March 5, 2015 | Morning Headlines.

Main Story

Army Rescues Food Supplies For Besieged Town from Al Shabab

04 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 163 Words

The Somali National Army Command in Bulo Burde town says they rescued food supplies for the residents of the besieged town from Al Shabab fighters who were trying to starve the public. They also seized weapons and captured members belonging to the group. Abdullahi Barre Elmi, the Commander of SNA in Bulo Burde, told Goobjoog that the army conducted an operation towards the northern areas of Bulo Burde and the operation was successful in capturing Al Shabab members and seizing some weapons. He said the consignment of food was loaded on some 40 donkey carts destined for the residents and this is big achievement in averting a disaster. Al Shabab had previously laid a 10 month siege on the town. “We captured three  anti-peace culprits , together with their guns. This was done by the  Somali National Army and AMISOM peacekeepers, and we managed to deliver the food to their rightful owners in the town,” Elmi said.

Key Headlines

  • Army Rescues Food Supplies For Besieged Town From Al Shabab (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Puntland Court Acquits Politicians Of Charges Of ‘Treason’  (Garowe Online)
  • Somali Town Launches Solar Energy Project (Hiiraan Online)
  • Somalia ‘Determined’ To Improve Human Rights Situation (Horseed Media)
  • Talks Between Puntland And Interim Juba Administration Open In Kismayu (Radio Bar-kula)
  • EU Boosts The Somali Energy Sector (Mareeg Media)
  • Three Arrested Over Canada Mall Threat (Daily Nation/AFP)
  • First Somali-American On Metropolitan Airports Commission Honored In Minneapolis (My Fox – Twin Cities)
  • Former Foreign Minister And Somali First Lady Shares Inspiring Story Of Social Change With Walden University Graduates (PR Newswire)
  • Post-Independence And Discourse Of Perplexed Leadership (Horseed Media)



Puntland Court Acquits Politicians Of Charges Of ‘Treason’

04 March – Source: Garowe Online – 177 Words

A court in Somalia’s north eastern state of Puntland dropped treason charges against politicians and traditional leaders on Wednesday, Garowe Online reports. The Chairman of the First Degree Court of Nugal Mohamed Hared Farah told reports in Garowe that following an appeal against a verdict being dealt to 14 people on January 13, 2015, the judges found the defendants of innocent of treason charges. He added that the court did not receive sufficient evidence and ordered that the 14 people be compensated with $8,000 collectively. Amongst the defendants acquitted of treason is former Puntland MP Abdiweli Musse Shire who was sentenced to life in prison for attending a state formation conference held in the central Somali town of Adado. Shire has reportedly returned to Galkayo. Three of the fourteen were initially handed down life imprisonment while 11 were expected to serve 10-year jail terms. On July 31, 2014 Puntland protested the inclusion of Mudug in central state map, withdrawing confidence in the relatively weak  UN-backed central government in Mogadishu.

Somali Town Launches Solar Energy Project

04 March – Source: Hiiraan Online  – 211 Words

In an attempt to reduce the skyrocketing electricity costs, Beledweyne, a town in central Somalia, launched a solar-power system on Wednesday, deploying solar panels across the city in the hopes of seeing progress through the new initiative. Funded by the Norwegian government, the town’s administration inaugurated the program which aims covering the town’s electricity needs, a move that can contain the high electrical energy prices. The first solar panel was set up at the town’s main hospital to help the health facility to have unlimited power access, unlike the subscription electricity that often results in numerous blackouts.

“It’s going to be a good progress ending those terrible energy challenges we have experienced,” said Ahmed Mohamed Khalif, the director of the town’s hospital. “Sometimes there would be a power failure in the middle of a critical surgery–it was dangerous.” The project, which aims to create a better energy alternative for the town, plans to install solar-powered posts across the town giving residents easy access to electricity. Residents celebrated the new investment which will help poor families in the town to get an unlimited solar access, and will likely chip away at the expensive electricity companies.

