Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
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EID Mubarak, Mogadishu!
Xayaabkii cir da'ayeey, daruur shalka xayddaay
Xulad geenyo ugubeey, darmaan xoosh u dhalataay
Xil-dhibaanka nabaddaay, xajkii Geeska Bariyeey
Cadceeddoo xab-bururtaay, marna xabag barsheedkii
Nafta xiisa gelisaay!
Xiddigtii bahdeediyo, xubnaheeda kala maqan
U ahayd xusuustee, sumaddooda xaynkiyo
Shanta gees u xidhataay!
Xudduntii dhulkaygaay, xaruntii dadkaygaay
Xamareey ma nabad baa? -  Poet leaureate Hadraawi!
By Shaacir Mataan
Like most of Somalis in the Diaspora, it has become a daily routine for me to daily surf and check Somali sites for news back home. Mostly such news is not that pleasant and promising. News back home usually encompasses doom and despair. Most of the Somali sites report biased half-truths of senseless wars, of clan conflict, of pessimistic rhetoric, of feuding factional leaders, etc.
But this Monday morning, my daily cyber-surfing had a different feel of joy and ecstasy. For beginners, it is Eid and I am on festive mood. But wait, it will get better when, by my virtual surfing of few of my favorite Somali sites, I come across of colorful images, of festive manners, of merry faces, of Mogadishu masses congregating and praying in the majestically beautiful Mosque of white marbles that embodies the unity of the Ummah.
A glimpse of some awe-inspiring images of large Mogadishu crowds praying at Isbaheysiga Umadda Masjid is without doubt priceless.
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Like Muslims all over the world, more than million and half of Mogadishu residents are celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr to conclude the month-long fasting of Ramadan for the first time in sixteen years with peace and tranquility. This is their first Eid without the merciless warlords, without the marauding Mooryaan militias, without the taxing roadblocks and above all without the sound of the crashing mortars.
Indeed, this is a miraculous feat in the making that deserves to be rejoiced. Mogadishu residents were deprived of such spiritual and peaceful gatherings for many years.
All praises are due to Allah for this great blessing and for awakening up among Mogadishu’s many daughters and sons such heroic and revolutionary forces of the Islamic courts that made it possible for the city to experience this momentous peace. The Union of Islamic courts have indeed rescued the city from an infernal abyss and from the shackles of warlord banditry.
Those appalling warlords made Mogadishu one of the most violent capitals in the world. But that evil era is history. Mogadishu is back and will soon be a model city of peace and progress.
Mogadishu deserves to gain back its magnificent past and its cosmopolitan makeup. It was once dubbed as the jewel of the Indian Ocean for its colonial and arabesque architecture and used to be one of the safest capitals in the world where unaccompanied women were able to peacefully walk city’s downtown promenades without being harassed let alone violated.
But now Mogadishu is hopeful and things seem to be working at favorable good turn.
Mogadishu’s international airport, though in dismal shambles and in need of repair, has been re-opened and is at least serviceably working. Flights from Nairobi and beyond carrying of extraordinary people who had forsaken the city in its worst times, because of instability, are for the first time coming back. And with this homecoming, they intend to stay for good this time around. Flights from Dubai and beyond carrying of enterprising business men and women who want to invest capital and labor into the city, because of its sudden return to peace and stability, are landing day in day out at Mogadishu Airport.
The Mogadishu seaport, though not fully functional and in need of intensive rehab, is open for business. Ships and boats importing rice, tea, sugar, clothes and furniture, fuel and construction materials are in queue along the oceanic horizon to dock and unload goods and merchandise.   No more are needed the ad-hoc warlord ports that used to trade and ship contraband goods, coal, drugs and weapons. Instead Mogadishu business men and women are now exporting shark fins, lobsters, leather and livestock.
Mogadishu had long suffered unthinkable misery at the hands of warlord criminals with no mercy and no faith. Thank God and thanks to the hard work of the forces loyal to the heroic Islamic courts, the bloody warlords are no where near Mogadishu. They have been chased out of the city and their return is far-flung mirage.
The disgraceful warlords, though defeated, are not fully out of the picture. Some of the stubborn and violent ones like Qaybdiid seem to be resurfacing as they were given asylum, arsenal and aid by the enemies of peaceful and stable Somalia. Warlords like Qaybdiid, and other disliked minion warlords, with Ethiopian patronage and other unruly local actors have been spotted in Central Somalia. Warlord Hiiraale, like his buddies of warlord-cum-ministers in our Ethiopian backed transitional federal government, is waging futile reprisal to recapture his vanished powerbase and fiefdom in Lower Juba. News has it that he is now wreaking havoc in Bu’aale irritating the forces of Islamic courts.
All of these warlord pest and belligerence is meant to fan the flames of clannish rivalry and overwhelm the Islamic courts. It is further intended to thwart the newly found peace and stability in Mogadishu and environs. Unfortunately the weak and corrupt TFG is on board with the warlords and is in cahoots with the Tigre junta. The ineffectual TFG is working against Mogadishu to spoil and reverse the emerging peace there and in much of southern Somalia. The current arrest of Ethiopian undercover secret agents in Mogadishu is an indication how desperately Addis Ababa is trying to hold Mogadishu back to its lawless past.
As a result of all seditious exploits from the enemies of peace, the heroic soldiers and noble leaders of the Islamic Courts need to be on guard and cautious to not let the enemies of Somalia and their unfaithful puppets impede the miraculous and momentous revolution of peace and stability.
The Islamic Courts challenge is to let Mogadishu be what it used to be: a very liberal and tolerant city with cultural mores, tolerant milieu and urbane mutation. There is no need to impose alien, strict and imported way of life on the blasé Mogadishu populace. There is no need to ban music, movies and sports. Mogadishu residents are known to value and enjoy culture and entertainment. Mogadishu used to be and still is a city of sports fanatics. People used to fill soccer stadiums in teeming numbers. Beach going on Friday mornings was a well-cherished and popular Mogadishu pastime. It’s off-putting to hear reports of extremist charlatans, masquerading as pious men, preventing families to have seaside picnics. Banning people to enjoy the freedom to stroll on the sandy beach of Lido, Jaziira and Sambusi beaches is not comforting and gives a negative picture of the Islamic courts hitherto immaculate enterprise. Implementing a strict interpretation of our beautiful and tolerant Islamic religion taints all admirable deeds of the courts. To look good and to win more hearts and minds, the courts must not only tolerate but embrace people of Mogadishu’s many pastime predilections.
The Islamic courts, instead of busying themselves regulating with inconsequential societal leisure and fad, need to embark on projects such as the renewal of basic infrastructure like power, water and sewage. So far the garbage collection and sanitary campaigns going on in some districts of the capital highlights the courts’ plan to overhaul Mogadishu’s rubbish-ridden neighborhoods and streets. That is commendable and should include services to revamp Mogadishu’s infrastructure and to give a face-lift to the many destroyed buildings. Parts of the city, specially the old Arab quarters in ex- downtown Mogadishu have been reduced to rubble by the decade long of bomb shelling and fighting. This part of the capital needs some kind of restoration.
Societal regeneration and rebirth depends on granting individual freedom and space but not imposing strict lifestyle that people of Mogadishu are not accustomed to. Mogadishu needs urban planning not zealous policing.
I hope many joyous Eids to come for Mogadishu’s residents so that they can rejoice and celebrate life, its beauty and blessings in peace and prosperity. Hopefully, with the will of ALLAH, the great city of Mogadishu will rise from the ashes and shine like a real cosmopolitan city with culture and life.
Happy Eid Mubarak, Mogadishu !
Shaacir Mataan
The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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