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Chimera

We must re-invent ourselves as a people!

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Apophis   

Chimera;698958 wrote:
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Chinese History, where after a significant period of decline a new dynasty rose and completely eradicated many of the outdated traditions that held them back as a people.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Our greatest ally is "education", through this we can shape progressive Somalis, not shackled by outdated traditions.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

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Mogadishu

 

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.

 

nbdp8i.jpg

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).

One of the most inspiring piece I have ever read. Have you thought about expanding on this and publishing it?

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What an interesting thread.

 

I'm gonna have to show this to some of my friends in the near future.

 

Somalia has a bright future. As long as our people have the right mindset, we can achieve anything.

 

Adam, do you feel more optimistic about Somalia's future since you originally wrote this post 2 years ago? A lot has changed in the last 2 years.

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Tallaabo   

Brother Chimera I love your ideals but to be honest with you I along with Xaaji Xunjuf and about 4 million other folks don't want to go back to the past (the former Somali republic). We believe that entity should be left alone to rest in peace:)

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Chimera   

DoctorKenney;944042 wrote:
What an interesting thread.

 

I'm gonna have to show this to some of my friends in the near future.

 

Somalia has a bright future. As long as our people have the right mindset, we can achieve anything.

 

Adam, do you feel more optimistic about Somalia's future since you originally wrote this post 2 years ago?
A lot has changed in the last 2 years.

Things are much better today than when I wrote those red-bull induced posts. In-fact that was a horrible period, when I banished myself from Somali politics because it was affecting me in negative way. Now I enjoy reading headlines on Somalia because majority of them seem to be positive, or the kind that are productive, including the Federalism debates. The future now is literally up for the taking, its the make or break era.

 

Tallaabo, gartey sxb, but unity can come in many forms, including economically.

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Wadani   

Tallaabo;944043 wrote:
Brother Chimera I love your ideals but to be honest with you I along with Xaaji Xunjuf and about 4 million other folks don't want to go back to the past (the former Somali republic). We believe that entity should be left alone to rest in peace:)

Don't speak for all of us bro. I believe most Somalilanders, including myself, would love the be a part of the Somalia Chimera envisions, but are only hardcore about their belief in seccession because to them a 'Chimerian' Somalia seems currently unacheivable.

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Tallaabo   

Brother Chimera A European Union style open borders with full economic, political, judicial, and security collaboration among three independent democratic Somali nation states namely Djibouti, Somaliland, and Somalia is and has been what the people and the successive Somaliland governemnts were calling for all these 22 years.

 

Wadani Whether you like it or not borderline unionists like you have no say in Somaliland:p It is the Tallaabos, Xaaji Xunjufs, and their like who call the shots. Stand in line waaryaa:cool:

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Haatu   

Exactly. When you have folks believing their Bani Hashim, what can you expect Ilaahay baan kugu dhaarshee? :D

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Anisa   

What a nice thread!

Hearing about Somalis building million $ businesses in other African countries (and parts of Asia too), it's time we all went back to Somalia and rebuild it to its former glory. We're capable of doing all these things and have the resources/expertise/motivation. I guess now it's just a question of when and how - Somalia is still seen as a dangerous country from what I know. If we know about our history, we will go forward.

 

Insha'Allah we will forget our differences and progress.

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BUMP!

 

The Gift of the Southern Port Cities:Their Economically Enabling Location

 

The economics of location & a model for realising economic growth in the southern port cities of Somalia.

 

Mogadishu has been inhabited for a time longer than can be remembered. Since about the 7-10th centuries or so it became a magnet for the then booming cross-Indian Ocean trade. Prior to that it had been a watering-hole, come market, come port village. In the Somali trading network - of coastal port-towns, market towns in the hinterland and villages and settlements in the interior - it became the major port for central and the northern portions of the southern Somali peninsula. The town attracted traders and merchants from the Arabian peninsula, Persia, India and the Southern East African port cities and quickly became a melting pot of peoples and trades. Not long passed before it became the most eminent of Somali port cities, outshining Zeila, Berbera, Bandar Qasim, Hobyo, Merca, Barawe and Kismaayo in the process. Mogadishu became the wealthiest city on the Eastern African coast and among the most wealthy of the cities facing the Indian Ocean. The multi story houses, palaces, forts, castles and mosques dating from that era are still there today and a testament to its former glory. Mogadishu has a history of having a diversified economy, primarily because it was such a trading hub. There was a booming economy involving among other the following industries:

 

- Textile industry and Somali textiles were of excellent quality and in high demand to be exported abroad

- Precious metals (gold), ivory, incense. Because of the Somali mines in southern East Africa Mogadishu was able to produce gold and also issue its own currency and coinage.

