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About Abu-Salman

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  1. The brother Jamal may simply be more "practising" or with basic Islamic learning unlike other Somali or Muslim journalists...it's often recent reverts or the islamically illiterate that are prey to radicalisation but prejudiced ignorance is hard to resist (and they may feel easier to express their racism towards the more practising ones).
  2. There was always something very striking in countries where despite desperate need for most basic and vital services, a large part of the public budget went into non priority areas and unnecessary bureaucracy if not outright waste, even with the overwhelming majority of the population lacking almost everything deemed as vital or public service. And this was exactely the sentiment prompted yet again after comparing other countries realities with the wider Somali context as described most recently in this update: http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-budget-2014-is-business-as-usual-48092'>http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-budget-2014-is-business-as-usual-48092 Any reasonable person would concur that Education, Health and other forms of social spending should come first, followed by a heavy emphasis on infrastructure to enable long term recovery (not growth for its own sake, because much growth goes in hand with deteriorating conditions and pollution); yet, this seems to be the exact opposite of what happens very often. Instead of such social spending representing 60 to 80% of overall spending with infrastructures amounting to much of the rest, much goes wasted on ministries on paper, parallel presidential funds, likewise duplicated and bloated security forces etc. Worth mentioning is also the fact that taxation must attain realistic levels to secure the future of the nation towards the 20-30% of total GDP at the very least but more in cases of large diasporas (taxed by the Eritrean government) or when high levels of spending goes to destructive habits such as khat etc (which should be prime heavy taxation targets just like in Djibouti) if not other unproductive uses (land and property speculation fuelled by the absence of any form of recurrent, annual tax or transaction duty etc; even Djibouti taxes luxury villas rent at around 17% or 2 months out of 12). Should it thus takes several generations for less destructive spending patterns of public resources, a more progressive set of priorities (vulnerable groups, healthcare, public health and prevention etc)? Is there any point in growth when cities are not liveable due to pollution and unamanaged traffic(even leaded fuel is yet to be banned as elsewhere), with neither parks nor open spaces let alone pedestrians only zones? http://somalilandpress.com/somaliland-budget-2014-is-business-as-usual-48092
  3. It's well known that Djibouti should switch to natives and english langages but implementation and ideal are two things: the best solution for learning in the initial years should be the mother tongue, Arabic and English should follow naturally with French phased out progressively; of course, this takes time and mounting quality concerns arise too (nobody minds Italian, French etc for some purposes such as courses funded by them and sorely needed; just like Mogadishu is restricting Italian but with minor exceptions). Economic dependency is, however, more and more tenous with the Japanese, Dubai, Saudis, Chinese, Cubans and others contributing much more in terms of rents but also big energy or logistics infrastructure schemes, healthcare, small manufacturing, fishing, water & irrigation, property, finance etc. The Chinese even promise planes and much stronger military aid in exchange of naval facilities, but so do Tokyo, Washington etc. Generally, Somalis and their partners need more cooperation and patriotism to dispense with foreign military assistance and aid rather than fingers pointing and small minded rivalries.
  4. IV fluids manufacturing is very basic, initial stage of the industry if not almost an extension of the healthcare but it demonstrates willingness to improve the efficiency and finances of local healthcare. It is all great but the health of the nation should not rest on an old lady or few individuals and NGOs but an efficient civil service backed by a solid tax system (10% of overall public spending at the very least). There is no progress worth mentioning without universal primary care and public health system dealing with prevention (dealing with widespread maternal and child malnutrition, sky high birth mortality rates or even the recent AIDS trend). It's very hard indeed to reverse the devastating pregnancy or before pregnancy maternal malnutrition for instance and very basic child nutrition support make a huge difference at all levels during the lifetime; thus, giving such sections vouchers etc should be a crucial government priority. PS talking about areas, Hargeysa Shacabka area is by far my fabvorite albeit overbuilt lately and heavily polluted if not noisy thanks to the traffic explosion etc (the dry river or dooxa, State house area remaining space etc should all be protected and public parks and pedestrian only zones created to make it liveable and less toxic with leaded fuel banned as elsewhere in the world).
