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We must re-invent ourselves as a people!

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Every once in a while, in the form of an unconcious night time dream or a subconcious day dream, I feel like i'm witness to a Somali reality that is unfortunately not there. It could be the future, or an alternative timeline, which we might have experienced had this or that not happened. In any case, in that reality we are progressing as a people, we are prospering as a nation, were are flourishing as a culture, and we are winning in general!


In the current Somali Civilizational Matrix, it's the direct opposite. The current system is failing. If we want to achieve a different positive reality, one where our people are secure, where our lands are secure, where our skies and waters are secure, we must re-invent ourselves.


We have to analyse what's good for us, and what harms us as a people and country. Then we have to support the good points and eradicate the bad ones. Some of the bad ones are deeply rooted, discussing their removal might be welcomed with suspicion and rejection at first, but eventually the movement for change will prevail. There are many examples in history where people have managed to re-invent and propel themselves into a long period of prosperity after long eras of despair and grief. This is a common theme in Chinese History, where after a significant period of decline a new dynasty rose and completely eradicated many of the outdated traditions that held them back as a people.


In our case the obstacles holding us back are clear and transparent to anyone that has an iota of knowledge about the Somali people; clan system, female exclusion, extremism, poverty and illiteracy. As long as these obstacles are in place, we as a people won't win.


Our greatest ally is "education", through this we can shape progressive Somalis, not shackled by outdated traditions. The type that will transcend petty lineages and see themselves as a unified people instead. Prior to the Meiji Period, Japan was a land riddled with wars, ignorance and general poverty. The Meiji government successfuly managed - through educational programs - to induce in the average Japanese person a strong sense of belonging to a unified people and the vast majority of Japanese from then on rejected their petty clans. Not long after, they as a people rose to the world stage, and have been there ever since.


It would wise therefore for us to revive the Bar ama Baro campaign that made us one of the most literate people in the world. This campaign should include a strong message showcasing our real economic potential. We are the gateway to three continents with many deep water ports, we have many proven (and speculated) natural resources, we have a sizable population that with well planned economic reforms could be uplifted to the level of Chile and the Eastern European countries in just one generation.


To achieve this we must slay the multi-headed Dragon that is the clan system always thirsty for blood. We must unlock the golden box that imprisons the vast potential of human wealth in the form of our womenfolk. We must capture the wild beast that is extremism, for no family can share their house with a savage Lion and expect peace & quiet at the dinner table. Through these measures we can establish a fortress so high and thick, no amount of sieges by the armies of Poverty will cause it to collapse.


The clan-system is useless today in a world sustained by countries driven by ethnic groups with strong unified identities, some ancient but the vast majority shaped recently. I see no reason why we can't drop this hideous institution that in most cases is a recipe for instability. It disintergrates a country into a thousand different groups. It explains why one group part of an ethnic denomination could feel joy in the despair, humiliation and pain of another group of that same ethnic denomination. The clan-system basically has the power to make one Somali person see another Somali as an alien entity, and at times more alien than a non-Somali. Its therefore imperative that we abolish this institution if we want a dignified future.


If there is one positive thing that we can take from the war, it's without a doubt the undisputed evidence that our underrated womenfolk are a immense pool of human wealth, who have proven their weight in gold over and over again. No man, in a future peacetime era, can question their competence, their patriotism, their resilience and loyalty. Us Somali men have to re-invent ourselves mentally and practice equality for real, not just give it lip-service.


Pearl of the Indian Ocean




At the moment to many people focus on the conflict, not on ways to achieve long term prosperity, and with this I mean centuries of prosperity. There is no point in achieving peace in 2015, and lose it again in 2030, we must aim for better. For this people in power have to see war as less attractive to peace. Understand that today, Somalis of all creeds have the chance to sit down and discuss ways to make the Somali nation flourish. Indeed there are roughly 30 powerful men currently holding 10-12 million people hostage.


