Saturday, June 16, 2007

Will the Awdal Convention 2007 match Haji Nur’s feat ?
By Bashir Goth
A Somali proverb says: “Meel hoo u baahan hadal wax kama taro”, roughly meaning (Talking will not satisfy where giving is needed.) Somalis are experts in talking; they can talk from here to eternity with beautiful rhetoric, marshalling long-winded rhapsodies from the fathomless wisdom of the poetic Somali language. They try to outdo each other, speaker after speaker. The speakers’ list gets longer and longer and topics on the agenda inflate into a mighty balloon. But just like balloons are popped at the end of a rapturous party, decisions made in Somali gatherings fly into thin air as soon as the participants leave the hall. No follow up mechanism is ever put in place, no commitments survive and no pledges materialize into tangible reality.

If history can be any a guide, one may have a reason to ask why the Awdal Convention 2007 being held in Minneapolis will be any different? Our hope is that it should be, but experience dampens our wishes. The overloaded Agenda of the convention of the North American communities hailing from the Awdal region of Somaliland already raises doubts. It builds expectations that are hard to meet. Topics from education, community development, social services, capacity building, natural resources, public health, trade, unemployment etc. This is an ambitious and unrealistic plan that far exceeds both the capacity and the circumstances of the delegates. The topics are just carbon copied from similar conventions held by well established, and experienced organizations and institutionalized communities that have a history of organizational and developmental achievements.

This doesn’t mean that the Awdal region doesn’t need development and assistance in all these areas. No, it does, but people need to measure their ambition against their capacity. As another Somali adage says: “Faras aanad fuulmadiisa aqoon, daba dillaac baa laga qaada”(if you don’t know how to ride a horse, you end up with a bruised butt.) Read More in Awdalnews Network.

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