Somali President (1969-1991)
“We shall go and stand before a mirror, look and reflect on ourselves. Let as ponder and ask ourselves what our interests, the interests of our children, and the interest of our people are? What kind of honor and dignity are we striving for to have in the world? ... The gun bullets you hear are not anyone’s interest. Guns are only made to take life and not to rear life.” Mohamed Siyad Bare 1991.
“We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror” Marshall McLuhan.
George Bernard Shaw said that we learn from history that we learn nothing from history. This is indeed true reflection of the present day Somalia. January 26, 1991 Mohamed Siyaad Bare was ousted from power by armed clan-based opposition. Little did anyone knew, what was lurking beyond his ouster. This is not, to say the least to engage in any blame game; but rather, to reflect on the past objectively, with hindsight advantage.
next January 26, 2014 marks twenty four years since Mohamed Siyaad Bare left Mogadishu en route to his birth place in southern Somalia; notwithstanding, the military regime of Siad Barre, was it the right decision in ousting him? What went wrong in the aftermath of the collapse of Siad Barre’s regime? And you, our readers, if you knew what were to follow suit in the aftermath of the collapse of the military regime, would you have taken a different approach then? And to pose to the younger generation, what are you doing or not doing in order to bring an end to this protracted and intricate conflict? His last speech, while leaving the Mogadishu, President Mohamed Siyad Bare spoke heartily to the citizens and those responsible of the 'violence' as he called upon them, he said those words which speak to us all directly today as if spoken yesterday.
“…We should understand what our interests are? We should understand who we are, and what we want as people?
"Affluent man, who is either here or abroad, should not be killing the poor by arming one another with guns. Even uglier, very embarrassing, those looting the wealth of the citizen
“I wonder, I can’t understand why should anyone enter government offices and pour the government papers on the streets. Where is he going (what is he doing)? What is he benefiting of that action? Who is he giving (those government files)? Even more painful, uglier, the poor Somali citizen running away from those looting and bullets, fleeing, hungry and scattered, along the way (roads that exit- out of Mogadishu).
“You belief in Islam, you are Muslims, You are Somali, you used to have pride and dignity.
If you must (destroy) throw what is yours, do not destroy everything, and do not destroy all. Reaching a level where you act beyond the Islamic principle is forbidden”
(Listen to the whole speech in Somali, link below)
Twenty two years ago these words were spoken, yet, still they echoed, without either their meaning or their target audience, being worn-thin by time.
Twenty years later and we are still unable to comprehend these words of wisdom, we can forget past, as we can’t go back and change it. The past is a history for our admiration, atonements or ability to acquire understanding and experience. But the future is unclaimed and ahead of us with indefinite potential opportunities it present.
We can’t change the past but we can learn from it and alter the course of history in the future. Through our actions and decision we can write our history by claiming our future, our nation’s future depends on the collective effort of all of us, so let us all work towards that goal of altering and shaping our future