Its their myopia and lack of vision about "Somali Prosperity" that is behind the current predicament. They have in their possession some of the most valuable ports in Africa, some of the most arable lands in Africa with two amazing rivers, some of the most serene beaches in the world. They have in their territories and waters potentially some of the largest deposits of oil, tin, uranium, fishery, and meerschaum, just to name a few. There is plenty to go around, if only they could see this and become partners in the name of prosperity, their current thievery is pocket change to what they could be making, while still benefiting the Somali people in general.


In the past we maintained a flourishing Civilizational Matrix of port cities and inland cities that traded with the wider world. The Somali Brand was popular from Venice to Calcutta, and from Beijing to Cairo, Somali merchants were hustling and bustling with a myriad of popular trade items, but the reach of their descendants today in terms of foreign markets or diversity in trade items is utterly disgraceful.


To overcome this Somalis have to re-invent themselves and take up lucrative occupations like for example, fishing by maintaining large fleets. They have to start manufacturing items such as mobile phones, computers and textiles, whether through joint-ventures or in the form of regenerating abandoned Somali factories. There are impressive transnational Somali companies active in various countries but they consist mainly of telecom, money-transfer and construction companies, they must re-invent themselves and branch out into other industries.


Also there are many wealthy Somali entrepreneurs out there who invest that same wealth in non-Somali territories, that is simply unacceptable. Why not build in the peaceful Bajuni Islands? Why not invest in the many serene beaches of Somalia? Why not establish residential houses in the many growing Somali cities of today? It's bad enough that we are losing billions in Foreign Direct Investment, we cannot afford to lose this aswell.



Bajuni Islands, Somalia(example)


Though this a residential project in a non-Somali country by non-Somalis, many Somali entrepreneurs are constructing far grander infrastructural projects today in foreign countries. Places like the Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius are smaller or the same size as any of the Somali Islands, so there is no excuse why they couldn't build it in the lands of their ancestors!


Somalis have the potential to provide a good life for their children and grandparents, they only have to re-invent themselves and shape a new destiny, one where they are winners! We can't continue the same path and do nothing:


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. " - Edmund Burke (1729-1797).

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A journey of 1000 miles starts with 1 step, you seem to have an understanding of whats has to be done to achieve greatness. Why not come up with a road map and be the father figure and we be yout foot soldiers. Well said by the way

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Chimera;698958 wrote:

Somalis have the potential to provide a good life for their children and grandparents, they only have to re-invent themselves and shape a new destiny, one where they are winners!



Good post but I think our chances of re-inventing ourselves are about as good as a certain two and half man's.


But we can always hope.

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5, we are re-inventing ourselves as we speak, the conflict is shaping us into a new people, but not in a good way. Many positive Somali values and customs are breaking down, or are being replaced by new incompatible/self-destructive ones. I will post a more elaborate reply, on what we as a people could do to reverse this, when I have more time.

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Mogadishu, Somalia


A Somali street - 1968


The paradisical scene in the above picture is a very important piece of historical heritage, in contrast to our current situation. It was at a time when our people were secure and our country was progressing. Children went to school, adults went to work, and elders enjoyed the Somali sun complimented by a cool breeze from the Indian Ocean. A Somali expat anywhere on the planet, in time of need, had a myriad of embassies to call upon, that would assist that person immediately because the latter was of Somali origins. Today from Libya to Russia there are entire families stranded, with no one to come to their rescue.


People in Somalia need to realise their clans in the last 20 years have not provided their children with the same quality education, the same quality of job opportunities, the same quality of healthcare, or the same quality of infrastructural development that they could enjoy if they retired this outdated system and joined the world as a single united people.


History clearly shows those that are united stand, while those that do not, fall. Somalis are known to have fought one of the longest anti-colonial wars in history, repulsing several imperial powers, yet in the end failed to press home total victory, because we weren't united as one solid front, unlike the unified Kemalist Turks, who afterwards shaped their own future and destiny.


We instead were divided by foreign powers, and many of our current problems can be traced directly back to this historic crime of artificial borders. Our founding fathers took on a very honorable quest to free those put under neighbouring states that their ancestors were never subjects off, and spend vast amounts of resources and manpower to realise this. In the process the weight of the Superpowers standing against us, the wrong policies of the last president and the military generals that turned warlords caused the Somali State to collapse.


