Friday, September 14, 2012

Somalis make a twitter election connection - Features - Al Jazeera English

Although he was thousands of miles away, UK-based Somali journalist Hamza Mohamed was still able to witness and follow his country’s presidential candidates deliver their speeches in front of parliament with a few clicks of his mouse.Thanks to twitter, he was also able to engage and exchange information about this week's election directly with Somalis around the world.Somalia, a country known for political instability and having the longest coastline in Africa, is undergoing significant political changes.The country’s newly formed parliament elected Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a new comer to Somalia’s political scene and a grassroots activist, as the new president on Monday in the first election held inside the country for more than 42 years.The new government technically ended a series of transitional governments that Somalia had since the disintegration of the central government in 1991. Somali citizens are not yet able to vote for their own president for security and political reasons. Al-Shabaab fighters, engaged in a bitter war with the government, still control larges swathes of the country, and the United Nations continues to play a major role in the country’s affairs.If Somalis are lucky, they might have the opportunity to choose their own president in the next election in four years time.

TV coverage

Somalis, especially those who live in the West, are often news-junkies desiring up-to-the minute information from their homeland.But with TV stations in Somalia offering no live stream coverage of the elections to the outside world because of low internet penetration in the country, some crafty Somali business people in the diaspora shouldered the responsibility to broadcast the election live and make quick cash in the process.According to Internet World Stats website, internet penetration in Somalia is 1.1 per cent. Internet use in the county increased from 200 in 2000 to 106,000 in 2011. There is scant data available on internet usage in Somalia, and it's hard to gauge the correct number of users, in part because most people go to internet cafes in the cities or use their mobile phones to access the net.The Somali community in the UK established its own TV stations to broadcast live news from Somalia. As the 25 Somali presidential candidates took turns last week to address the parliament and present their vision for the country, these TV stations live streamed the entire speeches, and Somalis who live all over the world watched and discussed the merits of each candidate on twitter.The UK-based Somali Channel TV not only broadcasted the speeches, but also gave its audience the opportunity to call from anywhere and air their views about which candidate they think best qualifies to lead the country. Somalis, journalists, diplomats and analysts interested in Somali affairs, also flocked to twitter and started #Somalia2012 and other random hash tags which created an ideal space that brought people together to broadcast and track each other’s tweets about this historic event.

'Hopes and frustrations'

Abdi Dahir Adan, 23, who left Somalia when he was five years old, and now lives in Eastleight, a predominantly Somali area in Nairobi, Kenya said he became emotional when he saw all the tweets about Somalia and how Somalis are hungry for change."I have noticed that all Somalis around the world love their country," Adan said. "I had to skip my evening classes [on the day of the election] to join the millions of Somalis following the election."Yahya Mohamed, a Somali media analyst, said twitter enables Somalis "to express their hopes, frustrations and wishes regarding the election".

"Somalis who use the social media clearly expressed how they hate corruption and tribalism," he said. "They attacked anybody who mentioned tribes and said it was not time to mention clans or even think about them."Some Somalis also went the extra mile and opined their thoughts on their blogs.“Am I the only one who was blown away with Ahmed Samatar’s [one of the 25 candidates and professor at Macalester College] address?” wrote Ramla Bile, a writer from Minnesota.“I found his comments on the relationship between job creation and love incredibly powerful. He fully appreciates the haunting grip poverty can have on a soul, family, and nation,” Bile wrote on her Tumblr. Somalis in the diaspora are also advocating and fundraising for refugees and those affected by the famine by using social media.The Somali community in Minnesota, home to one of the world's largest Somali diasporas, have been collaborating with the American Refugee Council (ARC), a Minnesota-based non-profit organisation, to create awareness and mobilise people to provide humanitarian relief to refugees and Somalis affected by the drought.ARC, with the help of the Somali community in Minnesota, started “I AM A STAR for Somalia” campaign fundraiser in response to the famine that engulfed Somalia last year."Somalis living outside the country have over the years been the voice of those suffering inside Somalia, and with the emergence of social media, their work is getting noticed more than ever," said Kassim Mohamed, a Somali journalist.

'Great way of engaging'

Britain's ambassador to Somalia, Matt Baugh, who created his twitter account about two months ago to connect and engage with Somalis, said the micro-blogging site is a “great way of engaging, of finding out what people think and the issues they believe are important”.After joining twitter he said he learned the “Somali online community is truly global - from the US to Australia, the UK to East Africa and, of course, in Somalia itself”.“They are passionate about their country and their Somali culture and heritage; and that, most important of all, they want a peaceful and stable country,” he said.Some Somalis on twitter predicted the losers, some randomly circulated rumours, and some like Somali journalists Abdi Aynte and Hamza Mohamed gave a thoughtful and well-enunciated analysis of the process, the country’s history, and about the new president. Mohamud lived most of his life in Somalia and founded Simad University, as Aynte pointed out; Somalia never re-elected an incumbent president, and Mohamud will be the eighth president chosen inside the country since independence in 1960.During the election, the president's full name and "Somalia" became worldwide trending topics on twitter.Adan said he has been using twitter for four years and has never seen Somalia on top of the trending list.The combination of Somali TV live streaming the election, and the real-time status updates of concerned Somalis in the diaspora longing for a better and peaceful country, showed the power of social media and how an online community can put the latest tools to work.

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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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