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July 2, 2022

The Other Quagmires

By Dr Suleiman Walhad

-updated 30-12-2020

Somalia is not the only country, which has not been able to recollect itself despite the disappearance of the old regime of General Mohamed Siyad Barre for some 29 years. I always thought Somalis, were the only people, who do not have the ability and wherewithal, to come together round the table and discuss matters and settle disputes among themselves.

In the past, as we all know, they did not have tables, but they certainly did have big acacia trees around whose big trunks they used to gather and discuss matters. The Tree, they called it. In fact they meant the court, because that was the court. As Europeans used to gather in empty spaces devoid of trees, Europe being forested during those times, Somalis used to gather around the trunks or umbrella-shaped trees to shelter from the scorching tropical sun. But that was the past and the past does not repeat itself, not exactly the same way anyway.

Alla maxaan u soo joognay!!!! – Haven’t we seen many things in our short lives? When Somalia collapsed and people were running for their lives to where ever, we recall others looting homes, offices, shops and businesses and, in fact, everything and anything that came their way. I used to wonder how people could stoop so low to even pick up toilet seats and wash sinks and basins. I used to see Somalis as a “cheap” people. Don’t get me wrong. I am a Somali too. But to stoop that low, I did not expect, but it did happen and we saw worse.


And then we saw Baghdad and the old city was robbed in daylight and in the dark and people were running with everything and anything that came their way, be they toilets, artifacts or precious historical documents and monuments and cash and plenty of it. Remember! Iraq was a rich nation, much richer than Somalia, a nation that was one of the important oil exporters of the world. But people stooped low and we thought they were better than the Somalis. No, they were worse and they destroyed themselves and they could not come together and they are still fighting, despite all the trials of peace making that took place in that country. They are still a divided nation, poor Iraqis.

We thought this would be the end of the troubled countries and nations, but then again there came Libya, with its multitude of blood-letting warlords, including Haftar who almost behaves like Somalia’s Aideed, but with a yellowish skin. A dark horse with dark thoughts and grandiose goals, he carries the tunes of a dictator and a killer one at that. Libya, despite its oil wealth, extensive support from the United Nations and others, remains a quagmire and a desolate place, where slavery of poor Africans who cross the Sahara Desert, on their way, to the so-called European paradise, get caught in the webs of so-called Muslims, who should have behaved differently and should certainly have treated them more kindly.

And there are others like Yemen and Syria, and those who falsely believe they are in peace, but have no idea what is in store for them. When man turns into the animal he is and the human in him dies, what would one expect of him but horror. There are more quagmires on the way. May Allah, help all and us.

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