " we can't sit here idly while are people taking risks to improve life". Among those Somaliland is a cage and a dream that may not fulfilled.. For them the idea of Somalia is an open opportunity, they believe there could be some good chances. Few go to hargeisa for job openings and come back empty. Now they want to try either in the sea or in other places regardless of the risk. When I came to Hargeisa I was talking to one of the senior bureaucrats , and when I raised the issue of youth unemployment , he said " unless we get some kind of mineral resources like oil or heavy investment from abroad , this issue will persist, and the leaders are well aware so there will be some movements toward engaging Somalia issue. The business community is open for everything. They are loyal Somalilanders, but they do not object the idea of expanding their business opportunities. Dahabshiil Company is one of the most organized and highly successful business in Somaliland. Their office branches are visible everywhere. their employees are from the local communities where they operate. They are also involved almost all the local projects spearheaded by the communities they serve. While the business community is very active , they do not openly associate with politicians. If peace comes from the south, the business community will quickly trade and expand. They will be probably the ones who will bring communities together. Usually public opinion follows the trend of the what is happening and now in 2014, people in general do not have high hopes for the current government in Somalia. The constant increase of foreign armies, especially from the neighboring countries gave people certain scepticism to be part of Unisom led Somalia. Next Hargeisa and the political elite.
  8. Malister, I agree those three should be fired. they failed the Somali people.
  9. Dhagax-tuur, I am taking that advice. thanks.
  10. Hawdian the MOD became the power of the throne, after 1982. After the war of 1977 the pressure was to eliminate the coup plotters.
  11. Hawdian, saaxiib ha degdegina. I was writing in 1981. Yes, there were underlying issues or under the current problems, but in 1980 and 1981, the inside problems did not explode yet. I think Tallabo is probably wasn't even born then. The Somali Airline flight to Hargeisa was always full. When I came back to Hargeisa in 1982, that was when the big flares " dhagax tuurkii" and other things started. Any way I wish you could wait. Yes there were issues of settlements and refugees in Hargeisa were people felt dispossessed and others. But the fact was Hargeisa was booming in 1981. Tallbo, we all know the bombing of the city, the destruction of Hargeisa, the refugees who settled in Ethiopia and all the calamities that flowed.
  12. It is upside down, or the beginning of the upheaval. Before I talk about the the current situation, some thirty years ago as a teenage boy of 14 old , I witnessed one of darkest political events of my early age, right here in this town. It did happen long time ago, but , I remember like it happened yesterday. It was the school year 1979/80, I was attending Sheekh Ali Jowhar high, I was in junior high or what we you used to call Form 1. About around nine in the morning, first, there were commotions, and next, the people of the city were running around frightened. WE all gathered around the police station. Like some kind of civil defence, some of locals brought their pickup trucks and guns. I remember an old man ( Ahn), by the name of Hussein Hadi riding his landrover and encourage people to assemble and get ready for the defence of the city. While we were all asleep four in the morning, one of the military bases in Goroyocawl, five miles north of Borama was taken over. Not by the ethiopian army, but by our own brothers . A group of rebels, belonging to the SSDF movement took over the base at down. Geograph, may decide your destiny. Most of the residents, including me, never heard of the rebels. Yes, some people were familiar about the unsuccessful coup in Mogadishu, which resulted not only the execution of the instigators, but also targeted large number of innocent people, who happen to be members of the clan who were leading the coup. The city is only thirty kilometers from the border. When you travel to the villages just outside the city limit, you may even hear the rumbling of the Ethiopian tank at night, which makes the people edgy. THe people who live in the border area, throughout Somaliland paid a high price during the war , both on life and material help. also in the school year of 1977/78, the Amoud boarding high school was closed to make way for for a makeshift hospital to nurse the wounded soldiers coming from the war zone. As you can imagine, the people's attention is what may come from that border. No one ever thought that the army was guarding the border from another Somali. By eleven in the morning, enough forces was assembled in the city, and a contingent of national army came from a base west of the region called Halimaale. The counter offensive started immediately. By two in the afternoon the rebels were pushed back and the army took the base again. Around four thirty, in the afternoon, the bodies of the dead soldiers and rebels were brought to the cemetery in the west side of the city. If I could remember correctly, the total dead -may Allah have mercy on them - were 29. The national army soldiers were buried one by one in their own graves, and the rebels were buried in groups. When the burial was over, one of the local Sheikhs made duca. After the conclusion of the "salaatul Jinaasa' the prayers for the dead, the sheikh said " Today we lost about thirty men, both of them our own sons, he continues, " today Mengistu will be saying how many Somalis did I kill, for him what counts is the total". "they are both enemies for him, didn't we had just