  5. Was the protested coordinated with John Kerry’s visit to Ethiopia today? Perhaps a calculated move. If we Somalis still have irredentist ambitions we should use the OLF as a means of somali galbeed liberation. empower and hide behind the oromos. have them fight the battle That was actually the strategy of the Somali State in its heyday, as both the OLF and TPLF were hosted alongside the Eritreans. Sadly, Oromo nationalism is used by the ruling TPLF today both gainst the Amhara "excessive demands" and Somalis (Dire Dawa, Harar and other areas ceded to Oromia). However, a collaboration with or even concessions to Oromos is still key in furthering the implosion of the Abyssinians colonial project spearheaded by Menelik, whereby a huge portion of Oromos perished and many Somalis were sold as slaves too, victime of the most savage atrocities (that shocked even British colonial observers and other Westerners). Here is an excellent written account by a well-placed British expert and advocate that also relate the maladroit attempt at decolonization by Somalis hampered by public relations or diplomatic deficiencies as the Ethio basically sold the idea that it was an invasion rather than the decolonization of the Somali British protectorate portion illegally ceded to Menelik: The Betrayal of the Somalis, by Louis FitzGibbon "It should be thaught as History course in the high schools of Somalia"
  6. the moon landing was staged by MAraykanka and Earth is flat by literally quoting Quran without the depth of understanding required to interpret That happened to me too, and was declared "misguided", bullied for a while; still, the more learned or cautious replied to them, as they trust him, that there is another interpretation to this "Earth flatness". Thus, the issue is the ignorance and therefore the critical thinking applied to how to understand the stillness or expansiveness of Earth; besides the very concept of movement is a relative one as an object movement or stillness vary according to the reference frame in basic physics (eg, a train is not moving if the reference is another train at similar speed or the passenger inside etc...). Regardless, it's often misunderstood that science does not equal truth but a constant struggle to have more accurate, encompassing theories albeit how evident flaws may be. For instance, at the most basic level, how coorect is Newton mechanics now that quantum mechanics theories are available? What to do about epigenetics now that traditional genetics seems more and more grossly naive, with genes expression moduled by the environmental context rather than being fixed once and for all? The fact that Atheism gained ground in some ccountries at certain times of anti clergy sentiment (feudal exploitation and other abuses linked to the church etc) or that others could be more "scientific yet much more deeply "religious" is not a coincidence (eg, French revolutionaries compared to the current USA, still deeply Christian) is by no means a coincidence. Ideally, one would be equally litterate in science and religion, but being aware of the uncertain and temporary nature of scientific theories as well as the cultural context (science does not happen in a vaccuum but within the prevalent culture taht set its focus, priorities and paradigms) just like religious learning require scholarship (eg, Aramaic, Hebrew etc to study both testaments or ancient texts).
  7. It's fair to say parochial politics is well covered; however, it would be interesting to focus more on businessmen, traders and big companies's influence, hold on power. It seems they are not only too close to decision makers but even calling the shoots with the near absence of taxation, which means terrible conditions for the masses unable to access water, healthcare or prevention services and the long term (urban planning and infrastructure). Have those trading elites convinced others that adressing the lack of regulations and ultra low taxes are not real priorities? Is it even possible to talk about the nationalisation of cash cows such as livestock exports, utilities or at the very least the Telecoms? Do people realise that they are entitled to basic services and that taxation or public revenues increase is the only way to deliver it?
