Monday, January 10, 2011

Who are the Somalis? Israeli political scientist tells


Ethnic Somalis are united by language, culture, devotion to Islam, and to a common ancestor, the Samaale, or Samaal. Genealogical ties have also provided the basis on which divisions among Somalis have occurred, division historically being more common than unity.

The overwhelming majority of Somalis trace their genealogical origin to the mythical founding father, Samaale or Samaal. Even those clan-families, such as the Digil and Rahanwayn in southern Somalia, whose members in many cases do not trace their lineage directly to Samaal, readily identify themselves as Somalis, thereby accepting the primacy of Samaal as the forebear of the Somali people. By language, traditions, and way of life, the Somalis share kinship with other members of the Eastern Cushitic groups of the Horn of Africa, including the Oromo, who constitute roughly 50 percent of the population of Ethiopia; the Afar (Danakil), who straddle the Great Rift Valley between Ethiopia and Djibouti; the Beja tribes of eastern Sudan; and the Reendille (Rendilli) and Boni (Aweera) peoples of northeastern Kenya (see The Somalis: Their Origins, Migrations, and Settlement , ch. 1).

Genealogy constitutes the heart of the Somali social system. It is the basis of the collective Somali inclination toward internal fission and internecine conflict, as well as of the Somalis' sense of being distinct--a consciousness of otherness that borders on xenophobia.

The major branches of the Somali lineage system are four overwhelmingly pastoral nomadic clan-families (the Dir, Daarood, Isaaq, and Hawiye, who are collectively denoted by the appellation of Samaal), and two agricultural ones (the Digil and Rahanwayn) (see fig. 4). As Israeli political scientist Saadia Touval noted in his brief study of Somali nationalism, these six clan-families correspond to the "Old Testament version of the tribal segmentation of the children of Israel." Like the children of Israel, the children of Samaale, with minor exceptions, are politically acephalous and prone to internal schism and factionalism. Although the modern Somali state, which is largely a creation of European colonialism, tried vainly to exercise a measure of centralized authority through the armed forces and the civilian bureaucracy, most Somalis continued to give greater political and emotional allegiance to their lineages. In 1992 the centralized state constructed on the Somali Peninsula had all but disintegrated into its constituent lineages and clans, whose internecine wars were drenching the country in bloodshed.

The Dir, Daarood, Isaaq, and Hawiye, which together make up the Samaal clans, constitute roughly 75 percent of the population. Most Samaal clans are widely distributed pastoralists, although a growing minority of them are settled cultivators. The Digil and Rahanwayn constitute about 20 percent of the population. They are settled in the riverine regions of southern Somalia and rely on a mixed economy of cattle and camel husbandry and cultivation.

Clan-families, too large and scattered for practical cooperation, in the past had no real political or economic functions. However, with the renewal and intensification of clan feuding in the wake of Siad Barre's fall from power in early 1991, the clan-families assumed crucial significance as nascent political parties pitted against one another along tribal lines in a disastrous civil war (see Lineage Segmentation and the Somali Civil War , this ch.). Membership in clan-families, primary lineages, and clans was traced through males from a common male ancestor.

Descent as the basis of group formation and loyalty was modified, but not overridden, by the principle of heer. Membership in the same clan or lineage did not automatically entail certain rights and obligations. These were explicitly the subject of treaties or contracts. Thus, some clans in a clanfamily might unite for political and military purposes, and some lineages within a clan might associate to pay and receive blood compensation in cases of homicide, injury, and other offenses. These alignments had a kinship base in that members often descended from a particular wife of a common ancestor, but units formed by contract or treaty could be dissolved and new ones formed.

The traditional social structure was characterized by competition and conflict between descent groups. Among the Samaal, the search for pasture and water drove clans and lineages physically apart or pitted them against each other. The Digil and Rahanwayn (cultivators of the south) had a history of warfare over trade and religious matters and of fighting the encroachments of camel-herding nomads.

Whatever their common origin, the Samaal and the Digil and Rahanwayn evolved differently as they adapted to different physical environments. With some exceptions, the Samaal lived in areas that supported a pastoralism based mainly on camels, sheep, and goats. The Digil and Rahanwayn lived in the area between the rivers where they raised cattle and came to enslave the nonSomali cultivators who were there when they arrived. After the demise of slavery in the 1920s, the Digil and Rahanwayn themselves undertook cultivation.

The Samaal considered themselves superior to settled Somalis. Lineage remained the focal point of loyalty for pastoral nomads. The Digil and Rahanwayn developed a heterogeneous society that accorded status to different groups on the basis of origin and occupation. Group cohesion developed a territorial dimension among the settled agriculturists.

Relations between and within groups underwent changes during the colonial era and after independence. Armed conflict between descent groups (or in the south, territorial units) became rare during the two decades (the 1960s and 1970s) following independence. However, in the 1980s and early 1990s, as President Siad Barre incited and inflamed clan rivalries to divert public attention from the problems of his increasingly unpopular regime, Somali society began to witness an unprecedented outbreak of inter- and intra-clan conflicts. The basic modes of social organization and relations persisted, however, particularly among the pastoral nomads. Moreover, national politics were often operated in terms of relationships between segments of various kinds.
Several thousand persons, including some ethnic Somalis, were integrated into traditional society but were not included in the six clan-families. Among them were Somali clans descended from ancestors predating or otherwise missing from the genealogies of the six clan-families. Others were lineages of relatively unmixed Arab or Persian descent, often much inbred; most members of these groups lived in the coastal towns. Such lineages or communities had varying relationships with local Somalis. Some were clients subordinate to Somali groups; others were independent entities in the larger towns. A second category consisted of the so-called habash, or adoon, cultivators or hunters of preSomali origin who lived among the Rahanwayn and Digil in the interriverine area. A third category consisted of occupationally specialized caste-like groups, members of which were attached to Somali lineages or clans. Finally, until the last were freed in the 1920s, there was a small number of slaves attached to both pastoral and sedentary Somali groups, but of greater economic importance among the latter.
Professor Saadia Touval

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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
Somalia

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