fought a battle of the ages against him two years ago?. " Waar hadda ma waxaad Na Leedihiin Cadawgii Dadka Soomaaliyeed Xamar buu joogo, Adeer taasi waa duni maqluubka loo rogay" indeed for many it was an upside down. With profound sadness, we all left the cemetery without saying a word. That experience shaped deeply, the antipathy I have for inter Somali clan wars. At that same day, when the battle was raging around two in the afternoon, they brought a prisoner of the war. We all raised to the police station to see the Ethiopian prisoner that was captured. To the surprise of all, he was a young Somali fighter from the rebel group. In fact in the nineteen eighties, I met him in a small coffee shop in the intersection of Cassa poopalare, owned by a family member. He was released after clemency was offered among the members of SSDF in 1984. He was training as intermediate school teacher when he left and joined the rebels. Just before he set his shop in Ethiopia, (ahn) c/laahi yusuf was asked, " how can you join forces with Mengistu while the wounded of the last war were still bleeding" ?, he said " Siyaad Barre Shaydaana Waan Uso Kaxaysan" . I think we were collecting the grape fruit of the Shaydaan for a long time. To be fair, when C/laahi Yusuf was asked in 2004, while he was running for president , about his long battle as a rebel, he said " Hadaan Ogahay in soomali ay sidan oo Kale u qariban tahay, Qori iyo will gaadhi masaareen , duurkana ma galeen. This events, remind me that those who want to rule this country must have a profound understanding that the nation is bigger than Mogadishu or the desire of those quarrelling for power. At the same time those who want to rule should have great insights about Hargeisa, Jigjiiga and beyond. Also we must never push our brothers to the hand of the enemy for comfort. Another, journey just before this one. Since I am looking back for the past in this latest thread, let me go back another two years after that one in 1981. I went for vacation in Djibouti at the summer of 1981. after spending there two months, I did get a call from one of my uncles who was in Mogadishu. He was member of "Gudiga Nabadgalyada Gobolka Benadir". he was a Police captain. I was excited for the journey to go to the nation's capital. In Djibouti, where the buses and trucks stand to wait for freight and people, it was busy. At the border crossing in Lawyacado, there were huge lineup of trucks, most of them were headed in Hargeisa. After staying few days in Borama, I proceeded with my travel. When I entered Hargeisa, it was different. At that year a boom of a lifetime was happening in the city. Money was pouring from the gulf to hargeisa, export and import businesses were everywhere. While Somalia itself was under "xisbiga Hantiwadaaga" and free enterprise was restricted, it seemed the people of Woqooyi Galbeed were given amble opportunity for free trade and enterprise. The city was growing as a enormous rate. Japanese and other import cars dominated the street, the somali shilling was losing power as inflation was so high. In the Hargeisa market you could barely find any thing less than one shilling. the lower denomination of the shilling were disappearing. Unlike the rest of the country, this was a capitalist and trade heaven. Just like Lowyacado, hundreds of trucks were ready to travel to Berbera, Burco and Mogadishu. I did stop in burco for a while. Burco, like Hargeisa was booming. it was a gateway to the livestock export to Berbera. Even in the outskirt of the city, trucks have been loaded with goats and sheep. You could see trucks hauling livestock from as far as Dhuusamareeb and Hiiraan. After Burco, I left for final travel to Mogadishu. As soon as you reach Groowe, there was a fear among the traveling public. The insurgency was growing and the life of the people were becoming difficult. The cities were dead. THere were no any business activity in that part of the country. Not only the government purged, and arrested almost all of the civil servants, army officers and others in any position of influence , by claiming them to be " Mahbar", but it also targeted the rural population. Water wells were bombed and the nomads disappeared. In 1981, central Somalia towns were deserted and looked like ghost towns. The tale of two cities. Finally we reached Mogadishu. Mogadishu of 1981 was cheap and good. Inflation was law. not only shillings but pennies were still in circulation. most of the business was government connected. There were few privately owned Hotels. major hotels were run by government. Unlike Hargeisa, open trade was restricted. In the north, a system called Fraco fluto was in place. Everyone can go to Dubai and pick a car or truck and bring to Berbera. Rather than few government sanctioned people, every one had the opportunity to import goods. You do not need a licence or permit to do so. In mogadishu, it was different . The government instituted an LC system. on this system only those who have these permits were able to import thinks. THe mogadishu LC creates very few rich people to control the market. While Hargeisa was booming with Asian import cars Mogadishu was riding with old style Fiat. In Hargeisa the Taxis were mostly latest models of toyota Cressida, in the capital it was old 124 fiat. While in 1981, a lot of political moves that will eventually affected the future of the country was happening, mogadishu and south were normal. The more you travel south to Afgooye, marka, and Kismaayo, the better the life was. In the deep south of the inter river, life was cheap, and there were no inflation. Most of the food consumed were locally produced. Personally I thought Mogadishu as a government town, possibilities were measured, and limited, while Hargeisa was the land where everything was possible. literally, in those days, you could have come to Hargeisa and joined