  8. Having taught largely myself abstrat algebra, linear algebra etc around a decade ago from the distance learning Uni course of my elder brother, it came as a surprise to me that even the hardest subjects on the surface can be more efficiently learnt through self-study if one wants to. I then continued with perfectioning my English in fun ways with the help of Tv programs and software called "tell me more" by Auralog and getting sent issues of Times magazine (tip used in one of my sibling elite school). It was so exciting at beginning that I went through revising the basics, the pronunciation etc within 2 months roughly before switching from the CD while reading a lot, notably websites. Passionate about history, health sciences etc, the sudden ease of access to reading and information in the West was thrilling at that time. By serendipity, I discovered not long ago that Spanish, as a latin langage and even Italian, were readily understandable and their grammar came naturally since I already spoke French; I did not go much further that way though since it did not have the same urgency of English (intellectual or academic English is also very similar to French). It's also the case that sometimes a seemingly unrelated subject can ease greatly others; my hated French grammar classes (hardly learned much of it directly) such as the subjunctive etc assists even in English authored Arabic grammar (the terms, concepts etc) let alone other latin langages where much is the same (I curiosly went through an Italian page without any translation, grasping it fully; likewise one could say spanish grammar mirrors it pretty much). Of course, I improved a lot in my arabic & Islamic studies too, tried basic programming, delved deeper into other scientific subjects that caught my attention such as epigenetics (it was so fascinating that what we knew was so oversimplified and that genes expression is influenced by the environment such as stress, diet etc rather than genes determining things as assumed). You basically realise we know almost nothing even in the hard sciences such as physics, which is the most fundamental, where the Newtonian model gave way to quantum explanation at the microscopic scale etc (or that basically matter is just energy, so solids such a human body are full of "holes, just energy waves or the current definition of atoms). Meanwhile, I kept reading on economics (not a science but appears serious on the surface for beginners) as I was already familliar with it through dad mini library who taught it long ago before realising that such subject hardly tells anything meaningful but hide its ideology driven theory as similar to science (only the accounting side such as GDP and "common sense" observation such as printing too much currency causes inflation if not matched by a rise in output etc makes sense). Still, works on development, particular countries technological and output growth etc may be interesting when stripped of ever revised flimsy theoritical frameworks such as the assumption of humans as rational optimiser in micro-economics etc (again, one should not take the overuse of maths as a sign of rigor in what is basically ideology driven, simplistic and grossly inaccurate theory of human behavior). Those counter-intuitive, fascinating aspects of physics, biology or even history are mind opening for everyone and a basic overview may suffices for most people. The question is do you guys enjoy learning for its own sake and endeavor to be well-rounded in the most crucial subjects and at the general level at least (roughly undergradute)? Do you view reading as important in itself and an overriding hobby?
  9. It looks like patriotism and better efficiency, along with much less corruption, is a major advantage of the rebel group (also less rapes, theft etc). Time for others like the TFG to learn from it (of course I'm not a Shababist)? Somali farmers benefit from al-Shabab reforms In Somalia's breadbasket, many welcome al-Shabab's move to expel foreign aid groups and build canals. Bulo Mareer, Somalia - It is just after 8am and Sheikh Abu Abdullahi is busy inspecting what he refers to as his latest "anti-NGO" project: workers digging new canals in Bulo Mareer, a town in Somalia's Lower Shabelle province. The diggers have been at work since 6am, as part of a province-wide canal-building project that was launched about two and a half years ago. Al-Shabab - the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group fighting against Somalia's internationally backed government - has so far spent about $2m on the project, along with others like it in south and central Somalia, according to the group. Three months have passed since the last drop of rain hit Bulo Mareer, but thanks to the numerous canals and waterways, the town is lush and green. [...] [The NGOs] bought their food from abroad and never bought from us local farmers. They killed every incentive to farm.
  10. Things are not that simple: clans in the past centuries seem to have been fairly fluid just like their location. A group can join a clan, even if non somali but somali related Galla, and some clans have a heavy association component both in the North and the South (the Dire-Dawa/Djibouti one, the Baidoa one etc); locations of clan confederation may change as suggested by location names in the North (Ceel Mar..., from Gedo group etc) by this Somali geographer called kariye. It's a bit like Danmark claiming Normandy, Britain, or Kiev (where Vikings started the first Russian state) etc...History is complicated and more chaotic than it may seems.
  11. Public Health, Healthcare costs, Family relationships stability and children nurturing, or even individual well-being and physical as well as mental optimal health, discipline, harmony and focus in society etc; there are many parameters relevant accross all cultures. Moral relativism or social liberalism extremism (actually, liberalism in the West started with Jewishs and Christians rather than than atheistic values) makes no sense when carried to its logical conclusions in every sphere (and most people will oppose it anyway way before the "everything goes" stage, from Japan to Peru)...
