Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Reception Centre

         This small boy decide to make a 'run' for it only to be caught.

No one leaves home unless home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying leave,run away from me now,I don't know what I have become,but I know anywhere is safer than here-Warsan Shire.

I'm sure everyone knows that there is an ongoing war in Yemen,that honestly I didn't know much about apart from the fact that some people fled Yemen and came to Somalia either through the entry points at Bosasso or Berbera and it was this surprising turn of events,which I have been told is called reverse migration(I am obviously hanging out people who know some serious stuff about migration:-)) as always it was Somalis going to Yemen.I now know more about it thanks to google and in the unlikely event someone else doesn't know about it,it's  a fight between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.The president is fighting his enemies(I'm not too sure if they are enemies of the state or personal enemies), the 'enemies' are people called the Houthi,they were able to push him out of Sanaa(he fled), which led to the president seeking support from Saudi Arabia,who then formed a coalition with 9 other Arab states and started airstrikes and shelling...................................and the war began and is ongoing.

Berbera is basically in another country :-) and I cannot say much about it.But Bosasso is in the hood :-) so to say,and therefore a lot of times you would see/hear the updates on how many Somalis,Yemenis,Djiboutians have come in through this port and even a special task force was established and they would meet often and always send the minutes from these meetings and I thought what I wouldn't do to sit in one special task force meeting to see what people talk about when they are on a special task force, same thing for those meetings held at the president's place which is truly the house on the hill because I would love to see the Villa Puntland and there is no other way this could happen.

The road to Villa Puntland aka the president's residence
Villa Puntland-The closest you can get without an invite :-)
There is a transit/reception center in Bosasso and I figured it wouldn't be a bad thing to see it, so I asked a friend who has access(but as I later realized anyone can get in) can we go see and they say, I don't know what you think it is but its not a 'let's go see' place but after I insist they agreed and we went.

At the reception centre initially people were provided with cooked meals as they arrived but eventually they were/are being given cash so as to buy food and use to purchase other necessities they might have.They were also provided with beddings, water and hygiene kits.

The food collection area.
I have always thought (secretly ofcourse) that the refugee agency does not do much but in this case they have done good, because all the Somalis who wanted to go back to their original homes were provided with transport and those remaining at the reception/transit centre are being relocated to the IDP camps and new shelter had been constructed for them.They (the refugee and food agency) are in the process of closing the reception/transit centre.

These children making the best use of this visibility board :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2015


A section of the Bosasso port.
Tahreeb is the Somali word for migration and its migration across the sea what is called illegal migration but the peeps working for a certain agency X call it irregular migration because as I have been told saying illegal migration is de-humanising the people who do Tahreeb.

The first time I heard of Tahreeb was this time we were travelling for work from Garowe to Eyl because my job really is a never ending road trip(I joke) and normally there are not so many people who are walking on foot but this time there was a lot of men walking and I ask the guys who I was with, who these guys are and where they are walking to and they tell me, they are from Ethiopia and are walking to Bosasso, so as to cross the sea into Yemen and then either go to Saudi or decide to walk through the Sahara desert to other places in search of a better life.

I was in recently Bosasso and by recently I mean Jana :-) :-) such a beautiful town and when I was planning to go I said to myself, amongst all the things I will do I will try and find out more about Tahreeb and how it works.I got some information and here goes the Tahreeb story(from talking to one person),first a lot of the people who make the journey are Somali,most of the Ethiopians once they get to Bosasso see how beautiful it is and decide to wing it in Bosasso by doing casual labour at the port mostly.

Goods at the Bossaso port.
 The journey between Bosasso and Yemen is a 12 hour journey and it costs 70USDs.Its big business as there are boats of varying capacities the smallest being one that is able to carry 50 people and the largest is able to carry 200 people and,every night atleast one boat makes the journey.Its a business partnership amongst different individuals:the man who gets the people who want to make the journey,the guy who works at the port who closes his eyes to the boats that make the journey,the boat owner and the guys in Yemen who wait for the boats on the other side.

The people who take this journey include women who have small children so the guy who is responsible for getting 'customers',also buys a a lot of pampers and slippers because apparently they are the best shoes to walk in,if the 'customers' decide to walk  through the Sahara dessert into the promised lands.

All this in search of the elusive happiness that we are all searching for and if there is anything I have learnt happiness is in the small things,never the big things, like me and my mum eating cake and yoghurt at Afia milk and spending crazy amounts of time there because my mum eats slowly!!(and Afia milk is no fancy joint at all) but so much happiness goes on in that place,me finding food at my place that I had forgotten was there :-) and my nieces-Maryam and her charming smile when you walk in the room,Sokor who runs to greet you and her love for her small sister :-). All these you can get without making a journey somewhere else, to the unknown which we all now know is not too good.

A lot of Somalis have relatives living abroad,who probably sell the idea that other countries are better as they provide better education and business opportunities and this has to be why a lot of people take the journey because they want to be able to have these better opportunities and some even sell their property to send their sons abroad.What they don't realise is that they can make it happen without leaving the country,It may take longer but it will eventually happen (atleast I think so).Also the guy mentioned the way Saudi's are haseed(his exact word) and they will deport you back,if they get you and that the Yemen government was really nice and allowed a lot of Somalis to stay there freely.

Friday, December 11, 2015

of Hip Hop Literature and Cipher

I recently learnt there is such a thing as hip hop literature, what is the world coming to right? and because I know a lot of parents with really young kids ranging from a few months to 5 years their biggest concern when you start listening to loud/barely audible music is,stop listening/watching music infront of the children you'll spoil them really? and for others which is a more valid concern wacha kelele utaamsha mtoto.For these parents this idea will be a bad bad one but give them say 10 years and they will love it(maybe?).

There is a school, it's in another continent basically another world but still it is a school and it has a class called hip-hop literature and they use very recent music to discuss issues facing the society :-). If I was asked to make a suggestion in the curriculum( such big dreams :-)) I would say add it as a part of school extra-curricular activities because we are a serious nation that does not take education lightly and it can't be made part of the mainstream school work.

It will probably be the club with the most students considering how much music high school kids listen to and how much time they spend cramming them lyrics or is it dem lyrics (ha ha ha),calling themselves names of singers on their social media accounts, Abdul I see you, ati Alsina, disowning us like this, for a man you have never met :-). I'm sure teachers will have fun and will so dearly love this class because there is no way those guys who used to listen to Banjuka whilst seated on top of ladders outside the hostel could have suddenly evolved to non-music listening persons because its something you do not outgrow, but because you are teacher there is no way you'll sing along to Nae Nae with your students because you are the adult!!.In this class you can surprise them with how much better you can dance to Nae Nae than them ofcourse before discussing 'serious' songs like Diamond's Nitarejea

Eleza mbona Diamond kaamua kwenda Dar-es-salaam? (the role of men in the society, which is what by the way?)

Mbona wamekosa mavuno msimu mzima?(pass the message of planting trees and taking care of the environment)

Je Diamond alirudi nyumbani kutoka Dar-es-salaam (La hasha!)

Mbona aliamua kubaki Dar-es-salaam ?

Forget about using examples to teach,question and answer,presentations and all those old teaching methods there is the new method called the cipher which  guarantees no student will sleep in class,do assignments for another subject or simply day dream, but how do you use it to teach say maths and those difficult subjects is the big question.

If you have sometime listen to Kendrick Lamar and prepare to have your mind BLOWN!!