the melting pot of business. In 1981, " kacaanku waxuu ku dhawaaqay Laba kaclayn". Siad Barre arrested some of the most influential friends of the revolution, both from the north and south. Some elders from Gedo visited Siad Barre soon after the " Laba Kaclayn" and told him " mar hadaad ragii kacaankan kula soo waday aad xabsi ku tuurtay, filo in aadan ka dambayn" . Soon after, the SNM was created in October/1981. Remember until that year THe Reer Woqooyi ( somalilanders) were the most powerful members of the October revolution. Among 23 Somali revolutionary counsel, nine of them were reer woqooyi. Unlike public perception, In the seventies, the most powerful men ,of the government were , Axmed Saleebaan Dafle, Cumar Carte Qaalib, Siilaanyo, Muuse Rabiile, Axmed xasan Muuse, Ismaaciil A. abokor and many more. I hope some of the landers in the forum will clarify this or may even introduce contrary arguments, especially Xaaji Xujuf, but, when SNM was created in the Diaspora, in 1981, Hargeisa was the richest city in the Somali speaking world. Even the Somaliland elder statesman Xaaji Cabdi Waraabe said, "If were left alone, Hargeisa could have been London ", By traveling from Lawyacao to Mogadishu I just felt that same feeling. I saw economic growth and prosperity, while the central part was empty and mogadishu was socialist in it's approach of the business. Well, lets fast forward to the 21st century, next the elite and the public opinion,,,,,,,,,,
  13. MMA said it best. Can you imagine how far the so called this international guys go. Well, let us tell them that the pirates that u capture at sea are feeling sick so they may build us a hospital. Just the same guys who are paying Unisom solders $1500 a month are building these jails. Now we know where their proprieties. Nice looking though.
  14. The good, the bad and the ugly. The ugly: We all have extended families. Some are doing very well economically, others are average and some are poor. You do your best to help as much as you can. Some research done by Amoud University found that up 71% of the local households in Borama receive money from their families in the diaspora. That shows the Somali diaspora has more contribution than anyone else. contribution. Some families need more than other, and some men do take care for the well being of their dependent Families, but others, do not care other than their daily khat. They will not ask you a gallon of oil or a kilo of rice for their families. all they ask you is " qaadka Noo qaad". I went to one of the food stores ( Bakhaarka), and gave the shopkeeper the list of the families that I would like to help. I told him, give these twenty families each, a bag of rice, sugar and a can of canola oil. It does cost about $80 dollars each. It was the best sadaqa one can do. When the khat chewing guy comes, " waar qaadkayga maad na siisid" , I tell him a gave the khat to your wife. The ugly men of khat are selfish. At the same time you must give as much khat as possible for the first few days. While giving some khat is okay both as gift and some economic uplifting for the lady selling the thing, it was also self interest on my part. Since generosity is a great aspect of Somaliland culture, I don't want to be labeled as "Gacantii Go'day ". The Good ( nololi waa haween) Although they care the extended family , and neglected by the " qaad cun", The Somali women, the gatekeepers of Somali society will not dare to ask you for help. They treat you with honor when you visit the home, with the original tea " sanjibil iyo hayl lagu daray" and expect you to do the right thing. Even in the Diaspora, it is the somali women who bends the families together. Imagine, a country whose middle class, business class and everyone who had any form of education become refugees in a total collapse. In 1990, " shantii Soomaaliyeed" Mogadishu ayey iskugu yimaadeen. Hargeisa was in ruins in 1990, and after one year, somalis were scattered around the globe. Despite these calamities, the Somali family unit is intact. Most of these are attributed by the tenacity and patience of the Somali women. Imagine carrying an average of five to six kids in The Diaspora were the average family is one or two kids. They are good of Somali society. While the majority of those who are involved in the government are incompetent, the private sector is totally different. Money transfer companies like, Dahabshiil, Amal and others are not only professionals but contribute a lot to the local economy. Unlike Djibouti were electric, water and telephone are controlled by a government monopoly, here it is really free enterprise. my family pays about $20 dollars for twenty four hour electricity a month, water is Ten dollars a month and telephone is ten dollars/month. The business community is leading the changes, not the government. Tree enterprise is is thriving. Even if you travel to the coastal area or any other region, the cell phone tower antenna is everywhere. It is one of the cheapest in the world. I did put in $20 dollar worth of airtime and I even called Canada and around the world why I was in small towns. Even People in Djibouti go to the outskirt of the city to access the Telesome Network antenna in Lowyacado. THe business class do not chew khat expect " Jimcaha". They are even open in the evenings. I say they are the Good of the society. All major transactions are done with American dollars. Since the Somaliland Shilling is created out of thin air, it is inflationary and unstable. While the Land gained some ground against the dollar last year it is basically a currensy for small transactions. If you want to exchange 200 dollars for the Land shilling, you must carry a grocery bag to carry it. Even for one hundred, you will get five bundles which can't be put in any pocket. When you see $1000 dollar worth of money carried in " kaariyoone" you feel