A journey to my tribal homeland. in General Posted March 31, 2014 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.