Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The spirit of Ramadan and Eid in Somaliland before the advent of Wahhabism
Bashir Goth
Living with the perpetual fear of the Somali cultural heritage and the tolerant, almost native Islam being eroded by torrents of alien and jihadist movements of Salafism, Tabligqhi and Al Ittihad Al Islam, which are all different variations of Wahhabism, I thought it might be useful as the Eid draws near if I set down my childhood memories about the tradition of Ramadan back home, particularly as my son like so many others who have not seen the home that is their birthright and find it hard to relate their parents practice of Islam ,with the distorted image that they encounter everywhere at the present time.

Once I started jotting down the outline, the memories of Ramadan nights in my native village and every town of the Somali people living in Somaliland, Somali region of Ethiopia and Djibouti and even Southern Somalia to some extent, charged my mind. Defying both time and distance, I presently found myslef sitting in Daa’uud Yaakhi’s tea shop in my native Dilla village, amid mesmerized audience, enjoying Ramdan nights as they knew it for centuries, clapping to the tone of the African drum, chanting the chorus of the anecdotal Ramadan Qasida Yaa Khyaral Anaami and enjoying Islam as they found it fitting to their culture and their heritage.

Already swept by nostalgia, I tried to relate to Omer my memories of Ramdan in Somaliland. Although I marshalled all my efforts to make him feel the beat, tone and taste of Ramdan as I knew it as a child, it was too distant for him to get the feel of it, but I could see that he found some excitement in the idea of Islam imparting some fun for children and not all grim and gloom as he sees it today. Read more on Awdalnews.com also under the title "A time when our religion belonged to us" at Onlineopnion also Somaliland.org also WardheerNews also tharwaproject
Editorial: Remembering Annalena Tonelli as the epitome of human pride
As the people of Borama, Awdal region of Somaliland, commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the brutal assassination of Annalena Tonelli on the 5th of October, they do so with less self-flagellation this time than the pervious anniversary for three good reasons. The first is that the criminal hand that robbed the light from the blind, the hearing aid from the deaf, the healing touch from the terminally ill, the hand of mercy from the destitute, the disowned and the orphan; the main culprit for the killing of Annalena Tonelli is behind bars in Hargeisa central jail. The man suspected to be the evil doer, Abdirahman Indha Adde, was the ring leader of the Al Qaeda cell that was recently arrested in Somaliland while trying to deliver another death and liberate his colleagues in terror who are waiting trial in Hargeisa prison for the slaying of Annelena and other humanitarian workers.

The second reason for Borama people's sense of atonement is the functioning of Annalena Centre, comprising Annalena's TB Hospital, Annalena School of the Deaf and the Blind and the other facilities she created for the care of AIDs patients, orphans and the poor. The big worry of the local people at the time of Annalena's murder was whether these facilities would survive their founder's death. On the second anniversary of her death, however, Borama people are proud to see Annalena win over evil from her grave thanks to the selfless efforts of devoted individuals who saw themselves as the chosen custodians of the legacy and heritage of a great humanitarian worker. Read more on Awdalnews.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Annalena Tonelli found her bliss in becoming one with the poorest
Bashir & Hashim Goth

Awdalnews Network, 8th Oct. 2004—“Annalena Tonelli was a mother, a sister and a friend that the people of Awdal had lost” read statements written on billboards carried aloft by residents of Borama, Somaliland, to commemorate the first death anniversary of the law-trained Italian woman turned humanitarian worker who was gunned down by an unknown assassin in her hospital in Borama on 5th October 2003, 33 years after she had tied her destiny to the sick, the poor and the infirm among the Somali people.

In a rare show of sympathy and love for a foreigner, the Muslim people of the town of Borama gathered at the Annalena Center, the complex structure containing the voluntary projects set up by Annalena Tonelli, chanting her name and grieving their loss in the death of an unparalleled voluntary worker who was thrown into their midst by destiny alone. Read more on Awdalnews.com