this Somaliland project " waa arrin dani ku baday oo ku meel Gaadh ah". Although Some paranoid members of the regime arrest journalists in Hargeisa and other places, there is a sense of freedom. Unlike Djibouti and Ethiopia, no one worries about the long arm of the state. I believe , if you remove the threat of Al-shabaab, Somalis everywhere will not accept any system which denies them freedom of speech and other democratic rights. In that sense Somaliland is not different. People here in general do not like aggressive authority either from police or any other entity. In this picture the bad is the government. The only people among the government who are working hard are the district judges and the police. The judges are mostly religious scholars who both work for their communities and for hereafter. The Governor arrests people for petty reasons like, the insulted him or somebody said something bad in the media. Finally Siilaanyo came to his senses and fired him. Since then there were two more good governors, but the current one from Burco is different. While those who originated from Awdal were arresting people to keep Hirsi and the Palace happy, this guy did the opposite. I actually I was one of those who criticised these idea of swabbing governors which flies in the face of self rule.Under this governor, People can hold press conferences and denounce Siilaanyo or his government or any thing they dislike and he lets them bark as much as they like. in fact it is the freedom speech at it's best. Last year, there was a guy who was one of the leaders of Awdal state, well known in the media, who visited Borama and nothing happened to him. After he came back there were rumors that he was probably made some deal. We live in the same city and when he came back as I asked him jokingly " Waar bal ii waran, Waxaan maqlay in aad Madaxtooyada ku soo qayishay Xirsina ku soo Amababixiyee" He said " walaahi" I wanted to be arrested, but the governor did not want to raise any publicity or create the impression he is prosecuting people. He said that the governor sent me a an interlocutor who informed me that as long as you don't cause any instability, this is your home. HE also said, while I was having a tea at Rays hotel, he said hello and Joked and we exchanged few words. When I heard the story I said, well, the foxy community of Burco are finally learning the art of politics. Education is thriving. It is mostly private. The freshmen in Amoud were around 900 students. 55% of those came from outside Awdal region. Over three thousand students who are attending Amoud, 1800 of them came from outside Awdal. the Faculty of education produses teachers both in Awdal and around all Somali territories. In fact they told us that there are Awdal teachers in puntland, Sool, Jawhar and as far as beled Xawwo. There are families who are relocated from other parts of Somalia to stay here and watch their children finish school. Another thing about Borama is no one will ask you which clan you belong or any uncivilized questions. I am not exaggerating but you will feel home. I remember during THe Carta government, I was an arch supported of the that government and I was involved with a lot of debate some of detractors. THere were three guys , one from Duriyada, From SSDf and USC. When things heat up , the Somaliland guy would say " Waar nimankaan iskaga dhex bax, Meeshan balaayadu ka socoto oo Soomaaliland taada ka hadal". When I challenge the other two for their failures and the price the Somalis were paying , they got mad and tell me " waar idinku Awalba Macalimiin Baad ahaydeen , Tamaashiirtiina waan idiin dhiibi doonaaye buuqa Yaree" . It looks in Tamaashiirtii naloo Dhiibay". That year the first Five students graduated from the medical school which covers the badly needed doctors. As I was walking in the downtown around 10:00pm at night I saw five dozen of people walking with books. When I enquired, they told me that Amoud university has a campus in downtown where business people, shopkeepers and other adults who work during the day take some courses. While Eelo University is a technical school, which is producing students for many field like electrician and auto mechanics, Technical know how is almost not existent. The state within the state. The Non Governmental Organization or NGO's as they are known, really are their own governments. They have their own rules, pay their employees ten times the government, and everyone from the government minister to the local health administration, are trying to land one of their projects. In hargeisa alone there are 121 NGO's who operate and have offices. One day I saw people in a guest house hall being distributes five dollar each. Since no crowd will participate these so called awareness issues of the NGO, they must sweeten the pot. While most of those who finance these projects are western, now the local directors are either Kenyan, or Ugandan. A government ministry that doesn't have direct financing from NGO's for their pet projects are officially dead. No one goes there including the minister. While traveling in Zaylac I saw about a dozen land cruisers in the villages and between. THey said these are the health NGO vaccinating people . It really seems there is no business activity or life without them. 65% of Somaliland budget is spent on security, so somebody have to cover all these projects. I could could be wrong , but I believe without them the State institutions may not survive. Other than the business community, every thing is financed by them. All these educational institutions and other functions projects are only possible through them. I can confirm this State called NGO is bigger than Somaliland itself, and without them, there will not be stability. Next the issue of session . The public opinion and the political class. Please bear with me i have a lot more to tell.