Somalia ‘Determined’ To Improve On Human Rights Situation

04 March – Source: Horseed Media – 166 Words

Somalia’s Federal government has said that it will work to improve the  human rights situation in the country, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders including international organizations and donors. For many years, Somalia has had a terrible human rights record, and has consistently been on the list of the world’s worst countries for human rights violations. The Minister of Women’s Affairs and Human Rights, Sahra Mohammed Ali, met with senior officials from the United Nations offices in Mogadishu to discuss ways to develop the human rights situation in a country recovering from two decades of civil war and lawlessness. She said that the government is determined to work on the elimination of human rights abuses and deal with those who violate the rights of others. The current government, which came in power in 2012, has failed to tackle rights violations despite making public  pledges several times. Its human rights record has also been tainted by  accusations of security forces committing acts of sexual violence against women.

Talks Between Puntland And Interim Juba Administration Open In Kismayu

04 March – Source: Radio Bar-Kulan  – 87 Words

Leaders of Puntland and the Interim Juba Administration are currently meeting in Kismayu. A large delegation from Puntland, led by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas), arrived in Kismayu on Tuesday for a three day visit. According to a Radio Bar-Kulan reporter, the two sides will discuss a range of issues including strengthening ties between Puntland and the Interim Juba Administration, fighting terrorism and Vision 2016. The President of Puntland is expected to visit the Kismayu port  which is the largest source of revenue for the Juba administration.

EU Boosts The Somali Energy Sector

04 March – Source:Mareeg Media – 327 Words

Today, the European Union (EU) and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) launched a new three year Somali program aimed at the use and dissemination of renewable energies. Through the “Somali Energy Transformation” (SET) project, more than 100.000 households will have access to sustainable and affordable energy services in Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia.

Deployment of renewable energies will contribute to a cleaner energy sector. Achieving this goal will help the Somalis to move along a low carbon development pathway contributing to climate change objectives, increased energy security, more economic opportunities and better access to energy services. This goal will be achieved through the development of solar photovoltaic markets and solar powered systems for irrigation, health and educational facilities and community electrification schemes, but also through promotion of efficient cook stoves and support for youth led renewable energy enterprises.

“This is a very timely project that will immensely contribute to the development of the Somaliland energy sector, in addition to contributing significantly to the Government’s goal of lighting up rural and peri-urban areas of the country,” said Hussein Abdi Dualeh, the Somaliland Minister of Energy and Minerals. “We will work with the EU and ADRA to ensure efficacious implementation of this vital intervention.”

“The EU believes in this innovative project which will change the lives of many Somalis, said the EU Ambassador to Somalia, Michele Cervone d’Urso. “Expanded access to electricity will improve access to water, health and education services, and will boost job opportunities. We hope the project will bring a transformational change by spreading the use of renewable energies throughout Somalia.”

“This action will facilitate eradication of extreme poverty and hunger through provision of energy aimed at increasing production in the agriculture and livestock sectors making food more affordable and in the process generating jobs,” said Luiz Carmago, Country Director for ADRA Somalia. “The project will also deploy cleaner energy systems that are needed to ensure environmental sustainability and mitigate against climate change.”


Three Arrested Over Canada Mall Threat

04 March – Source: Daily Nation/AFP – 249 Words
Police arrested two men and a woman in a raid Tuesday over a “potential threat” to a mall near Canada’s port city of Halifax, home to the navy’s Atlantic fleet.
It comes after security officials last month warned shoppers in Canada, the United States and Britain to be on guard after an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group posted a video calling for attacks on Western malls.

Halifax Police Constable Pierre Bourdages said a “heavy police presence” was dispatched to the Mic Mac Mall in the Halifax suburb of Dartmouth and the mall was closed for the day, although investigators said the threat had not been confirmed.
Officers raided a small bungalow in connection with the threat, but a suspect was absent and “no dangerous substances” or firearms were found, Bourdages told AFP.

A short time later, an apartment in another part of Halifax was raided and three people — two men and a woman — were taken into custody. Police said they “have been actively investigating the matter to determine the validity of the threat and to this point no threat has been confirmed.” The Al-Shabaab militant group last month specifically threatened the Mall of America in the US state of Minnesota, Canada’s massive West Edmonton Mall, London’s famous Oxford Street and two malls in France.
Also last month, an American woman and a Canadian man were arrested and charged with plotting a Valentine’s Day massacre at another mall in Halifax.A third suspect was found dead at his parents’ home.


