Thursday, January 10, 2008
Perhaps no single year has brought about so many ills in Somalia as the year 2007 did: More than 6,500 innocent civilians were caught in the worst violence that continues to plague Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. Over 1 million people were displaced as a result of the fighting, rendering Somalia as the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world.
That being the case, there are so many Somalis-- and non-Somalis -- who worked tirelessly to alleviate some of that suffering. While we couldn't possibly recognize all of them, we chose two individuals, whose tremendous efforts contributed to the welfare of other Somalis last year.
Unlike previous years, the writers and editors of Hiiraan Online, decided to split the "Person of the Year" award into two broad categories:
Domestic: This award goes to someone in Somalia, who has made tremendous contribution to the welfare of others in a selfless
|Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe, founder of Hawa Abdi Hospital|
Diaspora: This award goes to someone outside Somalia, who found a away to help fellow Somalis, regardless of their geographic location.
I. Dr. Hawa Abdi: Founder and Chair of Dr. Hawa Abdi Clinic. Afgoye, Somalia
The domestic award goes to: Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe, the 60-year-old founder of Hawa Abdi Hospital in the outskirts of Mogadishu. For more than quarter of a century, Dr. Dhiblawe, who obtained her medical education in the former Soviet Union, helped women and children with basic, and sometime sophisticated medical treatment.
Remarkably, Dr. Dhiblawe did this largely without any significant external financial support. An OB/GYN specialist, Dr. Dhiblawe's service became that much more important in times of national crises. Since the resumption of a vicious war in Mogadishu between the TFG and Ethiopian forces on one side and the insurgents, Dr. Dhiblawe's hospital became a hospice for thousands of needy and displaced people.
Joining Dr. Dhiblawe’s family clinic are her two young daughters, Dr. Amina Mohamed Abdi, and most recently, Dr. Deqa Mohamed Abdi. All three now work in the clinic.
Hiiraan Online recognizes Dr. Dhiblawe as the domestic person of the year 2007 for her tremendous contribution to the wellbeing of so many Somalis. (Please read Dr.Hawa Abdi's full story including pictures taken from her hospital)
II. Abdi Muuse Maaxaay: A self-motivating volunteer who devotes much of his time and resources to bring Somali children in desperate need of medical attention to one of the best medical facilities in the world. Rochester, Minnesota.
The Diaspora award goes to Abdi Muuse Maaxaay. For two years, Maaxaay and his supportive wife, Zahra, have been embarked on a holy mission to bring young, often severely ill children from Somalia to Minnesota. So far, the Rochester couple brought two young girls: Murayo Nur Ali and Binti Jeylani.
[Read Murayo's story here : When she was 7-years-old, Murayo was gang-raped by several men, causing her severe injury. Today, Murayo is recovering at Mayo Clinic, arguably the best hospital in the world.]
[ Binti had a huge tumor in her mouth. The tumor is now removed, and she expects to regain her smile soon. Read Binti's complete story here.]
Maaxaay and his wife, getting a help by many other Somalis, especially by Zamzam Biyow, Aabiya Ali and others, are expecting to bring more children like Murayo and Binti.
Hiiraan Online recognizes Maaxaay as the person of the year 2007 for the Diaspora Somalis, for his enormous contribution to help these children.
Please join us in congratulating both Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe and Abdi Muuse Maaxaay.
If you need to take part on Dr. Hawa Abdi's humanitarian work, please contact her at