  15. When I saw the headline, I thought he was announcing a withdrawal date. Unless they specify exact date or at least a time table to work on it could work. As of now it is a open ended operation. Why don't say by June 2015, they will go or January/2016. We need fixed dates. I believe Qoslaaye, to ease some of the pressure, may give the shop away and extend another 10 years. That will be the end of the Republic as we know it.
  16. Alpha , I could be out of the touch, but how long do we have to make excuses for people who can't do any simple reforms to make life better for the citizens. What does it take to keep streets open or develop new land for people to settle.
  17. It is really big hope. I heard there were a study many years ago, which said only 7% of immigrants go back home. I know friends who live in northern canada, over there the sun goes down 3pm and rises 10:00am in the winter. We work 10 to 14 hours a day. it is totally a new idea to go back. Thanks for the uplifting hope.
  18. Mooge, Homunculus and others thanks for the compliment. I am humbled and thank Somaliaonline for giving all of us this platform to express our thoughts.
  19. Just after half an hour in the air we landed Hargeisa. While Djibouti is a land inhabited by Somalis and others, it couldn't reflect the original Somali culture. Because of the french influence and the presence of Caffar, Arabs , Ethiopians and other cultures, some how wasn't authentic. If you really want to see the real Somali culture, you must go to the heartland. Two places where you may find is Gaalkacayo , in central Somalia and Hargeisa. While the old Somali traits of " Gabay Iyo Geesinimo" is fading in the modern times, you will not miss the other ones like : loud, pushy, arrogant, yet proud and generous. By touching down Hargeisa I felt coming home for a real. A government minister and other dignitaries welcomed us at the airport. In fact we proceeded to the VIP lounge of the airport. They took our passports and we paid the entrance visa fee. I wanted to go to the line myself, but they insisted to do it for us. It was a nice gesture , but I never liked it. I wanted to be with people. At the front gate, where our car parked, I saw the minister of aviation Mohamed Hashi. It was Friday and he was wearing " go', shaala iyo macaws" . He probably came to check what was going on. In Hargeisa , after long absence in the diaspora, the first thing you notice is the crude Somali culture. Load, pushy, arrogant , yet proud and generous. It is also very easy to converse and chat with people. We reached one of the hotels in west side of the city. Since there were not any jet lag we started intermingling with people. For me, it was very nostalgic, and home coming, especially when you have family and friend in both corners of the city. Regardless of what the political situation or the the allocations of power may cause some Awdalites to complain, I had the sense of feeling that we are integral part of the Somaliland project. I wasn't able to see any family members that day, other than converse with telephone. We called the night off and went to bed. THe Muadin , in the mosque next door , started the Fajar Edaan around three in the morning. I thought the first Daakiraad ( call for wake up) used to start around four, then the final call before the prayer. This one seemed too early and non stop from three to Fajar prayer. I thought the Muadin was probably sleeping all day and he doesn't mind keeping others awake. It has been long time since I heard Fajar EEdaan, so I may be mistaken about early call . We woke up early and prepared to leave. Hargeisa , like Addis is up early and on the move. The transit buses are already filling the roads. Small tea houses are everywhere and people are gathering around it. I came back for Hargeisa after spending ten days in Awdal region, but first, we left for Borama first thing in the morning. We did stop about an hour in Gabiley and had some refreshments. In my eyes Gabiley seemed to be shrank little bit from the days of eighties. Any way, we reached Borama by noon. If you were a former resident of the city before the collapse of the Somali state, there is one thing that you will immediately notice. if you walk around , You will notice that the last time there was a government in this city was in 1991. In Ay Dawladi Meeshaan Ugu dambaysay 1991 Ayaad Ogaanaysa. Within the original boundaries of the city, one or two more cities are built. Every park, field or playground are made way for houses. Major streets crossing throughout the city are literally blocked. I am not talking about people making the streets narrow by setting up houses. I am