THE ECONOMIST EXPLAINS:
Why Somaliland is not a recognised state
SOMALILAND, a slim slice of Somali-inhabited territory on the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden, ticks almost all the boxes of statehood. It has its own currency, a reasonably effective bureaucracy and a trained army and police force. The government, located in the capital city of Hargeisa, maintains a respectable degree of control over its territory: the country is, by and large, peaceful, in stark contrast to Somalia to the south—where bombings and a rampage through a popular hotel in the capital killed at least 14 people at the weekend. Somaliland enters into legal contracts (signing, for example, oil-exploration licences with foreign corporations), and it engages in diplomatic operations with the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union and nations such as Britain, America, and Denmark. But it has yet to receive official recognition from a single foreign government in the years since it declared independence in 1991. To the outside world, it is an autonomous region of Somalia, subject to the Somali Federal Government (SFG) in Mogadishu. Why is it not a state?
Throughout the post-independence era, geopolitics in Africa has tended to respect “colonial borders”, ie the borders laid down by European colonial powers in the 19th century. Across the continent, there have been only two significant alterations to the colonial map since the 1960s: the division of Eritrea from Ethiopia, in 1993; and South Sudan from Sudan, in 2011. On the question of Somaliland, the African Union (AU), to whom the international community tends to defer on boundary issues, has stuck to its traditional line: to recognise Somiliand would be to open a Pandora’s box of separatist claims in the region. Only with the consent of greater Somalia should Somaliland be granted independence, so the argument goes. But this, Somilalanders point out, is inconsistent: Somaliland, unlike Somalia, sticks to old colonial borders. It even has previous experience of statehood (prior to independence, the territory was administered as a separate British colony, and briefly enjoyed a five-day spell as a sovereign state). Formerly British Somaliland’s union with Italian Somaliland to its south, which brought about modern Somalia in 1960, was voluntary, they argue. Its independence should require merely divorce, not reinvention.
Although the AU itself admitted as much in 2005, Somaliland’s claim remains in limbo. The reason for this lies in and around Mogadishu. Somalia’s civil war has raged for two and a half decades, and despite the introduction of a new constitution in 2012, the SFG’s claim to territorial authority is precarious. Many fear that the apparent creation of a new state in the region, whose presence would almost certainly embolden Somalia’s other secessionist provinces (Puntland, Jubbaland and Hiranland), would lead to the balkanisation of Somalia along clan lines, while simultaneously reigniting old regional tensions (between Somalis and Ethiopians, for example). Moreover, by crimping the power of the federal government in Mogadishu, which is loth to accept anything less than a united Somali state, it could trigger a resumption of hostilities between north and south, rendering peace negotiations, which have been going on for years, nearly impossible. This, for Somalia’s neighbours as well as the international community, is the doomsday scenario. Many argue something similar can be seen playing out in South Sudan today.
Compared to the lobby for an independent South Sudan, which was highly vocal in America’s Congress and elsewhere, the cheerleaders for Somaliland’s independence maintain a relatively low profile. They exist, of course: there are a surprising number of city councils in the UK, such as Cardiff, that claim to have recognised Somaliland on their own. But, for now at least, proper state-to-state recognition remains a pipe dream. For as long as Somaliland’s “parent” nation remains the Horn of Africa’s primary security concern, the case for statehood will fall on deaf ears.
BY ALEXIS OKEOWO
It’s a rare poet who can write movingly about African migration to Europe and also tweet humorously about the VH1 reality show “Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta.” Every generation of writers and readers has mourned the shrinking place of poetry in our lives, and they may not be wrong. They also may not be looking in the right places. Young poets are on Tumblr and Twitter, composing affecting and funny verse as short as a hundred and forty characters and also stretching much longer. Verse that is then reblogged and retweeted by thousands of followers who see themselves reflected in the posts. Of this new genre of poets, Warsan Shire, a twenty-six-year-old Somali-British woman, is a laureate.
Shire was the actual Young Poet Laureate of London in 2014, the city’s first. Born in Kenya to parents from Somalia, Shire grew up in London, where she has always felt like an outsider, and embodies the kind of shape-shifting, culture-juggling spirit lurking in most people who can’t trace their ancestors to their country’s founding fathers, or whose ancestors look nothing like those fathers. In that limbo, Shire conjures up a new language for belonging and displacement. What she has described, in an interview, as the “surrealism of everyday immigrant life—one day you are in your country, having fun, drinking mango juice, and the next day you are in the Underground in London and your children are speaking to you in a language you don’t understand.”
