A Tribute to Somali Patriot Abdihayi Osman Garaad
by Abdikhayr Soofe
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Today, we lost Abdihayi Osman Garad, a true Somali patriot, a polished intellectual, a man of great integrity, a peace activist, and a courageous Somali who devoted his life to the resuscitation of the Somali state.
It was completely shocking and unbelievable that Abdihayi Garaad suffered brain hemorrhage yesterday and was rushed to the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya where he passed on this afternoon. Abdihayi did not have any pre-existing medical conditions or health concerns. He was only 40 years of age.
Abdihayi cared deeply about Somalia and the Somali people. Anyone who knew Abdihayi would agree that he was working on many different projects which had a common denominator: that they benefited Somalis. He deeply cared about the wellbeing of the thousands of Somali refugees suffering around the globe. He believed in giving back to his country so much that he returned full time to the Horn of Africa where he worked on projects that promoted health, enhanced livelihoods, and built sustainable peace. As the advisor to the Ministry of Reconcilliation and Constitutional Affairs, Abdihaye had his hands at the pulse of the hope and healing that is apparent in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia.
He tirelessly advocated for Somalia and for restoring effective state institutions. In his last conversation with me, Abdihayi told me that he wanted to seek to become a member of parliament in the new political dispensation. Assuming that he was beneficial to more people in his role as activist and humanitarian worker, I asked him why he wanted to confine himself by joining the parliament. His response still stuns me. He said that he “wanted to affect change from the inside and to fight for justice for all.”
In addition to a close friend, Abdihayi was also a cousin and a respected family member. I am confident that Abdihayi’s work and legacy will continue to inspire and motivate young Somalis everywhere. I am also sure that Abdihayi’s humanitarian work will have an impact on the lives of many Somalis both now and in the future.
May Allah make his deeds “Sadaqah Jaariyah” and May Allah reward him with Jannah. He will be greatly missed.
May Allah give his family and friends the patience and courage to endure this painful loss.