- Livestock (the somali peninsule was and still is rich in livestock).

- Agricultural produce of vegetables, fruit and various grains. An explorer noted how the city had an abundance of fresh produce, grown in the fertile agricultural lands of Southern Somalia.

- Manufactured consumer goods such as shoes, vases and pottery.

 

The historic quarters, old multistorey houses, mosques are testament to Mogadishu's glorious past. Not only are they now a reminder of the wealth that is essential to the origins of Mogadishu, but those historic assets are potential tourist sites and can be used when re-branding Mogadishu.

 

5311138433_ffe711f8d6_z.jpg

 

All the above would not have been possible without the fortunate and enabling location of Mogadishu. And perhaps only Kismaayo can match Mogadishu in terms of how economically enabling the city's location is.

 

The first enabling thing abou the location of Mogadishu is in a central location with a good portion of the Somali population to its emmediate south, north and west. Benaadir itself also has a large and dense population in a very smal geographic area - and of course a large population has economic implications (ask China).

 

Geographically Mogadishi is blessed. There are no mountainous regions or terrain stopping the populace from accessing it. It has very fetile land surrounding it, nourished by the perennial Shabeelle river (and its wetlands) which runs just north of the city. This land is able to support commercerial-scale agriculture surrounding it and thus the city is able to produce tonnes upon tonnes of good quality agricultural produce and sustain a vibrant agricultural economy.

 

The lush green areas of Benaadir & Afgooye.

 

muqdisho3.jpg

 

mogadishu5.jpg

 

mogadishu20.jpg

 

The coastal location means that the city has miles of brilliant white sandy beaches with bright turquoise coloured sea. It also means that sea food is readily available and that marine resources in general and luring of hordes of tourists can be exploited. Because of its trading history the very people of mogadishu have retained a lot of the skills and knowledge they have gained from their exchanges with the various peoples they came in contact with. Mogadishans have and retain a rich culture in terms of style and knowledge of [home] construction, food, music, textile manufacturing, articrafts.

 

DSC00137.jpg

 

In the past the city received a lot of investment and these are further assets working in its favour:

 

- Seat of government

- A large population

- The city is well planned

- Has spacious roads

- Has lot of the basic infrastructure such as a port, airport, paved roads, power generaiton (need maintenance)

- All the above combination of things that few other Somali cities had.

- As the Somali economy has grown, Mogadishu has grown with it. The headquarters of many major companies especially telcomms and finance are now located in Mogadishu.

 

Well Planned & Grid Layout

 

ir14yg.jpg

 

Airport

15guq83.jpg

 

Bakaara Market

 

2v7waj7.jpg

 

357j0om.jpg

 

Port

2uij49t.jpg

 

Even today the combination of the above factors, and primarily Mogadishu's location leave a legacy. That legacy is that Mogadishu certainly has economic potential and that it this economic potential should be exploited. I assert that Mogadishu is, in theory, easier to 'develop' than the other Somali cities.

 

I genuinly believe that enough financial capital can be generated within Mogadishu (Benaadir) itself to fund short-term reconstruction and regeneration of public works such as roads, pavements and public places (markets). Mogadishu is a large city, has a large population, is the centre for trade and commerce in southern Somalia and is situated in a fertile agricultural region. To be frank, the city's economy is (and has always been, since time immemorial) larger and a lot more diversified and extensive than other Somali cities. The city has a good base of a multitude of revenue and job creating small to medium sized industries to build upon and to, most importantly, tax. These industries include commercial farming (massive potential), the renowned livestock trade, headquarters of many major companies especially telcomms and finance, fishing, light manufacturing, construction, wholesalers and retailers, the port etc. Due to sheer economies of scale alone, if the Mogadishu local authority can get its act right it should be able to collect enough resources to fund some of the basic public works. If the Mogadishu local authority prioritises potential projects, areas within the city or highlights specific urgent needs, it can work on that basis and gradually complete projects to in turn improve the economy of the city.

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Tallaabo   

Mogadishu looked decent even when it was completely ruined. Had the Somali civil war not happened, today it would have looked a lot better than any African city except perhaps Cape Town.

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