First Somali-American On Metropolitan Airports Commission Honored In Minneapolis

04 March – Source: My Fox – Twin Cities – 113 Words

Ibrahim Mohamed was honored at an event Tuesday night at the Brian Coyle Center after he became the first Somali-American member of the Metropolitan Airports Commission this February. Appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, Mohamed now has a seat among 14 commissioners that operate Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six small airports in the metro area. For 11 years, Mohamed worked his way up at MSP from baggage runner to cabin cleaner, restroom attendant, ticket verifier, and most recently, for the last 6 years, a cart driver. Mohamed’s term will last until 2019. He first came to the United States from Somalia in 2004 and is married with five children and lives in Rosemount.

Former Foreign Minister And Somali First Lady Shares Inspiring Story Of Social Change With Walden University Graduates

04 March – Source: PR Newswire – 787 Words

Edna Adan, former foreign minister and Somali first lady, addressed more than 1,050 graduates and 4,600 guests, faculty, administration and staff attending Walden University’s 53rd Commencement Ceremony onSaturday, January 31, 2015, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center near Orlando. Adan shared her powerful personal story and experience of going against all odds to effect positive social change in her country and offered inspiring insight into the importance of education and the responsibility that comes with earning an advanced degree. “We were honored to have Edna Adan, a passionate advocate who gives a voice to the voiceless, share her inspiring story of social change with Walden graduates,” said Jonathan Kaplan, interim president of Walden University. “Her drive to pursue education as a basic human right and her continuous fight to challenge the status quo ring true for the Walden community, who undoubtedly went home feeling motivated to continue impacting their communities, now and in the future.”

Adan reflected on her journey as the first Somali girl awarded one of a few coveted scholarships to study in Britain, where she spent seven years studying nursing, midwifery and hospital management to become Somaliland’s first qualified nurse-midwife in the country. She then went on to open the Edna Adan University Hospital in 2002 and Edna Adan University in 2012, “the first university in Somaliland that is headed by a woman.” For Adan, her scholarly achievements made her accountable to the women and girls of Somaliland and gave her the ability to create educational opportunities that previously may not have been able to be realized. “Besides giving me a new purpose in life, the [Edna Adan University] Hospital has also become a platform from where I can influence education in my country, where I can encourage girls to go to school and often say to those who hesitate ‘Do you think that I could have built this hospital without education?'” continued Adan.



“Somalia has a tragic history and was shaped by enigma of deep-seated and intertwined forces. The country wears the scars of colonial rule, the marks of the military regime’s authoritarian and brutal system, and the self-inflicted wounds of civil war. What becomes apparent; however, from all the trial-and-error style of governments thus far, is that the country is still finding its identity just as it was during the emancipation. The only difference today is that Somali leaders are actively participating in the country’s perpetuated tragedy.”

Post-Independence And Discourse Of Perplexed Leadership

04 March – Source: Horseed Media – 1,304 Words

Somalia with more than two decades of civil war carries an indelible scar from colonial and authoritarian powers, which have imposed cultural and psychological limits that have become the impervious fault lines of conflict. Colonialism has shaped the history of ancient cultures throughout Africa and instilled a perpetual exploitation of tribalism, or in the case of Somalia, clannism. Colonialism is defined as “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” Post-colonialism; however, is defined by Ania Loomba in her book Colonialism and Post Colonialism “as a study of the legacy of an era of European and American’s direct global domination, and the residual political, socioeconomic, and psychological effects of that colonial history, which ended roughly in the mid- twentieth century (1998).”  Other scholars such as Hamza Alavi, Ndirangu Mwaura and Edward Said share similar views, arguing that when colonial domination ends its machinery keeps running within the colonized societies, as it is embedded in its cultural structure.