Her poetry evokes longing for home, a place to call home, and is often nostalgic for memories not her own, but for those of her parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, people who forged her idea of her ancestral homeland through their own stories. With fifty thousand Twitter followers and a similar number of Tumblr readers, Shire, more than most today, demonstrates the writing life of a young, prolific poet whose poetry or poem-like offhand thoughts will surface in one of your social media feeds and often be exactly what you needed to read, or what you didn’t know that you needed to read, at that moment.
In 2011, Shire published “Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth,” a spare collection of poems that was outsize in its sensuality, wit, and grief. She opens the book, her first, with “I have my mother’s mouth and my father’s eyes / On my face they are still together.” In “Beauty,” she tells us of someone’s older sister: “Some nights I hear in her room screaming / We play Surah Al-Baqarah to drown her out / Anything that comes from her mouth sounds like sex / Our mother has banned her from saying God’s name.” In “Your Mother’s First Kiss,” she writes, “The first boy to kiss your mother later raped women / when the war broke out. She remembers hearing this / from your uncle, then going to your bedroom and lying down on the floor. You were at school.” At the end of the poem: “Last week, she saw him driving the number 18 bus / his week a swollen drumlin, a vine scar dragging itself / across his mouth. You were with her, holding a bag of dates to your chest, heard her let out a deep moan / when she saw how much you looked like him.”
How much of the book is autobiographical is never really made clear, but beside the point. (Though Shire has said, “I either know, or I am every person I have written about, for or as. But I do imagine them in their most intimate settings.”) It’s East African storytelling and coming-of-age memoir fused into one. It’s a first-generation woman always looking backward and forward at the same time, acknowledging that to move through life without being haunted by the past lives of your forebears is impossible.
Shire has said that she is most interested in writing about people whose stories are either not told or told inaccurately, especially immigrants and refugees, and so she brings out her Dictaphone when relatives come to her with tales from their experiences so that she can record them faithfully before turning them into poetry. Her tone lightens in “Maymuun’s Mouth” and “Birds.” In those poems, Shire writes tenderly and hilariously of a Somali woman removing her body hair and “dancing in front of strangers” as she adjusts to her new life abroad, and of a girl who, with pigeon’s blood, fooled her new husband and his mother into thinking she was a virgin. Later, evoking the memories of mothers caught in the worst turmoil of Somalia’s conflicts, “In Love and in War” reads, “To my daughter I will say / ‘when the men come, set yourself on fire.’ ” The collection feels confiding, occasionally brutal, but somehow still playful.
Since “Teaching My Mother,” Warshan’s profile has only grown. In addition to the Young Poet Laureate position, she received Brunel University’s inaugural African Poetry Prize, in 2013, was chosen as Queensland, Australia’s poet in residence in 2014, and has had her work published in various literary journals and anthologies. In June, the New York Times editorial board quoted from her poem “Home” in a piece urging Western countries to give more aid and safe passage to refugees: “You have to understand / that no one puts their children in a boat / unless the water is safer than land.” The editorial ran the same month that Shire tweeted about her adoration of a “Love & Hip-Hop” star known for her wild antics (“a bit in love with joseline”), which was a month before she tweeted “fat and perfect, perfect and black, black and fat and perfect” (retweeted three hundred and eighty-two times; she has struggled with bulimia), and a few months after she cryptically tweeted “mama i made it (out of your home alive),” retweeted two hundred and seventy-four times. Periodically, I will see tweets discovering a video of her reciting her most famous and viral poem, “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love,” which has become a self-affirmation mantra for lovelorn women online.
Shire’s work, she has said, is a project of “documentation, genealogy, preserving the names of the women came before me. To connect, honor, to confront.” But it’s her documenting of the present, always coming back to the subject of love and its many tender and punishing forms, that is enthralling. The simultaneous specificity and breadth of her appeal, across gender, race, and nationality based on her self-professed fans, is remarkable, and it took me by surprise the first time I started following her online. She tweeted “my dj name is dj eldest immigrant daughter” not long ago. I favorited it immediately.
