| Issue 373
and Regional Affairs |
After Reading Bashir Omer Goth’s, piece titled,” Good Bye to Awdalnews”
on different Somali websites, I suspected that Bashir may be victim of
tribal arm twisting and manipulation (which I am sure he refused and was
the cause of his departure) that every Somali educated person
experiences especially those whose views are widely expressed orally or
I would like to start this piece with series of questions and then try
to answer them using my life journey from childhood to where I am now.
1. Am individual or my tribe’s agent at all times wherever I am?
2. Can one be agent for his tribe in a constructive manner and get along
with others that are not from one’s tribe?
3. Does education and life experience free one from tribal
4. Can one have religious believes and cultural up bringing that guides
one to wish the best for his/her loves and wish no ill for others.
5. Can I ask you all readers of this article few more questions, “Is a
Somali person free to express him/herself without being harassed or even
killed by tribal hatemonger?” Are tribe’s members supposed to be
monolithic? Is a Somali intellectual has a right to provoke thought? Is
opposing point of view tolerated among Somalis?
First, as those of you, who used to read my “oodi Ab Ka dhow” series may
remember, I was sent to boarding school at Dayaxa, near Erigabo, when I
was grade five. Dayaxa was the furthest to East of Burco region. I was
transferred to Amoud Intermediate, near Borama. Amoud was the furthest
west Ward in Hargeysa region. I graduated from Benadir Secondary school
in Mogadishu. I went to Xalane military training. I taught at
Sakhawadiin to fulfill my National Service year. I was four years in
Saudi Arabia and over quarter of a century in The United States of
America. That long journey of my life, gave me the privilege and honor
to befriend and live with Somalis from the tribal spectrum. I never had
been in a position that I was harmed or put into position to harm
another person in the name of a tribe. As many of us who left Somalia
before hell got loose know every one was individual among his peers. At
the same, one knew his tribal identification. To answer my first
question, as far I know, I do not have any document that I know of I
signed that I am bound to be agent of my tribe or clan at all times and
Second, as every Somali, I had known my tribe and clan all my life. I
benefited from the generosity and kindness of my relatives close and
distant. I did help many when I could. The way I was raised tribe’s
members took care of each other constructively. While it was the custom
to help one’s kin first, one helped his neighbors and acquaitenance.
Peaceful coexistence and harmony was the norm not the exception in the
Somalia I grew up and among the Somalis I lived with all my life in the
Third, may be I am naïve, but all my life, I believed that I was
fortunate for getting education. Jokingly, I do tell my co-workers that
if I did not go to school and if it is not the pay check I get every
fortnight, I might have been in Africa pouching elephants or killing my
cousins. I never comprehended those Somalis who have degrees who go back
to Somalia to fan tribal fires. I do honestly believe education, the
right education, can free one from not only tribal hatemongering among
Somalis but bigotry and hatemongering towards all mankind.
Fourth, When I was in primary school from grade to grade 4 I had Islamic
Studies teach by the Sheikh Cali Askar(Gacanlow). In those three years
he taught us over hundred Hadiths and Many Koran verses. Among others
one Hadith that I always recite says,” Almuslim mansalmo naasu min
yadihi wa lisaanihi”(A muslim is one people are saved from one’s
disparagement and physical harm.). I recommend you reader of this
article to read Surat Albaqara, Aaya 177. I do also recommend you all to
read and read Mohamed Ibrarahim Warsame’s song “Hooyo”
Both in our Islamic teachings and our Somali culture, human decency and
harmony is preached. I never been taught in my Islamic studies at any
level where one call say,”Alahu Akbar” and commit suicide and take a lot
of innocent civilians with him including children, women and elderly.
I am concluding, by first making a disclaimer. Bashir Omer Goth did not
ask me to write this article; but I will argue that he sole handedly put
Awdalnews on the front raw of Somali websites. I do not know for fact,
but I bet, that intolerance of opposing point of view, tribal monolithic
thinking expectation, lack of freedom of speech, and lastly but not the
least intellectual dwarfing among Somalis is what caused the conflict
between Bashir and Awdalnews management.