More importantly their influence is also apparent, particularly in Africa, where colonial powers are still connected through economic and social development. Somalia was colonized by three opposing European colonizers in late 1800s: Britain, which administered over what was known as British Somaliland, Italy with Italian-Somaliland, and the French over the area now known as Djibouti. Somalia gained its independence in 1960, just as decolonization was unfolding in Africa in the late fifties and early sixties. The after-effects of Somalia’s political and economic dependence on former colonizers is self-evident, and not only in today’s political crisis, but throughout the country’s leadership history. As I was pondering the causes of the country’s current futile political system and perplexed leadership, I realized that the country has dealt with three different leadership scenarios in post-independent Somalia, with startling different generational representation and experience.


March 5, 2015 | Daily Monitoring Report.

Main Story

Auto-Rickshaw Drivers In Mogadishu Stage Demos Against “Exorbitant” Tax

05 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 197 Words

Hundreds of auto-rickshaw drivers in Mogadishu on Wednesday staged demonstrations complaining of what they termed as exorbitant tax imposed by the Mogadishu local government. They also complain of constant harassment by the municipal soldiers who they claim beat them in public and drag them in the streets.

Mahdi Farah Afey the chairman of a committee set up by the drivers told reporters that the problem is so serious that they are on the verge of breakdown.“We are protesting because of high taxes imposed by the local government, this is unjust and is unreasonable, to make things worse if the driver gets sick and the rickshaw lays idle for a month or two, the municipality want to charge for those months and if one refuses he is subjected to harassment and imprisonment” said Mahdi.

They said that they accept paying the taxes but through legal means and demanded that the money they pay should be deposited to the central bank. The popular three-wheeled public transport is seen to be driving the country’s economy forward and employs thousands of youth in the capital alone. Authorities are yet to respond to the claims made by the protesting drivers.

Key Headlines

  • Forces Of South-West State To Remove Roadblocks (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Government of Kenya Arrests SNA Official (Radio Danan)
  • Foreign Minister Receives UNHCR Somalia Representative (Radio Bar-kulan)
  • Auto-Rickshaw Drivers In Mogadishu Stage Demos Against “Exorbitant” Tax (Radio Goobjoog)
  • Somali PM Meets Envoys And Donors On New Deal (Mareeg Media)
  • Somaliland Opposition Parties Warn Government Of Election Delay (Garowe Online)
  • Nelson Marwa Threatens To Storm Mosque Over ‘Inflammatory’ Sermons (Standard  Media)
  • Strengthening The Quality Of Somali Maternal Health Care (
  • Growing Somali Mall In Minneapolis Now Boasts One Of The State’s Largest Mosques (Star Tribune)
  • Kenyan Sentenced To Death Over Judith Tebbutt Pirate Kidnap Could Be Freed Thanks To British Data Protection Laws (Telegraph)
  • Yes I’m ‘Mr Black’ And Here Is My Story (Somali Investor)
  • With Grit and Girded by College Possible Young Immigrant Makes His Way (Minnpost)


Forces Of South-West State To Remove Roadblocks

05 March – Source: Radio Goobjoog – 116 Words

Forces of South-West State have successfully removed checkpoints set by gunmen in some parts of Lower Shabelle region, South-West state minister for Agriculture, Mohamed Hassan Fiqi told Goobjoog FM. He added that they uprooted illegal road barriers which led to negative impacts on the passengers and public vehicles of Lower Shabelle region. Mr. Fiqi noted that the operations against illegal roadblocks will continue until the overall security of the district and the surrounding areas is tightened adding that his administration will not tolerate the threats posed by illegal checkpoints. Roadblocks interrupt people’s daily lives because the armed men at the checkpoints demand a lot of money which the drivers cannot afford to pay.

Government Of Kenya Arrests SNA Official

05 March – Source: Radio Danan – 104 Words

The Kenyan government arrested Abas Ibrahim Gurey, a SNA official based in Gedo Region,. He was in Gedo when he was called by the Kenyan government and later arrested him. Sources say his whereabouts or whether he is dead or alive remains unknown. Danan Radio interviewed another SNA official in Gedo regarding the whereabouts of Colonel Gurey was seen and any other information that might be available on the Colonel.The SNA soldier said since Gurey was arrested by the Government of Kenya, they did not get any information about him and his whereabouts. He was arrested a couple of months ago.