  12. Khayr, it’s an existential crisis of sorts, not a complaint about anything material. I’ve just lost interest in most things and most people, lost passion for the many of the things I thought I was passionate about, and feel a bit lost when I thought I had a clear plan. I don’t respond well to contingency, and I’ve realized that everything in life is contingent, as much as you may plan for it. Is this not the case for many of us or people in the West, when removed from life hardest struggles, death and risk (actually people from porrer countries and times are less likely to be depressed, unhappy etc) . As you suggest, relying solely on planning, worrying about planning everything and the generalised incitation to "follow one's passion" instead of doing firstly what helps most others or is most coherent with one's core value, care for others instead of self-absorption and follow life natural path (early marriage and responsabilities) may well be the reasons. I personally awake most brutally when visiting burials, hospitals or suffering ones about how trivial and self-absorbed if not ungrateful we could be. There is this thinker called De botton seen on the web etc talking about status anxiety or how seeking status compared to others may be the root of modern times problems(amplified when societies become meritocratic in appearance, albeit very different in reality, eg "anything is possible in America or for everyone"). Thus, stress and unhapiness take a toll and create much of the common physical as well as health problems as the famous Roseto village study in the Italian enclave of Pensylvannia and others showed that strong community sense (common meals with extended family, solidarity accross the village etc) was a very powerful protection against heart disease and other killers even when the diet becomes equal (half the rate of hearth diseases, virtually no crime etc despite a switch to common American heavy on junk diet). That over-hyped guy prescribes however old time and ancient thinkers wisdom of reminding oneself of death, some measure of misanthropy (contempt for keeping up with the Joness or judging people according to status etc) etc; not so earth-shattering a revelation for Muslims or follower of other religions.
  13. Probably; there are historical sources suggesting the Fulanis, Peuls or Hausas migrated westwards in Africa and alongside Tuaregs/Berbers share some common origin with Somalis or even Tutsis (langage and biology are not always related; a lot of Bantus seem to have common blood with Cushitics) or cushitics in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania etc. Ethiopian Amharic may be a semitic langage too but their blood differs little from that of Oromos and Somalis (just like with the Beta Israel or Falashas). The bottom line is that things are not as they seem or that simple; you have also for instance Viking or North German origin traces in Russia etc but also in Venice which langage was not Italic originally (as in other parts of Italia) while even Germany had much non german origin blood. It's just human nature to be swayed with simplicity and racism. Maybe the "Berber" group is along the Bantu-Niger-Congo, Mongoloid and Eurasians with their Indo-European/Aryan one of the initial human segments rather than a mix; middle-age Arabs would be a mix of Berber-Aryan (eg, through Egyptians, Iranians, or even axumite Ethiopians maybe) even if it's more a linguistic group than an ethnic one today (Algeria, Lybia etc are largely Berber; Turkey is such a human melting pot today resembling little original Mongols or Turks).
  14. This may make you laugh, but not long ago (in the 70s), Somalia was the South Africa of Africa, speaking for and assisting liberations fronts from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti etc all the way down to South africa as a strategic state that belongs that straddles accross 2 continents or multiple spheres while being well armed and even reputed as progressive from the early 60s, Syad was chairing the UA (in the 70s I think) and Kenya was not even independent as early as we were.
  15. What does natural means? If some animals have endless partners too, should humans mate with everyone, at any time? Should cannibalism of one's children, for instance, be allowed too or maybe the decapitation of one's partner as some animals and insects do? It's human nature to have all the wildest fantasies, some are drawn to violence, others to children (pedophilia), endless promiscuity or even incest, so where should the line be drawn to allow for every impulse since there is even a case for murderers to be potentially born with more violent trait (low resistance to frustration or anger)? Again, all those endless debates miss the point that on a practical level, what should really matter to everyone regardless is the common good (if not individual well-being). Clearly, stable relationship with the opposite sex is the only form associated with positive physical and mental well-being while fostering the next generation and family links whereas homosexuality is not and is even extremely toxic or unhealthy on purely medical grounds, not to mention its healthcare economic costs. Thus, the argument that everyone's impulse should be allowed for regardless of wider social consequences, public health as well as individual well-being is pure nonsense or some "liberal" arguments for drugs, pedophilia etc should all then be seriously considered on an equal footing.