Source: The New Yorker
- The poet Warsan Shire writes primarily about the immigrant experience, but also tweets about reality television.CREDITPHOTOGRAPH BY AMAAL SAID
Waa filim gaaban oo si qurux badan oo dheellitiran loo sameeyay. Tayo xumada aflaanta gaaban ee Soomaalidu samayso iyada oo quus igu ridday ayaan kan la kulmay. Waxa jira dad hibadii iyo kartidii filim samayneed leh sida Elmi Elmi. Bal ila fiiri:
:الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه أما بعد:
فهذا الحديث رواه مسلم وأحمد في المسند وابن ماجه والدارمي ولفظه ” إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين ” وفي رواية الدارمي ” إن الله يرفع بهذا القرآن…” وكلام الله هو كتاب الله تعالى، وقد عرف العلماء القرآن بأنه كلام الله تعالى المنزل على رسوله محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم المتعبد بتلاوته، المتحدى بأقصر سورة منه. وأما عن شرح الحديث فيقول ابن حجر يرحمه الله في الفتح: قوله: يرفع الله المؤمن العالم على المؤمن غير العالم. ورفعة الدرجات ورفعها تشمل المعنوية في الدنيا بعلو المنزلة وحسن الصيت، والحسية في الآخرة بعلو المنزلة في الجنة، وفي صحيح مسلم عن نافع بن عبد الحارث الخزاعي وكان عامل عمر على مكة أنه لقيه بعسفان فقال له: من استخلفت؟ فقال: استحلفت ابن أبزى مولى لنا، فقال عمر استخلفت مولى؟ قال: إنه قارئ لكتاب الله عالم بالفرائض فقال عمر: أما إن نبيكم قد قال ” إن الله يرفع بهذا الكتاب أقواماً ويضع به آخرين. ” وقال المباركفوريرحمه الله في تحفة الأحوذي: عند تفسير قوله صلى الله عليه وسلم ” ومن أبطأ به عمله “من التبطئة وهما ضد التعجل، والبطء نقيض السرعة، والباء للتعدية، والمعنى من أخره عمله عن بلوغ درجة السعادة ” لم يسرع به نسبه ” من الإسراع أي لم يقدمه نسبه، يعني لم يجبر نقيصته لكونه نسيباً في قومه إذ لا يحصل التقرب إلى الله تعالى بالنسب بل بالأعمال الصالحة، قال تعالى ( إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم ) وشاهد ذلك أن أكثر علماء السلف موال، ومع ذلك هم سادات الأمة، وينابيع الرحمة، وذوو الأنساب العلية الذين ليسوا كذلك في مواطن جهلهم نسياً منسياً، ولذلك قال عليه الصلاة والسلام: ” إن الله يرفع بهذا الدين أقواماً ويضع به آخرين ” كذا قال القاري في المرقاة، وقد صدق القاري. قال ابن صلاح في مقدمته روينا عن الزهري قال: قدمت على عبد الملك بن مروان فقال: من أين قدمت يا زهري؟ قلت من مكة. قال: فمن خلفت بها يسود أهلها؟ قلت: عطاء بن أبي رباح ، قال: فمن العرب أم من الموالي؟ قال: قلت: من الموالي؟ قلت: من الموالي، قال: وبم سادهم؟ قلت: بالديانة والرواية، قال: إن أهل الديانة والرواية لينبغي أن يسودوا. قال: فمن يسود أهل اليمن؟ قال قلت: طاوس بن كيسان قال فمن العرب أم من الموالي؟ قال قلت: من الموالي. قال وبم سادهم؟ قلت: بما سادهم به عطاء قال: إنه لينبغي. قال: فمن يسود أهل مصر؟ قال قلت يزيد بن أبي حبيب قال فمن العرب أم من الموالي ؟ قال قلت: من الموالي. قال فمن يسود أهل الشام؟ قال: قلت: مكحول. قال فمن العرب أم من الموالي؟ قال قلت: من الموالي عبد نوبي أعتقته امرأة من هذيل ؟ قال: فمن يسود أهل الجزيرة ؟ قلت: ميمون بن مهران. قال فمن العرب أم من الموالي؟ قال قلت من الموالي، قال: فمن يسود أهل خرسان؟ قال قلت: الضحاك بن مزاحم ، قال فمن العرب أم الموالي؟ قال قلت: الموالي. قال فمن يسود أهل البصرة؟ قال قلت: الحسن بن أبي الحسن، قال فمن العرب أم من الموالي؟ قال قلت: من العرب قال: ويلك يا زهري فرجت عني والله ليسودن الموالي على العرب حتى يخطب لها على المنابر والعرب تحتها، قال قلت: يا أمير المؤمنين إذا هو أمر الله ودينه، من حفظه ساده http://fatwa.islamweb.net/fatwa/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=27570ومن ضيعه سقط …انتهى.