A VOA-critical article, A View of Our Community. VOA was very dismissive of our complaint... VOA response to my article, on Voice of America Somali Service letter to the editor Dear Editor: American Voice of America Somali Service
two years after i wrote that article VOA Issues come to light
To: Somali Service, Africa Division, VOA, IBB and BBG top executives
30. january 2010
Re: Resignation Letter
Date: Tuesday, January, 27, 2010
My name is Farhia M. Absie. I am a contractor for the Somali Service of Voice of America (VOA). I write this letter with heavy heart knowing that I have no choice but to officially give up on a job in which I love doing with all my heart. However, my boss, Mr. Abdirahman Yebarow Weheliye left me and other reporters before me no choice but to leave the Somali service of VOA. Not to do this at this time enables to diminish my credibility as Journalist and as a human being.
Mr. Weheliye’s Abusive Behavior
Mr. Weheliye is aggressive, and he continuously insults and demeans me as well as others at the service. He is unprofessional and the most incompetent boss I have ever worked for. He tries to make up for his short comings by putting others down. He is inferior to anyone who is not from his clan. This behavior has baffled me for the longest time knowing that he is responsible to lead a service that was supposed to be impartial to what’s happening in Somalia. A service that’s deeply needed by Somalis that hungry for fair and unbiased news and information. However, I just recently discovered the roots of his hostility towards me: I have made strong friendships with several of my coworkers (one was forced to resign few months ago) who Mr. Weheliye sees as enemy and people to be fought and resist against because of his clans political and historical grievances against them.
This behavior made the news room an uncomfortable battle zone because of Mr. Weheliye’s constant harassment of others he did not like due to their tribal affiliations. Indirectly, he tried to turn me against some of these people at the service that belonged to other tribes. These staff members that he wanted me to turn against were from the same tribe as my mother, and when I rejected this to his face, he took it as I siding with them and against him. I reminded him that this is the United States of America and the Somali Service doesn’t belong to any particular clan. I told him that this was a news organization, and the mission of the U.S for this Service was to help deliver accurate news on the plight of the Horn of Africa. I warned Mr. Weheliye privately many times to disengage from his clannish hostility towards me and others. I told him that I don’t like the clan system that continues to destroy Somalia to this day to become an issue in our workplace in the United States of America.
It was at this time that Mr. Weheliye saw me as an enemy to be rid off as he has done to others before. But I resisted, and some of the employees including me begun to complain about being signaled out because of our friendships or tribal affiliations. Some have now left VOA because of this targeting, but I have decided to fight against his behavior which fueled his actions towards me even further. I however, stood up to him many times letting him know that no matter how much he tries to demean me or demote my duties by eliminating my air time, the Somali people are not blind, deaf and dump. They know who the most talented broadcasters at the service are. It’s not something he can cover up with the nurturing and promoting of those that he thinks are not threat to him. Those that he knows owe him because they were hired unfairly and unjustly from the beginning. The most incapable and incompetent people at the service are those from his tribe. Most of them are uneducated and have no natural talent; they know that they would have never got any other job that’s not in a factory if it wasn’t VOA. That’s why they take his abused.
Mr. Abdirahman Yabarow Weheliye him self is a fraud in many ways and he know it. The reason why he can’t tolerate and gets intimidated by others and anyone else who is not like him is because the only job he has ever held more than few years was driving a Taxi in Washington DC. Somali people know who he is and the fact that his broadcasting record is completely fabricated.
I do not prescribe to the whole tribal thinking, I consider myself Somali and a citizen of the world—and I am deeply disturbed by the cruel mismanagement and clannish behavior of Mr. Abdirahman Yebarow Weheliye and some of his newly arrived clan members at the service.
The reasons mentioned above and many others mention bellows are the reasons why my integrity will not allow me to remind with this Service. Therefore, I am here by resigning from VOA.
I understand that those above Mr. Yebarow have chosen to turn a blind eye and to file behind him no mater what. However, I am hopeful that those of you at the top will have the integrity to open your eyes and seek out the truth of why he is having problems with everyone who is not from his clan, but not anyone from his clan. It’s the Somali way of life. When it comes to someone from your clan member against someone else, its common to always filed and stand shoulder to shoulder with your clan member, right or wrong.
The Somali service has no Somali intellectuals that listen to, it’s a joke. And the way it’s going now, it only contributes to the fire in Somalia. And will no way help the message that the U.S wants to send or share with the Horn. Most people have no respect for the service because they quickly realized how corrupt it is and the fact that it feeds to the same propaganda agenda that is responsible for the demise of the southern Somalia.
My future is too bright for this service. I have dreams that Mr. Weheliye and his small minded friends alike cannot even imagine. That’s why I am moving on. I list the following for future reference if anyone is ever interested. I’ll also attach an invoice that Mr. Weheliye asked me to do last year for someone who was not at the time a member of the Somali service. This information has been forwarded to the members of the media and the office of the Inspector General. This work was never done by this person who is a close relative of Mr. Weheliye. He decided that he wanted to reimburse her the money in which she bought her flight ticket to America.
1- Abuse of federal Contract
2- Unfair hiring practices
3- Discrimination on the basis of Clan and retaliation
4- Miss use of the VOA Somali Service to attain and to fulfill certain agenda which clearly undermines the U.S policy towards Somalia and the goals of the Somali Service.
It won’t be long before all the others or at least most others that don’t belong to his tribe follow me and those that left before me. I Have faith that justice will prevail and the U.S tax payers will not continue to fund the very same practices that keep on fueling the conflict in the Horn of Africa.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to be able to serve my deeply wounded people and fellow Somalis.
Farhia M. Absie