Sunday, January 9, 2011

From doctor's ordeal, a different view of Somalia

AFGOYE, Somalia -- Dr. Hawa Abdi has treated sick and wounded Somalis since 1983, through famine and civil war. But it only took one day for Islamist rebels to wreck her life's work.
And only a week for her to rediscover an older, more civil Somali society that has survived despite the horrors that have beset her east African homeland.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Abdi recalled the attack in stark detail:
It was the morning of May 5. Bullets from automatic rifles tore through the concrete walls and woven grass screens. A woman crawled away from her bed in the middle of giving birth. Another burst her stitches from a Cesarean birth as she ran, blood spilling from her body. Mothers were forced to tear IV tubes from their babies' arms as they fled into the thorny bush.
"They just started shooting," she said. "There was screaming everywhere."
The rebels smashed the four glass incubators, the only ones in Somalia. In their looting spree they pried open the metal containers of the centrifuges used for blood tests, looking for cash. They bent the doors and windows out of their frames and carried them off. Food, medicine, equipment were stolen or destroyed. A guard and a bystander lay dead.
Abdi, 64, was imprisoned in her house, with gunmen stationed outside her bedroom door and. A black flag, the banner of the militant group Hizbul Islam, was hoisted outside.
There things may have stayed - one more brief episode in a civil war whose chaos and cruelty have lasted 20 years. But this time was different.
Abdi and her daughters are known throughout Somalia as healers and protectors who don't distinguish among clans, religions or political creeds. Abdi has offered tens of thousands of people refuge on the 400-square-kilometer (150 square-mile) farm, where she has built her hospital. So news of the attack raced through Somalia and its far-flung diaspora.
Somalia's clan system mobilized - a curse when warlords are battling for primacy, but a powerful blessing when the weak can call on their ties to the strong. Former patients began to make calls. Their friends and relatives, both inside and outside Somalia, made calls. And phones belonging to Hizbul Islam began to ring.
After a week, the leader of Hizbul Islam, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys - a man designated a terrorist by the U.S. State Department - ordered Abdi's release and his organization sent her a written apology.
The gunmen, who were already camped on her property before mounting the attack, were searching for food, medicines and cash. They are still in the area. Sullen teenage fighters among them told Abdi that as a woman she should not be operating the hospital.
Now, eight months later, Abdi is internationally renowned, traveling abroad, and honored by Glamour, the U.S. magazine, as a woman of the year. She spoke to the AP in neighboring Kenya, where she is resting on her doctors' orders.
Abdi got her medical degree in the 1960s in the Soviet Union, then allied with Somalia. She became one of the country's first foreign-trained woman doctors. Then famine and civil war engulfed Somalia, and Abdi opened her farm to refugees from the fighting. She believes some 10,000 famine victims are buried on her farm.
"My mother made a lot of sacrifices and never gave up helping her people," Amina, her daughter, said as she walked through the ruins of the hospital with an Associated Press photographer recently. "I remember in 1993, when people had nothing to eat, she was selling her golden necklaces and rings to feed the hungry."
Even when the rebels moved onto her land last year, Abdi continued to work, turning aside threats with a smile or an admonishment from the Quran.
"I told them the Quran says you cannot enter someone's house without their permission and I did not give you permission to be in my house," she recalled.
Now she is slowly beginning to rebuild what was lost in the May assault, helped by her two daughters, who also are doctors and work at the hospital.
She has visited international donors to appeal for money, if only a fraction of the millions the international community spends on military support for the weak, corrupt Somali government. Some Somali expatriates are also trying to help.
Italy, once the colonial ruler of this part of Somalia, gives Abdi money to buy medicine. The U.N. World Food Program, which had suspended aid because it could not be protected, has resumed shipments, sending food for 800 malnourished children and 440 patients in Abdi's care.
The hospital lies at Afgoye, along the main road to the seaside capital of Mogadishu, a corridor that forms one of the world's largest concentrations of displaced people - more than 410,000. Their gumdrop-shaped huts are often little more than rags tied to a few sticks.
The hospital served as a focal point, distributing food, encouraging mediation in clan disputes and treating the sick. Last year, it treated more than 162,000 people and helped more than 14,000 malnourished children, according to figures provided by Doctors Without Borders, which used to support the clinic but pulled out this year.
Abdi says the hospital must now perform brutal triage to determine who is most in need of help. Where there were once 400 beds, the hospital now has only 150. It still receives more than 250 patients a day, including about 15 women a day arriving to give birth.
"We send cars out to come and pick them up but we can't take everyone," she said.
She and her daughters also run an education program for 850 children and lessons for women that include sewing and literacy. They encourage refugees camped on their land to grow vegetables. They mediate in disputes.
For women like 41-year-old Shukri Abdulkadir Mumin, the hospital is a lone bright spot in a life of misery. After her husband was paralyzed by shrapnel in fighting in the capital, the couple fled here with their seven children. The youngest, 7-month-old Maryan, has watery diarrhea, the same condition that killed her sibling.
"My child was very ill when I came to the hospital. She could not open her eyes but now she is recovering," said Mumin, cradling her baby. "Thanks to Allah and to the staff members at Hawa Abdi medical facility."
Associated Press
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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