What do you call a man who left his land after a civil conflict but returns when things improve? Somalia has been ravaged by a deadly civil war for 20 years. This has caused people to flee with their families to all over the world.
20 years down the line, folks are returning to their lives only to uncover the faces have changed and new crowd of actors with no whatsoever honourable qualification and a progressive mentality, have come to the city. When I state this, I do not want to start a controversy. At this common moment, People who only want clan based ideology and not having the responsibility or capability to run their own homes, let alone a nation, have arrived from the scrub and running for power. But it will soon change insha Allah.
Before the civil war broke out, Mogadishu, the nation’s capital, was a production and a tourist hub from people all over Africa and the world. We had our own factories and a social atmosphere to crave for. all was in place, children were going to school, parents where working hard and earning good money, the seaside resorts of Liido, Jaziira, which are part of our beaches and knowing that we got the longest coastline in Africa, where open to the public to enjoy and use it as an getaway route every Friday with the families after a hard working week. Our mothers and fathers where well established, educated and respectable people.
Come 1991, everything came at a standstill. President Siaad Barre was overthrown and a clan based dispute will soon start which will ruin all our lives.
Everyone left their homes and to search for asylum in a foreign country to start their lives all over again due to the threats they faced. The society structure collapsed, institutions buckled, the knowledgeable all left their jobs and homes to settle in different atmospheres all the over world.
Now, partly due to our prayers and African Union brothers, Somalia is seeing stability and progress. The country has slowly enhanced and the civil war is over. But there is one big problem which we all need to face and deal with. How do we get along with each other?
Since I have been here in Mogadishu, I have already seen that there is a difference in society, the Diasporas and the locals, two different minds but all running for the same cause, Somalia. The locals, before the war, did not really bother with politics before the Diasporas left the country. A lot mostly farmers and did not have access to authority and weren’t really interested. You see before the war broke out, the local Mogadishu’s who are here where mostly from outside the city and lived the surrounding areas where life was pretty straightforward. As soon as the war started, they started in their thousands, to come inside Mogadishu and start businesses and tried to settle in the city due to the fact almost one and all left to go in a foreign country. Mogadishu was almost empty with a handful left. They have been no educational system, just a means of basic survival.
Now the Diasporas, with their offspring educated, are returning by their thousands, and now people in Mogadishu are seeing them as a threat to their livelihood.
Some homes have been taken over by unknown incumbents while others are homes already fixed and lived by people who have no right to be in it in the other hand their also squatters to deal with.
Something needs to be done and illustrated here. We are not coming back to seek power or whatever nonsense people fear about. We are coming to re-establish Somalia together, to rebuild our institutions and to learn our culture and mother tongue which is evaporating very fast. The city may have transformed but the goal still remains the same, to rebrand Somalia and put it back to its rightful place.
Like it or not, I am looking to stay here in Mogadishu. I have had enough of being a viewer but want to fully participate in this wonderful agenda to re-build Somalia. We have to accept one another. I being here do not mean I want your job. No. I have my own network and want to establish my individual career in Somalia without interfering with anybody else’s dealing to enhance the wealth of opportunities Somalia craves so much.
To frankly answer the question that I asked in the beginning, what do you call a man who left his nation after a civil conflict but returns when things make progress? I think the answer is pretty simple to me but to those others, it’s Ajnaabi (Foreigner).
Mohamed Hassan (Dj)