Warriors: Life and death among the Somalis – Gerald Hanley

This book, like most forms of colonial literature, is deeply uncomfortable. Many Somalis who have read this book have been critical of the racist stereotypes contained within it. Yet ironically some of the most ‘heart-warming’ quotes about Somalis available on the internet are also from this book. In a way, this book reinforces the colonial stereotypes of Somalis as being amongst the ‘noble’ savages.
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The Destruction of the Galool Tree – Dr. Hussein Abdullahi Bulhan

"The public is unaware of the manmade environmental degradation of their land. Worse, neither the government nor private sector takes action to save the trees by ending the cutting of fresh trees, providing an alternative source of fuel to save public dependence on charcoal, encouraging and enabling communities to plant trees, or setting effective policy to preserve a green and healthy environment. Failing to do this, as they continue to do so, how can one expect that they will prevent foreign companies dumping toxic and radioactive waste from their shores and hinterland?" - Dr. Hussein Abdullahi Bulhan
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Gidaarka Baarliin ‘The wall of Berlin’ – A poem about the ‘Nabsi’ that befell the city of Berlin

A poem on the concept of 'Nabsi' in the Somali tradition. Nabsi or the 'equalizer' can be viewed as something similar to divine retribution or even 'Karma'. In this poem Cabdullaahi Qarshi discusses the Berlin Wall as a form of Nabsi. Musa Haji Ismail Galal states the following about the context of this poem "In Berlin, The Berlin Conference of 1884-5 was a turning point in the European nations squabble over Africa. The great powers - Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and Belgium (in the person of King Leopold who was working to obtain a personal empire) - realised at this conference that there was nothing for it but a rapid partition of Africa between them. The scramble for territories had begun.Ironically, the very city in which Africa was divided up is now itself divided. The reference is to the Berlin Wall built in 1961 to separate the Eastern and the western sectors of the city."
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An advice to Somalis in the west: Love yourselves!

In a utopian society where everyone is Muslim and race does not matter, the Somali would perhaps not need such a strong sense of identity. However no such utopia exists, instead, we find ourselves in an era in which ‘identity politics’ is constantly played out in the media. For Somalis in the West, the issue of ‘belonging’ has never been more paramount. Before we diagnose our problem it is important to first go over some home truths so that we do not lie to ourselves any further.
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