Toppling the dictator was a "just cause", destroying the state was a blatant crime. All these military generals and their soldiers disintergrated back to their petty clans. A military-complex, once one of the most potent on the continent became a vast sea of militia-men with no sense of honor or shame, nor any love for their country and people. Make no mistake though, they are simply a product of their environment. Clan-sentiments is what caused them to become like that. Remember that in 1969, they did not return back to their petty clans when President Sharmarkay was assassinated, no! They did something that the Egyptian military would do 42 years later in 2011; safeguarding the sovereignty of the state, and preventing a civil-war from breaking out.



Missing in Action - 2011


If there was no clan-system for the dictator to manipulate, none of the Somali generals or commanders would have felt the need to safeguard those petty clans instead of their own country. They would have emulated the many heroic Somali fighter Pilots that crashed their planes in the Red Sea or a different country, when they were ordered to bomb their own people. I guess the high altitudes gave these brave Somali pilots a clear view of the world around them, and they realised clan-worship is meaningless, and not worth going to hell for.


The bad policies of the dictator aside, and the disloyalty of the generals and commanders aside, we have clear historic evidence that when Somalis come together as one, they are a force to be reckoned with. None of the petty clan-militia's or those of the regional states today are comparable to a united Somali army capable of protecting our borders, our lands, our skies and most importantly our waters from sinister entities. A united country of 7 million people(Somalia 1975) was building more roads and highways than a country of 40 million(Ethiopia). Its literacy rate was one of the highest on the continent, and benefitted every Somali person in East Africa. None of this is being achieved in this "age of division".


A united country like China had their own citizens out of Libya in the span of a few days, what exactly have the petty clans and regional states done for the stranded Somalis there? Had Japan regressed to its pathetic clan-structure of the 18th century after WWII, they probably would have been a very poor country today still riddled with Shogun-esque type of wars, and the current earthquake/Tsunami would make the one in Haiti - in terms of aftermath devastation and chaos - look like nothing, but luckily the Japanese are united and wealthy, hence they will overcome this setback.


Somalis when they were a unified entity themselves uplifted and protected their fellow citizens from starvation and droughts on multiple occassions and became self-sufficient. We all know what happened(and is happening) when they disintergrated.


It is clear from the above examples that the clan-system is our achilles-heel in this modern age. The argument that its a system that allows Somalis to receive support from their fellow clansmen in terms of healthcare, economics and plain safety is horribly outdated. The system hasn't provided the vast majority with any of this! Any Somali person not chained by this petty system would have no problems investing in any of the Somali cities in need of development, that same Somali person would have no problems aiding his fellow Somali regardless of the region they reside in, and that same Somali person would not harm his fellow Somali, simply because he/she has no interest in going to hell for an archaic system, one that doesn't even work.


The task to uplift our people and break the shackles of the clan-system mainly lies with our parents, since there is currently no powerful government comparable to the Meiji State to do this in their stead. Its no coincidence between the fact that my parents never taught me any sort of clan-pride as a child, and me today as an adult not having any problems donating money to a Somali region where my petty so-called clan doesn't even reside. Plenty of times I have encountered forums where this petty clan was defiled and degraded by other silly clannists, yet I was never offended by their words. It ment nothing to me! The only entity I feel close to is Somali(a).


Besides our parents, an alternative way to mold new open-minded Somalis with a unified mindset, is through entertainment and business. We already have a powerful ally to aid us; the Somali language. Through films, books, comics, songs and other popular mediums we can achieve this. With dozens of growing companies like Dahabshiil and Hormuud investing across the Somali Civilizational Matrix our links will solidify permanently, even as other entities work hard to prevent this.


If you want long-term economic prosperity, safety, healthcare and education for your children, and your children's children; the "path of Unity & Somalinimo" is the one we should walk and embrace with both feet!


I'll end my Red Bull rant here.