talking about people setting their shops, homes and businesses in the middle of the street. Bal ka waran gurigaaga hortiisa oo wadadii maraysay qof suuq ka samaysto. Every stands were transit trucks or buses to Djibouti and Hargeisa used to wait for passengers are occupied. Except one or two, every major road in the city is totally blocked. Park ranger areas, Beerta xoriyada were kids use to play are occupied. When I asked people how could this happen?, they said every mayor that came sold these public places and parks , and never even bathered to clear the streets from squateres. I Remember Allah ha u naxariistee, C/laahi yusuf's during his reign in Puntland he bulldozed squatters with armored carriers to clear streets. THe mayor does nothing other than just sell public land. The issue of mayors selling public land and the disputes it creates are familiar vevey where in Somaliland. Another major issue is, when you go in the outskirt of the city , just like the old time, the so called " cashuur qaade" is waiting the poor lady who brought A gallon or two milk to market. these are among the poorest of rural people who should be left alone. The shop owner or the restaurant may pay some money by end of the year, but these people are targeted. A day or so after we met the mayor. We booked for 9:00am. we kept waiting and finally he showed up around 10:30am. A two dozen people are waiting for grievances about land disputes and other issues. He told us to sit, watch and learn. Wax baanu naqaanaa baad tidhahdiin sow ma ahan, daawada sida aan wax u kala dabarno" We said go ahead by all means. Hopeless people cried for waiting a judgment for long time about their "jago' and other residential boundary issues. He dismissed all either by false promise, or instructing a uniformed police to look the issue , and by noon he was out. There are no, city manager, road maintenance, garbage collection department or any thing that works without the mayor. All they do is sell the land whether it is a street or park and pocket the proceeds. Welcome to the 21st century mayors of Somaliland. After seeing the incompetent and corrupt mayor ( by the way he wasn't the only mayor who is responsible for this mess), the next day , we met the Governor. The Governor was a former felon who was accused of a murder. Annalena Tonelli was an Italian activist and lawyer who set up hospitals in east Africa foe over thirty years. In the nineties, she established a hospital for Tuberculosis, Aids and other diseases in Borama. Her family and friends in Italy helped her finance the hospital by contributing $20.000 a month. She was one of the most beloved volunteer to work in the region. In October 2003 she was assassinated inside the hospital. Four men were arrested for her murder. The Governor was among those accused of the crime. he was arrested, and He spent many years in Madhera jail, but was finally released after some of the witnesses could not come forward. After Siilaanyo become president he appointed him the Governor of Awdal. In fact soon after Siilaanyo took over as a president he appointed to public office for every one that had any beef with Rayaale. He appointed Mohamed Hashi and Gaboose , to guys arrested by Rayaale for creating illegal forth party, minister of finance and interior respectively. He appointed minister former unemployed guy, by the name of Ina Geeljire, who owned Mijilis in Ottawa, Canada and wrote " afaray" every week to insult rayaale. Any way, finally he fired all of those who attacked rayaale and replaced with them with Rayaale loyalists. The biggest surprise among these government representatives in Awdal were either corrupt, incompetent, or out right criminals. some times it seems the worst among the people are joining or becoming part of the government. The most competent hard working and men of honor were either in the private sector, involved in the NGO's or unemployed. A system that attracts the worst among society will not survive too long or will ebede growth. will leave there, next...........
  20. By the way it never meant to be academic.
  21. Look I never put down the businessman who made his money. Whether he is Dahabshiil or Telesome or any other Djibouti businessman, I have no beef with them. What bugs me is a guy who becomes filthy rich by being in the government. What I meant is by pursuing legitimate means and honest living, I resent them. You remember the saying that " hebel meel fiican oo dhacdhac leh ayuu joogaa oo guri fiican buu dhistay" that statement is praising the crook. gooni, maxaad tiri duuliyaha ha fiirin ee meesha daran ee uu u socdo eeg. Saaxiibadaa makugu raacsan yihiin in meel daran uu u socdo.
