Somalia war was one of Africa’s most evil civil wars. The war claimed the lives of over 700,000 Somali and displaced a million others in refugee camps in neighboring countries. What is even more shocking is that last six years after the end of the first civil war that started in 1991, a second war would begin from 2005 to 2012. The second war also claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Somalis. The two events bring depression, shock, and extreme rage to countless Somalis. Nevertheless, one thing common among many Somalis is happiness: happiness that the over-decade-long civil war is eventually coming to an end. Now, there is hope for a better Somalia. There’s hope for a better Somalia not only for the present generation but for many generations to come.
Indeed, Somalia is a broken thing that needs to be fixed. Since the election of new President Hassan Shikh Mohamud, many countries have pledged millions of dollars to Somalis to help rebuild the country’s infrastructure. These countries’ donation should be build schools, roads and homes. It could improve security services such police, army healthcare and increase youth employment in our beloved Somalia.
Hence, restoring and rebuilding of Somalia by Somalis is crucial. Dear Somalis of Diaspora, it is our turn to help rebuild our own country. Let’s all convey our gratitude to the many nations that are helping to rebuild our beloved country. The International community, A.U. and the United Nations have done their part, they have acted rather than simply watch. Now, it is our turn to act rather than watch others help rebuild our country.
In addition, like Dr Martin Luther King, i too have a dream that one day, our nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We the People of the Republic of Somalia: Exercising our natural, inherent and inalienable rights to establish a framework of government for the purpose of promoting unity, peace, stability, equality, justice and human rights under the rule of law.” I have a dream that one day; the thousands of displaced Somalis can go back to their homeland without reluctance or fear. This however, cannot be done without the help of Somalis in Diaspora. Like the long road to Somalia’s recovery, my dream too, is one of hope, togetherness and care. Again, without the help of Somalis in Diaspora, this dream will merely remain a dream. This is how we can make this dream of a reality that promises a brighter and better Somalia.
An English polymath once said that, “what is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” Today, we the Somalis of all around the world have the power to start something meaningful and revolutionary. Take this into thorough consideration. There is an estimate of over 100,000 Somalis living in America. Let’s imagine for a moment that about 70,000 of these Somalis are over the ages of 18 and are working. Now, imagine each individual taking $10 from their paycheck for a single month. If that $10 is multiplied by 70,000 Somalis, that amount comes up to $700,000 for only a single month. With such figure, the possibilities are endless. Imagine how much we can rise within a 6-month or a 12-month period. For example, this money will be saved in a special fund called SRST (Somalis Rebuilding Somalis Together). Together, we as Somalis of Diaspora can make this dream a reality.
Langston Hughes once asked “what happens to a dream deferred?” We must not let this dream of rebuilding Somalis dry up like a raisin in the sun. Nor must we let this dream fester like a sore. This dream is indeed a long shot but we will remain oblivious of the outcomes unless we try. Yes we can rebuild Somalia with $10 per Somalis. Yes we can give the new generation of Somalis a chance to blossom with $10 per Somalis. Yes we can impact over 60% of the Somali population that still lives absolute poverty . Yes we can impact over 200% unemployment rate with simply $10 per Somali. Ladies and gentlemen, the time is now! We must make the rebuilding of our beloved country a top priority. Again, my dream is one of hope, togetherness and care. Together, with this $10 per Somali, we can build new police forces, army forces, schools, homes, roads, give jobs, restore infrastructure—the possibilities are endless. We can do it.
No event in Somalia’s history has caused more sadness, uproar and brutality than the Somali civil and religious War. Despite the adversities, atrocities and great sadness triggered by these wars, one fundamental truth remains: something good can result from extreme cruelty and misfortune. My experiences in serving and helping Somalis have conveyed to me the essence of the human spirit. The human spirit guides and propels each and every man, woman or child to do great things. What distinguishes us from other species is our human spirit. It is this human spirit that transforms ordinary individuals into great ones. It is this human spirit that alters misfortunes into opportunities. The unbearable conditions many Somalis endured during the civil war are only one example of the human spirit. But together, we can demonstrate this human spirit in an endeavor
Today, our broken and devastated Somalia needs repair. We often watch the news and read the newspapers about violence happening in our country. And we say to ourselves, “how depressing.” What is even more shocking is that sometimes, these atrocities happen not too far away from us. Nonetheless, we say to ourselves “how depressing.” And we go about our normal lives, driving our cars, eating our nutritious home cooked meals and drinking fresh and safe waters. The one thing that continues to make our Somalia so broken today is lack of action. It is one concept to watch or read about all the horrific things that people in Somalia and the world’s poorest countries face daily. However, it is an entirely different concept to watch and then do something about it—A.C.T. We can impact our world by first impacting our small country of Somalia, which is in need.
O Dear Somalis today we need to go one step further and change our country. Rather than being reminded of how troubled it truly is, we need to A.C.T. (Actually Care Together). We can change our world little by little by first helping rebuild Somalia. If each of us can do our part, simply imagine for a moment how influential it can be to other recuperating countries around the world. Care and action will ultimately help fix our broken Somalia and our world ultimately. A writer once said that a good story is one that often [remind us] of our troubled world. More prominently however, a great story is one [that goes a step further]: reminding us of our humanity and prompting us to A.C.T. A great story emphasizes how our motivation, needs, determination, our ability to exist, thrive, and prevail under difficult conditions is indeed the human spirit. Somalia is an example of a great story. Therefore, we must demonstrate our human spirit by helping rebuild it. We can rebuild our beloved country with simply $10 per Somali. Let’s attempt to make a dream reality. Let’s attempt to bestow the new generation of Somalis the chance of a promising tomorrow. With $10 per Somalis, we can do this.
Mahdi Haile is a writer, activist, and scholar. He is graduate student, currently studying MA in development Studies and economic development Planning, at the University Of New Hampshire, and diploma of Public Policy Management at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
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