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I have a Dream

By Abdi-Noor Mohamed
Tuesday, October 09, 2007


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Sometimes when I take a glimpse at the situation surrounding my life, I feel extremely discouraged. I see a Somalia devoid of love and care; a nation in deep shortage of  respect, reverence and compassion.


In Mogadishu there are bombs flying every corner of the city with no authority in charge of protecting its civilians. Yet there are those who still live and toil for their daily survival. Take Moogaay Isaq as an example. She is a poor mother of four, handicapped and hails from a minority agricultural tribe in the south of the country.


She came to Mogadishu at a tender age of 12 when her family was displaced from their original homelands after clan wars erupted in their village. While on their  way to Mogadishu Moogaay lost three of her siblings who died from hunger and starvation. She was lucky enough to have made safely, together with her parents and two sisters, to a camp in the outskirts of Mogadishu where displaced people were being protected.   


One day while recovering in the camp, strayed rocket landed in the makeshift huts set up by the displaced people. Moogaay lost her right leg in the tragedy that saw her mother and two sisters dead. At 14 her father, Ibrow Aliyow gave her out to a man 40 years her senior in a hastily arranged traditional marriage.   The man shares blood ties with the family and had come from the same village the family had been displaced.


After many years of difficult life in the camp, Moogaay and her husband decided to go back to the village they originally hailed from so as to start farming as some peace was reportedly dawning in the area. They now had four children: two boys and tgwo girls. Waving back to the camp, Moogaay squeezed herself in a small space on top of a truck that has been loaded beyond its capacity.


But before they reached anywhere far from the city, tragedy swallowed up the trip. Their truck was sprayed with bullets by militia who demanded extortion from the driver. Moogaay lost her husband on the spot.. Moogaay and children trekked back to the camp to start life afresh, this time alone and without a husband. She has to fend for herself and for the children to keep life on course.


But unfortunately Moogaay has no skill in working outside the camp and if at all she acquired some the gender factor was a hurdle to her as women have little or virtually no chance to get employment in Mogadishu. So she became a peanut seller in the streets of the city, sometimes sitting in the scorching sun without an umbrella or a shade while sweat drainied her cheeks and down her neck. Poor and disabled Moogaay was a lady in her early thirties, who was smart and rich in the heart.


Though encountered with huge pain during her life, she was still beaming with joy when her friends met her. I knew Moogaay and always admired her surging courage, strength of mind, resilience and hardened spirit.


One fateful afternoon, a cross-fire flared up between TFG soldiers and Islamic insurgents at Isgoyska Black Sea, just at the vicinity of a place where Moogaay sat to sell her peanut. A  bullet struck Moogaay in the heart which saw her bled to death. May Allah rest her soul in peace.


Who killed Moogay and why was she killed is not asked but instead who won in the shoot out was repeatedly portrayed with fantastic wordings in the papers and other local media outlets.Who will take care of her children is absolutely out of the question given the greed that had clouded the hearts and minds of the Somali politicians and insurgents. What a shame!


This indifference to human life has filled tremendous sadness in my heart and I have no way to assuage the pain other than using my pen to share it with those who show concern for the plight of their country; those whose hearts still have a soft spot for humanity. It is high time we stood up to change the current trend of bloodshed in our country. Please share this poem with me:


I Have a Dream


This country has gone crazy with terror wars
It is laboring to give birth to another country

I see peace sleeping in the house of war

I see light living at the mercy of the dark

I see wild fires chasing springs and rivers

I see sanity attending the school of madness

I see wisdom strolling in the shores of dumbness

I see shame forcing dignity to pack and leave

I see oceans turning violent to take revenge

I see deserts staring angrily at green pastures

I see clouds of ash burning like wild bush

Or skies as naked as a newly-born baby 

I see myself in the middle of this country

I have a dream that one day:

Light will shine to kill the dark

Peace shall put off spreading fires

Order shall wipe out rampant disorder

Winds of hope shall drive away evil clouds
Truth shall no longer be a hostage of concocted lies

Abdi-Noor Mohamed
Writer and film maker

Mogadishu, Somalia
[email protected]

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