Thursday, March 08, 2007

Editorial - Somaliland people will tolerate no more -
March 07, 2007 - 15:18
By Bashir Goth

Somaliland is often marketed as the darling of Africa; an oasis of peace and stability in a volatile region; a unique example of a homegrown democracy; and a country of resilient people crying for international justice. As true and uncontestable as this may be, it represents only one side of the coin.

The other side of the coin, often hidden from the outside world and often denied by Somalilanders themselves is an ugly one; a bitter reality that any visitor will notice at the first glance. The government is a lifeless scarecrow. Only the structure exists, but nothing functions.

Many of the ministers, parliament members and senior officials are alien scavengers who carry foreign passports. Having lived many years in Canada and Europe as jobless refugees, they found the Somaliland project as manna from heaven. They left their families in secure environments living off western taxpayers charity and flocked to Somaliland with only one objective in mind to rob and run. Riding on the wave of the people’s yearning and wish for change and equipped with few political sound bites borrowed from western political rhetoric, they portrayed themselves as apostles of democracy and good governance and won the names they coveted for by ingratiating themselves to the President and unassuming clan elders.

Teaming up with equally power hungry former rebel fighters going by their popular name of Mujahideen, they created one of the most corrupt systems in Africa. They live off the meager revenues collected from the country’s limited income sources and international assistance. They roam in the streets of Hargeisa, Borama and Buroa with brand new SUVs among hungry populace. Each of the three bodies of government, the judiciary, legislative and the executive, smoothly fall into the greased grooves of this slimy jigsaw. Members of the elected lower house of parliament are opportunistic liars who took advantage of the people’s trust to grab their stinky share of the rotten and meager national cake and the elected President sits on top of the stenchy system that stands on collapsing pillars of corruption, nepotism and favoritism. The opposition figures are also scavengers waiting for their turn and share of the national booty. Read More in Awdalnews
Climate change concern: Too little, too late
By Bashir Goth.

BODY of 2500 scientists had recently gathered in Paris and made a clarion call about an impending climate disaster, noting the likelihood of human activities led by burning fossil fuels causing most of the warming over the past 50 years.

Among other things, the report warns of a new ice age engulfing the earth, while hurricanes, droughts and other apocalyptic disasters may play havoc with our planet.

Good talk. We have nothing but praise for the eminent men and women of science and conscience who want to save our planet for future generations. One thing, however, that bothers us is why these scientists failed to invite their sceptic counterparts. We know there are other respected scholars who doubt the conclusion of the climate doomsayers and believe that the climate change we experience is nothing new. It was always happening from day one of the earth and will continue to happen. Read More in Khaleej Times.
Islam Also to Blame for Prizing White Skin
By Bashir Goth

Just like everything else, perceptions of sexiness have globalized. Hollywood movies, the fashion industry, MTV and Miss World beauty contests have set universal standards for female sexual appeal. It is in this context that Arab and African men have come to measure the beauty of their women. But the pressure on women to meet men’s expectations of beauty isn’t a recent invention, and standards have changed over the years.

Over sexualizing girls is as dangerous as global warming. In the Arab world, the features of an ideal woman changed between being opulent, plump, slim or obese, according to Abdelwahab Bouhdiba in the book Sexuality in Islam. Sometimes large breasts were preferable, sometimes firm round ones. At other times, pink flesh, chubby and curved (samina, maluma), a wasp-like waist, or a bamboo-like figure (ghusn al ban, gudib khizuran) were fashionable.
Read More in Washington Post