by Ali H. Abdulla
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
When tragedy strikes people you have met and known for some time, people with the energy, the ability and the disposition to make changes in their communities and countries: it touches you profoundly and compounds the pain you already feel about the sad situation in the country of your birth.
Saado Ali Warsame and Hodon Naalleeye used their talent and energy to bring positive change to Somalia. Saado used her poetry and songs, while Hodon used her Integration TV, her geniality, her charm and her journalistic ability. At certain times they collaborated to challenge UN operatives in the refugee camps in Kenya to do more in their efforts to improve the miserable conditions of the thousands of refugees in those camps.
I wrote about Saado when she was murdered in cold blood by cowards in Mogadishu and I write now about Hodon who was also murdered in cold blood by the same butchers who hide behind a religion that does not condone their actions and twisted beliefs. Like the crusaders who used a twisted form of Christianity to massacre thousands in Jerusalem and other Muslim areas, the forces of darkness in Somalia use a twisted form of Islam to do the same thing. Jesus never condoned killing people who did not believe in his message, while the Qoran forbids shedding human blood and compares the murder of a single person, be it Muslim or non-Muslim, to the murder of all humanity.
The murder of Hodon a few years after the murder of her compatriot Saado raises many questions that should be thoroughly investigated when a credible government hopefully comes to power in Somalia.
Hodon had shown confidence and courage by relocating to her country of birth knowing the risks involved and the hardships associated with that. Just before she was murdered along with her entrepreneur husband, she visited her town of birth Las Anod along with her family, to establish a library: a first in the town. With her magnanimity, she brought happiness and hope to hundreds of young students in the town.
In the third and last part of a video she made about her recent visit to Las Anod, she boldly entered a coffee shop, sat down and ordered a cup of tea. Two old men stood up in protest and left as if being annoyed by a woman encroaching upon their exclusive domain. Hodon finished her tea, got up and laughingly commented by saying “That did not go too well, people were not happy with it, but who cares”. Her bold words should encourage Somali women to play more positive roles in Somalia and demand more representation in the political arena that has been dominated so long by men who have been unable to bring peace and stability to Somalia after running the show for more than twenty eight years after the collapse of the central government in Mogadishu.
Hodon will be remembered for her courage, compassion, confidence and her commitment to promoting Somalia as a place of hope. Her positive messages countered the depressing images of destruction and mayhem that we have become accustomed to in the daily feeds from Somali and intentional media.
There is no doubt that she will motivate many Somali Diaspora to go back to their places of birth in Somalia to spearhead positive change. Somali women in particular are responsible for most of the positive changes championed by the Somali Diaspora. Somali Ladies like Fowzia Esse, Kinsi Baraarshe and others are building maternity hospitals in areas that have been neglected for a long time. Somali women have historically played positive roles in Somalia. Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt received in her court a Somali queen and her husband when Somalia was known as the land of Punt. More recently, Arwelo or Queen Arwa, ruled over men in Somalia with an iron fist. Somali clan names are dominated by “Habar” which stands for the maternal side of the clan.
Hodon, Saado and others will long be remembered as pioneer women who served their societies well and lost their lives in the process.
May the Lord Almighty have mercy on the souls of all those who lost their lives in the senseless massacres in Kismayo and other places in Somalia.
Ali H. Abdulla