Foreign Minister Receives UNHCR Somalia Representative

05 March – Source: Radio Bar-kulan – 80 Words

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Abdisalan Hadliye Omar has received the UNHCR representative to Somalia, Alessandra Moreli in his office. The two officials discussed the role of UNHCR toward Somali refugees in Kenya , Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen. The foreign affair Minister said the Federal Government of Somalia is aiming to bring law and order in the country. On her part Representative Alessandra Morelli promised that UNHCR will increase assistance to Somali refugees in order to reduce the difficulties facing them.

Somali PM Meets Envoys And Donors On New Deal

04 March – Source: Mareeg Media – 122 Words

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharamarke has met envoys and donors in the country and briefed them on the new deal. The meeting chaired by the PM has brought together ambassadors, leading international humanitarian organizations, donors and senior Somali government officials. Somali Planning and International Cooperation minister Abdulrahman Aynte who spoke to the media after meeting said seven committee members were selected to oversee and implementation of the deal.

“The PM has tasked planning, interior, finance, defense and justice ministers to monitor the new deal,” Aynte said. The New Deal was formulated on a conference in Brussels on September 2013 to promote and strengthen already existing programs in community stabilization, economic growth, education, and enhancing democracy, governance, and rule of law.

Somaliland Opposition Parties Warn Government Of Election Delay

04 March – Source: Garowe Online – 183 Words

As general elections are drawing closer, Somaliland opposition parties formed an alliance, warning President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Siilaayo)’s administration of election delay, Garowe Online reports. The two main parties, Justice and Welfare party and Wadani, on Wednesday pledged allegiance to each other during a ceremony in Somaliland capital of Hargeisa. “Elections should be held the due date on June, 26, 2015 and the government doesn’t have a justification for delay in parliamentary and presidential elections,” the two parties said in statement after their unity against ruling Kulmiye party.

Opposition segments once again reiterated that they will not recognize sitting parliament and President Siilaanyo if elections are postponed. “The government can’t enter into contracts since legitimate mandate is very likely to expire,” they warned. In mid-2014, opposition figures strongly contested election delays, threatening that interim government would come into being. Despite premature resignation by four minister-designates, President Siilaanyo reshuffled his cabinet on Saturday. Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia declared its independence from the rest of the country as de facto sovereign state but it has not been recognized internationally yet.


Nelson Marwa Threatens To Storm Mosque Over ‘Inflammatory’ Sermons

05 March – Source: Standard  Media – 250 Words

Commissioner Nelson Marwa has claimed radical Muslim youths are streaming into Mlango wa Papa Mosque in Old Town Mombasa to listen to ‘inflammatory’ sermons. Mr Marwa said the Government has been monitoring the mosque, which he said had been attracting a huge following from all over the country due to the nature of its sermons. The Standard has not confirmed these claims independently, but the county official said on Monday police arrested 30 youths believed to belong to a gang known as Gaza, accused of terrorising non-Muslims in Kisauni recently. Governor Hassan Joho condemned the attacks.

He claimed Gaza is behind land invasions in Kisauni and added that police have a list of 57 gang members. “We are putting the Mlango wa Papa imam on notice because we are aware of what is happening in that mosque. Several groups of youths are streaming there to listen to lectures issued after the prayers,” said Marwa.

“The Government will not hesitate to take action on clerics who undermine national security,” he warned yesterday in his office. Mlango wa Papa mosque is situated on Mombasa’s Old Town. Three years ago, the mosque came to the limelight after two groups of faithful clashed over the annual Maulid festival. Four people were seriously injured. Joho accuses Muslim leaders of condoning radicalisation of youths. In November last year, four mosques were closed down, albeit temporarily, as the government sustained a full scale security operation to weed out ‘jihadists’ blamed for terror attacks in the country.