  22. I was traveling with a group of very important people. People who are usually involved with local developments, like Hospitals, roads, education and so on. They had connections with both the political and the business elite of Djibouti and Somaliland. I have close relatives in the city, but, because of the company I was keeping, I had to stay in a Hotel. The Hotel is called Cite Placel. It was owned by the former Prime Minister of Djibouti during the colonial era, Ali Carif Burhan.. He is still energetic and healthy. As I was introduced, he asked me where I was from, and told him. He said, If you guys ignored the so called Somaliweyn bandwagon in late sixties and early seventies, your lot could have been better today. I told him, how it was a tough call to abandon Somaliweyn at the time and join the French Colonial segment who were running the land or were prepared to take over. The wind of Somali nationalism was so strong at the time, there were no second thought to confront the French. Actually one of my uncles, and two of his young associates from ( Jabhada Xoreynta Djibouti) were condemned to death penalty and life sentence respectively in 1967. They were accused of Kidnapping Ali Arif Burhan himself. His name was Dr. Omar Cisman Rabbe ( may Allah have a mercy on his soul). he passed away in 2013. Furthermore, other than AAdan Rooble CAwaale. none of the members of the Jabhadii Xoreynta Djibouti has ever held A prominent position in Djibouti. While the military government of Somalia helped train their army, just before the declaration of independence in 1977, Siad Barre reached some kind of a secret deal with France and arrested the members of the Jabhada who were present in Mogadishu, including Dr. Raabe. The rest of the leadership, including the chairman Janaale, were shot dead in Lawyacado while crossing to Djibouti days before independence. The power was given to those who were favoring the indefinite presence of France. Back to my Journey. IN the past article I mentioned oligarchs building on top of the sea. The hundred thousand I mentioned is not the value of the house. It is the cost of covering the sea water. The house eventually costs up to $ 800,000. At the time the Community had two ministers in the government. one was Minister without out portfolio , but was responsible for the projects. the other was The Justice Minister. We met at lunch one of the ministers( I won't mention his name). It was exactly at noon. as I said before, they only work few hours. We had MUqbaasad, which is a national dish in Djibouti. I enjoyed the dish, but was rushed immediately by the minister. It is not even one o'clock yet, but he was rushing to the Mijiliska for a khat session. Almost every business or political elite that i met , except very few, they all chew Khat. The poor working class chew a Khat that sells roughly $3/sack. The elite chew what they call " Shan Kunley". It is about $35 a piece. By the way I am not a Khat chewer, but I will sit and Chew few branches once in a blue moon. In general, every Djibouti-an you meet, is trying to emulate the elite who are robbing the land. People want to have the land cruiser, the air conditioned home and all the perks that accompany the life of the rich. They are spending their days to get an access to these key holders. They know if they get the right connection, they will never look back. None of them believes that hard work will make them better. Those who made, would not want to give any thing and will do whatever it takes to keep. While dining and sitting with these elites, I never felt comfortable. " waan ku Xajiimoonayey". Those of us who live in the Diaspora , do not miss any chance to criticize or look down the moral shortcomings of the western society we live with, but, do not forget without even noticing, these societies induce us certain values which only will be felt in certain moments. Here in the west every thing you owe your house, car, money and other assets , were earned by hard work and with legitimate means. That value of meritocracy , rule of law and equal playing field, will make you feel uncomfortable with The excess of these oligarchs. Another phenomena that caught my eye was, almost all the gatekeepers of these homes were Ethiopian men. As soon as you come to the gate, an Ahmaric or Oromo man opens the door. The telephone company is a monopoly owned by the state(family). Electricity is the most expensive commodity in the world. Since their is a sun in Djibouti in 365 days a year, some families tried to install solar system equipment to get cheap electricity. It was banned by the government, and if they find in your home a huge fine will be assessed in your house. Back to Daallo Airline sitting at the tarmac. A young man with a Mogadishu accent checked our tickets. as we boarded the plane I felt a smell of urine at the back, also empty water bottles were scattered around the seats. There are no light switches or any kind button to turn on anything. Basically, it was an old military plain. I said to myself, " after 23 years of anarchy, struggle and mayhem, is this what we exchanged for the state we destroyed?. Aren't people paid enough price both in the north and south to reach at least something better than what we left behind. ONe of the things that puts your moral down is the route that I took to get here. The Ethiopian Airline that took me from Frankfurt to Addis, was a state of the artArline in its own right, and now this. I don't if you young guys have heard about the story about the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie. In early 1964 he brought Wajaale( daanta Ethioia) two donkeys, and he siad " Soomaali oo Dawlad Noqota waa Dameera Geesa Dhala". The great poet Barkhad Cas said " aan ooyee albaaka ii xidha". Well, I had no choice but to ride the Russian man with sandals. stay tuned for the next leg of the journey in Hargeisa. Talaabo hold on to your seat.
