by Mohamud Ibrahim Ali
Saturday, July 21, 2012
As I watched the Somali Olympic team land at Heathrow International Airport in London, I had a mixed emotion of what this moment means to millions of Somali youths who like me have little or no knowledge about their homeland, Somalia. It is a feeling that many Somali youths learned from the darkness of civil war to the decades in refugee camps. To the international community, Somalia is a failed State, to the Somali youths like me, Somalia represents a dark history, one in which all of us have paid the price for the consequence of civil war, tribalism, and finally terrorism. I sometimes feel ashamed of talking about my history as a Somali, a history that trends from a state of poor leadership to that of no leadership. A government that was so corrupt to rule which led to an armed conflict that killed millions Somalis. In all this past history of mine, I sometimes say, the only pride I have in my immediate history as a Somali youth is that I’m alive, Thanks to GOD.
After 22 years of war and Famine, after millions of lives were lost, and after around fifteen peace conferences were held to resolve Somalia’s problems, there seems a glimpse of hope at the end of tunnel. Zamazam Mohamed Farah, one of the Olympians representing Somalia at the London Olympics,arriving at Heathrow Airport this morning, Zamzam told ITV News that "Somalia is alive" and she is proud to represent her country. She is the torchbearer of young Somali generations that are willing to take the risk just to rebuild a better Somalia for all. It is through her inspiration and determination to represent Somalia even when she may not enjoy her basic rights as a Somali girl that makes me hopeful of a better Somalia where we can all contribute.
For Zamzam’s message to the Somali youth is clear; it is never enough to say I have being through a lot. If she can train in the most dangerous City in the world so that she can represent Somalia at the Olympics, what excuse do we have as the Somali youths in Diaspora not to change Somalia’s image in the world? It is our time to contribute positively to the wellbeing of Somalia, and to never under-estimate our impact. The success of Zamzam at the Olympics in London is not measured in Gold, Silver or Bronze, but rather what she represents, the hope, the determination, the Somali spirit, and most of all, her beautiful smile that sends a strong message to all the Somali girls wherever there are;You too are Somalia’s source of strength.
Mohamud Ibrahim Ali
Freelance Journalist In Phoenix Arizona