Strengthening The Quality Of Somali Maternal Health Care

04 March – Source: – 326 Words

Somalia is a country currently recovering from more than 20+ years of complex civil war which, among other things has resulted in a total collapse of the countries health systems. Today, the country has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world and is “off-track” in reaching the eight Millennium Development Goals, and particularly the goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health by 2015. The country does not only lack the critical number of qualified doctors, nurses and midwives needed to address the high maternal and newborn illness and Deaths, but also lacks qualitymaternal health care and services. Efforts to strengthen the country’s health systems remain therefore a key priority area.

Sweden in its Development Cooperation with Somalia during the period 2013-2017 contributes to the country’s health system by having concrete and focused results area on health and gender equality – and more specifically results indicators on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Sweden is providing funding to a large joint health and nutrition programme (JHNP) – a programme which is jointly funded and jointly collaborated between Somali health authorities in the three regions of the country (Puntland, Somaliland and South Central Somalia) and three UN agencies (UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO). The programme aims at improving the six health systems building blocks which are leadership and governance; human resource for health; reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health; health financing; essential medicines and vaccines; and health information, management and systems).

Growing Somali Mall In Minneapolis Now Boasts One Of The State’s Largest Mosques

04 March – Source: Star Tribune – 798 Words

Construction of the metro area’s newest mosque involved a shopping trip to the Middle East, some back-and-forth with the city of Minneapolis and a reported $3 million investment. But developer Basim Sabri says setting out to build one of Minnesota’s largest mosques at his Karmel Square mall wasn’t a vanity project. Instead, the space — part of a major expansion at Karmel — was meant as a goodwill gesture to the local Somalis who rent and shop at the south Minneapolis mall.

The expansion has tested Sabri’s famously tense relationships with the city and the mall’s neighbors, who have voiced concerns over parking and traffic issues. Part of the construction collapsed in May, cutting off electricity to the neighborhood and briefly stalling the project. Since it opened earlier this year, the mosque has gotten rave reviews from a growing cadre of worshipers, who cover the sun-filled, 5,000-square-foot prayer hall completely when they kneel at Friday prayer.

“This mosque is not about showing off,” said Sabri. “It’s about need.” The new mosque replaces a prayer room on the second floor that could not handle the crowds; worshipers spilled out into the mall hallways and, during the holy month of Ramadan, even the mall parking lot. The space is on the newly added third floor of the state’s oldest Somali mall, where shops sell long skirts and scarves, henna tattoos, jewelry, handbags, rugs and Somali specialties such as savory sambusa pastries.

Kenyan Sentenced To Death Over Judith Tebbutt Pirate Kidnap Could Be Freed Thanks To British Data Protection Laws

04 March – Source: Telegraph  – 705 Words

A penniless Kenyan farmer sentenced to death over the kidnap of a British holidaymaker by Somali pirates willon Thursday take the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to court over an alleged illegal conviction. The High Court in London is expected to hear how Ali Babitu Kololo claims Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and police officers under his command have refused to hand over documents that could help his appeal.

A Kenyan court found Kololo guilty of robbery with violence over the kidnap of Judith Tebbutt from her luxury Kenyan beachside lodge in September 2011, and the murder of her husband David, 58, as he fought to save his wife.Mrs Tebbutt, 60, from Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, was sold to a notorious pirate gang and held hostage in rural Somalia for more than six months before being released.Kololo is the only person so far prosecuted in connection with the attack. He intends to appeal because Scotland Yard officers gave evidence against him, which breaks British directives on its opposition to capital punishment.
They ban officials from helping prosecutors overseas if that assistance could lead to a conviction carrying a death sentence.Kololo believes that information held by Scotland Yard, which sent a team to Kenya to gather forensic evidence and witness statements in the days after the attack, could help his appeal.However, he claims he is being denied access to the documents in contravention of the Data Protection Act. “Mr Kololo was never shown the vast majority of the information gathered on him by the Metropolitan Police,” said Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, the prisoners’ rights lobby group. “If it turns out that the Met police hold evidence that proves Mr Kololo’s innocence, he would of course want to use this in his criminal appeal against his death sentence.