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I definately agree with you about re-inventing ourselves. I believe the primary step is revolution of the Somali mentality/ psyche to a different set of ideals that transcend self/ clan- education is a solution but we need to work on how we can establish and let the new ideals to flourish.

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First we have to reclaim important Somali symbols. I will start with a very significant one; Majestic Mogadishu, the capital of the Somali World. It belongs to all of us. A good reconstruction plan and we are back to having the most beautiful metropolis in East Africa (and the oldest capital in Sub-Saharan Africa).


Before the war every Somali in the world had a relative or a friend living in cosmopolitan Mogadishu. A Somali engineer in Dubai, a Somali seamen in Denmark, or a Somali student in America, (and many others in the then tiny Somali diaspora) all prided themselves in the fact that they came from a country that had a city dubbed "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean", and that ocean is very big!


If this Somali symbol is controlled by intelligent forward thinking Somalis, we will have a powerful engine that can uplift every Somali person on the planet. We already know what the situation looks like when myopic, ignorant and hateful individuals covet this symbol for themselves; chaos, bad global rep, no representation follows. This is the main reason why anti-Somali elements such as our neighbours made it their prime policy to always add fuel to the fire in this particular city. As long as a country's capital is at war, the world will think the whole country's is at war.


This Somali symbol is a powerful weapon, and as history has shown when it's wielded in a responsible manner, it has an immense positive influence towards the general progression of the Somali people.


The city's Somali & Eastern architecture (both medieval and modern) combined with classical Western influences makes it one of the most charming and authentic feeling cities on the continent. There is no need for us to build dumb glass towers, we should respect our heritage by rebuilding & adding-on accordingly. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden is a good example we should follow in peace time:



Mogadishu, Somalia



Stockholm, Sweden


In-fact I think something equivalent to this Neoclassical Soviet legacy in Warsaw would suit a reconstructed Mogadishu perfectly:



Warsaw, Poland

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It is inspirational and full of energy.


You have mentioned many important points which make sense but one more thought I could add is decadent social values we observe which bring discord amongst ourselves.


Our inherent love and cherishing for clan and tribal values , a general lack of social empathy, our preferred way of looking life mainly through group-centric lenses by which the needs of the individual is over showed by the needs of the group with the least reciprocity for the person; patriarchal social structure which many times breeds a sense of superiority and dictatorship; our lack of properly following religious guidelines; these are examples of decadent social values we may need to examine and evaluate.


Ultimately what separates man from the animal kingdom is not his higher intelligence but rather by higher ethical and moral observance. In my opinion higher ethical and moral observance is the foundation by which everything else of the social aspects of a society has to stand.



The Awakener2

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Positive, Somalis were re-inventing themselves in the pre-war era, but bad economic policies combined with a war returned everything to zero. If we take the examples of other previously dis-united groups like the Japanese, the Italians and the Germans, all of them progressed mentally and socially when their march towards unity ushered in vast economical transformations across their territories in the form of a Industrialization campaign.


The average Somali man & woman in the prewar era were Africa's biggest nationalists, Pan-Somalism was the most intense movement wishing to change Africa both politically and geographically. Not even Pan-Africanism led by great men such as Nkrumah(who supported Pan-Somalism) came as close to realising their goals the way Somalis were just an edge away from achieving their dreams. These Somali men and women distanced themselves from their petty clans the way a century earlier the Bavarians, Prussians and Saxonians distanced themselves from their petty kingdoms and returned to the international arena as Germans.


We shouldn't ignore this important historical episode, for these were Somali men and women who volunteered to become soldiers and sacrificed so much for a noble ideal that transcends "clan & tribal values". They entered battlefields fighting heavily equipped armies including superpowers to free those oppressed.


There is no doubt in my mind had the Dervish come out victorious in the 1900s, or had the Bevin Plan been realised in the 1940s, or had the Soviet Union not intervened in the 77' war we wouldn't be in the situation we are now. In the first scenario we would enjoy the same status as the newly founded Turkish Republic. In the second scenario there wouldn't be a reason for us to fight wars, and all spending would be directed to societal programmes and infrastructure. In the third scenario the undisputed victory of the Somali Armed Forces would propel any living Somali into a state of euphoria and solidify the forward looking progress that was made so far.


