by Mohamud Ibrahim Ali
Saturday, July 21, 2012
As the well-organized Olympic ceremony in London was underway, various countries presented their icons to bear the flag and walk the stage to showcase their pride and sense of patriotism. I could not deny how happy I felt watching the great Muhammad Ali carry the Olympic flag in the later part of the ceremony, but what moved me most was seeing the Somali team walk the stage with their heads held high and the blue flag with the white star waving as strong as we could imagine it to. I asked myself, is this a foreshadowing of a stronger Somalia to come or is it a new generation that will dignify the flag once more?
I think peace comes from with in us, it does not need any one to import it from anywhere a round the world. The sense of patriotism that the Somali Olympic team displayed today is what we all need to do in order to accomplish our common goal: building a stronger Somalia. They took the risk to train in a city with no sporting facilities, a city with no proper security in place, and most of all, daily threats from terrorist groups that are willing to kill them and possibly wipe us out of the world map if they can. These men and women who walked the stage with the Somali flag are not only patriotic Somalis, but they are also practitioners of a public service that has not been there for the last two decades. May be they do not get any monetary benefits, may be they are not physically fit as we might expect them, but remember the government they are representing at the Olympics does not have the ability to pay it’s members of parliament, leave alone it’s sporting individuals. This is what the yearning for peace is all about, it is when you give yourself to a course that is greater than you, an ambition that makes you destroy all odds against you just for the common good, this is how we can achieve peace and prosperity in Somalia. If we are afraid to do goods things just because we might be killed, then this how the spoilers, terrorists, and haters of Somalia wants us to be. They want to create maximum fear in us so we can hide ourselves somewhere and not participate in the nation building.
There are those who said Somalia died long time ago, but when they saw the Somali flag at the London Olympics, they said, wait a minute, how are these people living in Somalia now? The answer to that question is that unless you live in Somalia and risk yourself in order to change Somalia’s image, it is unlikely to build a better Somalia. Remember Mahatma Gandhi once said, “ If you want to change the world, be the change you want to see in this world.” So I urge the Somali youth to be the change they want to see in Somalia. And finally, if you will learn anything from this article, it is that I answered to my friend’s question, “ Is Somalia alive?” And I answered, who said Somalia died?
Mohamud Ibrahim Ali
Freelance Journalist in Phoenix Arizona