“When I studied, I used the Somali tax payers’ money. I have to pay back and there is nothing as rewarding as living here and seeing my people. Here, everyone knows me, and it makes me proud.

Yes, I’m ‘Mr Black’, And Here Is My Story

04 March – Source: Somali Investor  – 352 Words

Mr Mohamed Egal, the deputy Manager of Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA), is fondly referred to as “Mr Black”. “I do not know why they nicknamed me ‘Mr Black’. Maybe it’s because I am black,” he quips. The name has however stuck and everyone calls him Mr Black. Egal goes back memory lane, and with his face lighting up, he says of his home: “This country was beautiful. We had everything. Somalia was the place to be. I am one of those who benefited from the government at the time.My education was paid for; everything to the last cent.” In 1973, Mr Egal left Somalia for Russia to further his studies, under the then Somali Airforce, as a pilot. He came back to the country in October 1976 as a fighter pilot, still sponsored by the Somali Government.

He worked at the air force for some time. After the collapse of the government in 1991, Egal moved to the US. There, he studied aviation management and administration, at the Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. He later worked for the US government in Minnesota.One day, he says, he was helping his children with their homework and on the background was a news item on Somalia.

“Abubakar was surprised. He had thought his background was a complicated liability: “It never occurred to me someone would hear my story and think of it as a strength.”

With Grit And Girded By College Possible, Young Immigrant Makes His Way

05 March – Source: Minnpost – 1681  Words

When Walid Abubakar began thinking about paying for college, he budgeted for textbooks, transportation, living expenses — all of the usual stuff. And then he thought long and hard about the $300 to $400 a month he has been sending his family in Ethiopia. Remittances — the money immigrants send from their new, more prosperous home — are life-changing to the family members who get them, but they’re not the lynchpin for a stable household budget, much less the cornerstone of a healthy national economy.
Anxious though he is to improve things in East Africa, Abubakar, who is Oromo, doesn’t think continuing to send money indefinitely is the healthiest way to help. At the same time, he can’t abandon his relatives.His father transports potatoes from Somalia to Ethiopia along a road frequently ambushed by the militant group Al-Shabaab, a job that allows the family to subsist. Most of the money Walid sends pays for his sisters to go to school. And so Abubakar, who is a senior at Ubah Medical Academy in Hopkins, has a plan to set his father up in a sustainable business while he, Abubakar, goes to college. He’s considering becoming either an engineer or a pharmacist — both professions that could make a critical difference in Ethiopia.

Encouraged to write about background The plan existed only in Abubakar’s mind until recently, when a coach he works with through the St. Paul-based national nonprofit College Possible cajoled him into writing an essay about his journey from a refugee camp to academic success here. He was going to need scholarships, lots and lots of scholarships, and a “special circumstance” letter would go a long way toward securing them.
He was working on an application for the very competitive National Horatio Alger Scholarship when Grace Fowler, the coach who has worked with him for two years, glanced over his shoulder. “I was sitting in the computer lab thinking about how many students across the country were applying for this,” he recalls. “She said, ‘I know you can go deeper than that, Walid.’”

Top tweets

@UNFPA_SOMALIA Promoting the rt of every woman to the best possible health care during pregnancy & childbirth @NorBarni@GKyeyune

@Mogadishuevents #BREAKING: former Somalia president, Sheikh Sharif’s brother, Abdullahi Sheikh shot & injured by unknown men armed with pistols in Mogadishu

@AnalystSomalia As promised when @HIPSINSTITUTElaunched Nat’nal Dialogue on #Federalism we R pleased we R informing policy #Somalia

@loaideeb We highly appreciated the determination of#Somalia    to improve on #human_rights_situation

@KnowSomalia ·Ayaan & Idyl Mohallim are Somali-American fashion designers & the founders of Mataano, a clothing label#SheIsSomalia

@GermanyinKenya #Germany extends training mission for#Somalia to contribute to stabilization process prior to elections 2016 @SomaliPM @mofasomalia

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The president of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud joins Somali cultural dancers during the farewell ceremony of AMISOM troops from Sierra Leone in Kismayo, Somalia. Photo: AMISOM