Therefore Somalis are willing to change if there is a real reward. This is where my earlier point in the first paragraph [of this post] comes into play: Industrialization. Somalia's work-force is estimated at 3.7 million, this is based on decades old information. I reckon it's more around the 6 million mark by now, with a population of 11/12 million( many of them self-employed in the form of vendors, shops and groceries). Somali entrepreneurs have the monetary capacity to establish in the next 10 years; 2000 small-medium-large factories & businesses in Somalia( with any person from the Somali Civilizational Network being elligable for the job-opportunities, though Somali Urbanites would profit the most from these investments). Let's disintergrate this a little bit:


- If each of the first 1000 Factories & businesses employed roughly 250 people = 250 000 jobs


- Another 500 Factories & Businesses employing 150 people each = 75 000 jobs


- Another 400 Factories & Businesses employing 200 medium skilled people people each = 80 000 jobs


- Another 75 Factories and Businesses employing 400 highly skilled people each = 30 000 jobs


- The remaining 20 factories and businesses would be large companies similar to Hormuud & Dahabshiil that employ atleast 4000 skilled people each = 100 000 jobs.


- The remaining 5 factories & businesses would belong to Somali conglemerates that each employ around 100k people = 500 000 jobs


TOTAL = 1,035,000 new jobs in the Live-stock & farming sector, Telecommunication sector, Energy & resources sector, Transport sector and many others.


Such a revitalization of Somalia's economy tapping into the immense potential that can be found in the agriculture, service sector & manufacturing industry, would automatically have a positive domino effect on the transport industry(Ports, air-traffic and truck-driving). With families being able to spend more; the domestic markets would grow immensely too, and it would not be far-fetched to say that in such a scenario atleast 40-50 000 jobs are created annually, which is an extremely healthy rate for an African country.


Somalis have another potential ace up their sleeve and that is Tourism. In Morocco, tourism employs around 700000 people. What do the Morrocans have that we don't?

- Epic historic cities? = CHECK! Icon-Small-Check-Mark.gif





(two examples)

- Paradisicial beaches and bays? = CHECK! Icon-Small-Check-Mark.gif







- Mysterious sand dunes & other romantic landscapes? = CHECK! Icon-Small-Check-Mark.gif 








Unlike Moroccans and other Tourist powerhouses we have the potential to draw in more visitors in the form of Safaris by rebuilding the destroyed habitats of our Animal Kingdom, and breeding healthy numbers of elephants, lions, zebras etc to prewar levels. I estimate that from tourism alone we have the potential to generate $8 billion a year( that is more than what Sudan makes from Oil, and oh yeah we have Oil too:cool:).


With such a robust economy, the infrastructural landscape of Somalia would change into a modern sophisticated network of roads, highways and possibly railways. The fruits of industrialization; people become more mobile, they see more of the country and the world. They become more cosmopolitan in mind, and begin to understand that there is more to the world than their own little tuulo. The economic fortunes generated in turn gives birth to a MIDDLE-CLASS in our society.


The most stable and equal countries in the world are those with a strong middle-class that defend the average person's rights from the upperclass(elite). In Somalia there was always only the working-class and the Elite(government), with nothing in between. I believe this was one of the reasons why everything turned out the way it did.


There is however a bright light illuminating itself through the ashes of war, and that is an increasingly self-reliant Somali society with multiple companies and centers of commerce, a bottom-up approach that strengthens the average person, family and society in general. If this could be combined with long term stability and perfect economical reforms, by the end of this decade the average Somali family would be atleast 15 times more wealthier, secure and content in their lives than today.


Which should be the goal of every living Somali man & woman. 




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Share on other sites'r simply great.We will make it & is not far off,but there is a lot to be done;education is paramount & we have to be consistant in wiping out that filth(qabil).

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Yes, a paradise we can easily reclaim as ours, and make it far grander and more beautiful than before. Im confident we will achieve this one day in the near future!

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