  23. Mr. Talaabo have thrown me already off balance, so I should thread in a fine line. I am one of those who believe the unseen ( ehlul Iimaan wal Aqeeda), so I will not lie willfully. Some times we all may write or talk in hyperbole, or trow things without fact checking, in the heat of "Rag Iska Dhici, but if I make mistake I have always stand corrected. I am not an arrogant. while I have stakes in Somaliland, I am Somaliweyn Centric. When I say Somaliweyn centric, I mean the whole nine yard. From the Republic, to Zone five, Djibouti and NFD. WE lost these territories few decades ago and our neighbors should now they owe us instead of the other way around. I guess that is for another day. I did spend five days in Djibouti before I left for Somaliland and another four days before coming home from home. So I think it is fair to narrate my encounters with political and business class of Djibouti. That means I will go back and Start from Djibouti, again. I am not a professional storyteller so bear with me. Also, the reader must distinguish real factual encounters from my personal opinion and Judgements which may be biased.
  24. Alpha, no I am not, but my wife is.
  25. When I finished high school in the Middle of eighties, I did my national service in the city of Daafeed, in the Shabeelaha Hoose . The policy of the government was to exchange students from different regions of the country. Those from the north went south and vice versa. I was delighted about the opportunity to see different part of the country. I visited Marka, Qoryooley Janaale and villages in between. I felt home among the residents. I did not paid one single penny for my education, from intermediate school to university of Gahayr. My education was free. Although I cherished and enjoyed coming back home after stint in Gahayr and Mogadishu, I felt I could live anywhere in my country. Order is better than anarchy and freedom. In January,2011, I went back home for the first time in 23 years. I wasn't prepared, but some how I made the Journey. We landed Addis Ababa in the afternoon. As soon as we exited from the arrival section, Immediately we have encountered the immigration officers and other Ethiopian authorities. as he processed my passport i noticed small sign in cubicle mirror which said " fighting corruption starts here". I said hmmm, they are serious people. Their hotels and staff are well organized and professional. You could easily notice that the employees appreciate and like their jobs. They go beyond the call of duty to satisfy your needs. Since Somalis from the Diaspora tip well, they probably love us having there. When the sun comes up early in the morning, you have literally millions of people on the move. you may not see people sitting idly and chatting for useless reasons. Unlike parasitic Somali cultural norms where the unemployed eat and drink without any worries, here everybody is his own. you get to do something or you will not eat. While the corruption and excess of the ruling class are noticeable in any African country, there is a feeling that the larger public is working hard to make a living. Billions of foreign aid is pouring to the country and there are construction booms and investment, yet the conditions of the roads and their downtowns are not even close to the Mogadishu of 1985, where Maka Al-mukarama roadways and others passing through Shabelle were clean with street lights. any way, the national currency has a value and the system was working well. I did not travel to the regions of the country were restrictions and trade barriers are the norm. The most expensive island on earth. We left for Djibouti in the early evening and landed just after eight at night. The airport is very small with huge asphalt paved platforms who do not even look like runways. Military cargo jets and helicopters are visible on tarmac. A uniformed officer gave us forms to fill and we lined up in front of small widows and paid the visa money. any decent hotel is one hundred dollars, everybody seem to be hyper or did not sleep well. Unlike Ethiopia, nothing moves until seven thirty or eight in the morning. When you go the commercial district or ( Guudka), the traffic jam is so huge. THings get worse between noon and one o'clock. I kept cursing these insane traffic and suddenly after 1pm, the whole city shut down. The streets are empty. by now everyone is sitting or getting ready to chew Khat. Basically the whole nation works just about four hours. Late afternoon the only people walking in the streets are women who seem to enjoy strolling these empty roads. The people of Djibouti are honest, friendly and straight talkers. Transit buses are the best place to meet real middle and working class Djiboutians. Women dress in Light hijab, Cabaayad or Dirac with light " malkhabad" .They are open and moderate society. Mosques are well attended, but you may not see religious extremists. Djibouti is a city state run by small connected families. Live is very expensive. One thousand dollars a month may not be enough for a middle class family with their own house, who would probably pay a third of that money for electricity. nothing is done to improve the life of the people. Yes, there are developments like container ports, oil terminal and other infrastructure for the import industry , but , none of these benefits the regular people or enhances employment opportunities for them. Greed is the word, the Oligarchs are building Hollywood style mansion on the top of the sea. It costs one hundred thousand dollars to fill the sea and build these houses. As I was leaving to Hargeisa, I noticed a huge 707 boeing jet in the tarmac. It had a logo which read " Republique de Djibouti". I did ask one of the Guys: since when did Djibouti had an airline?. The last Air Djibouti became defunct in late eighties after corruption bankrupted. He said, " it is President Geilleh's personal jet. when not in use he parks the plane in South Africa and when he travels, a pilot brings here. Cajiib. As we waited, I noticed another old russian built jet sitting on the left. It had a logo which said Daalo Airline. I saw a white guy ( they told he is a russian pilot) with a fuel or container putting something in the fuselage. he was wearing a sandal and socks, I am not kidding. Stay tuned.