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galbeedi

A journey to my tribal homeland.

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galbeedi   

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.

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Djibouti has a lot of opportunity to be a prosperous nation. Not sure why the Djiboutians don't take the initiative to build a small, wealthy nation.

 

There's plenty of Somali businessmen operating in Africa and India and the Middle East. If more of them relocated to Djibouti and the government set favorable laws, then the economy of the country could take off.

 

Great story btw, looking forward to any updates.

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<cite>
said:</cite>

I look forward to reading the anti-Somaliland part of this story.

 

Galbeedi is an extremely polite person and one of the most neutral people in SOL, if he is anti Somaliland then he is anti pL,JL and SFG.

 

I'm waiting for the next installment.

 

 

P.S. Can someone resurrect Alpha Blondy's journey through SL? I don't think I finished reading it.

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<cite>
said:</cite>

P.S. Can someone resurrect Alpha Blondy's journey through SL? I don't think I finished reading it.

 

i'd use google, if i were you. the search feature doesn't work on SOL anymore. lol

 

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<cite>
said:</cite>

I just entered the words Alpha and chronicle together in the SOL search field and this is what came up.

 

 

bal adna?

 

how do you search brovs?

 

i couldnt search, really. might need the 101 in how to use the new and often difficult SOL.

 

my cafwans are in advance.

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galbeedi   

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.

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Tallaabo   

Mr Gabeedi, the travel accounts of nostalgic Somaliwayn pilgrims always contain a Somaliland bashing chapter, so don't bother about threading a fine line. Give us that Somaliland crucifixion chapter as it is.

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galbeedi   

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.

 

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Apophis   

I think it is very arrogant for Somali Diaspora types to think they can visit Africa for a few weeks and suddenly turn into anthropologists with deep insights into Somali societies and their culture.

 

I mean what level of mental slavery makes you believe, to paraphrase: We in the West work bloody hard for our cars, 100 inch TVs and all the other unnecessary shyt we hoard, while the immoral Somalis back home loot and rape to get anywhere.

 

D-

 

 

 

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gooni   

Well writing article, thank you dalmar’’

Qoraalka Inta ishu qabato waxaa ka xiiso badan inta aan ishu qaban Karin

 

Qoraal aan academic ahayn iyo Talo ku biirin

 

Duuliyaha sandal wata lama fiiriyo waxaa la fiiriyaa wadankuu u socdo

Diyaaradda guduheeda hadii baranbaro kasoo baxdo ama kaadi kasoo urto dan looma golo waxaa lagu ducaystaa ilaahow motorka AC’ga kici si oxogine loo helo,markii aad meeshaad rabtay tagto duuliyahaa hadana makaanigaa waa loo mahad celiyaa cod dheer ku dheh thank you sir.

 

Dadka gadaashooda fiiri ayaga ha fiirin

Odayga ha fiirin sujuudiisa fiiri

Dumarka ha fiirin ciyaalkooda fiiri

Somaliland ha fiirin soomaaliyoo dhan fiiri

Kitaabka ha fiirin waxa ku qoran fiiri

Dalka ha fiirin dadkiisa fiiri

Dhalinyarada ha fiirin hamigooda fiiri

Wadaadka ha fiirin waddadiisa fiiri

Wax badan baa laga faa’iidayaa qoraalkaaga awoowe gebiley tag waa meelaha ugu qurux badan soomaaliya.

 

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