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Volume 5

July 2009

Number 2

IZ's Commitment to Somalia
IZ is committed to continuing to feature past articles on Somalia which are aimed at educating citizens of the world about the tragic situation that this sister country of ours still finds itself in. Aweis Issa, one of IZ's contributing editors, was born and raised in Somalia, and he continues to keep us in the know concerning the situation on the ground in that country. We are especially thankful to Aweis for his insights and assistance in helping us better understand the situation in Somalia.

Part I: 2007 Report on Somalia

Report on Somalia
By Mr. Aweis Issa

     I am Aweis Issa, an agronomist and environmental science consultant in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia. I came to Canada as a refugee from Somalia. The reason that I left my country was because of the corruption of the dictatorship of Siad Barre, who was the President of Somalia. The country has now experienced civil war for eighteen years. The Islamists and the Warlords have destroyed the country. The Saudis have funded the building of many mosques in Somalia, although people do not have enough money for basic needs.

     When I was growing up in Somalia, I was raised as a Muslim, and I was educated in Koranic schools. Recently, the people in Somalia have been subjugated by the so-called Islamists, who use Islam to further their political agendas.

     After several years, I decided to return home to Somalia to gain first hand knowledge of the situation. The head of the Mogadishu International Airport, Lt. Col. Ahmed Ali, known as Aftoojey, gave me a tour of the airport and its operations. Itís actually a relatively safe airport, despite the years of war. In the K4 region of Mogadishu, I met Bashir Bariisi (see picture below), whose arm was destroyed by bullets from the Warlords and Islamists, who are fighting for power in Mogadishu. Anyone who refuses to join either side will be in danger.

     My sister, Mulki, and my brother, Cabdriham, both live in Mogadishu with our Uncle Abdulahi Afey and his wife Markabo Sheikh. As a result of a medical procedure when she was young, Mulki now walks with a limp. I have tried to sponsor my sister Mulki to come to Canada but due to strict immigration laws, I have not been successful in bringing her here. Mulkiís life in Somalia is so difficult due to her disability. I have been supporting Mulki and Cabdriham for the last seventeen years.

     When I was in Mogadishu, I tried to contact the Transitional Government Ministers. I met the Minister for Reconstruction, Resettlement and Reintegration, the Honorable Abdirahman Jama Abdalla, who stated that the international community is not supporting the Transitional Government. I used to be employed with the Somali Ministry of Agriculture, but I was unable to meet with the Minister of Agriculture during my recent stay in Somalia.

     Currently the Ethiopian and Ugandan Peace Keeping Forces are stationed in Somalia, and are doing a fantastic job in attempting to stabilize the country and establish peace. Unfortunately, the Islamists are well funded by outside sources. While in Somalia, I discussed the peace process with a number of Somalis, and people are happy with the Transitional Government and the Peace Keeping forces stationed in the country. As a Somali and Canadian citizen, I am asking the international community to give support to the Transitional Government.

[Reproduction of Photo by Bayby]

Pictured here are the ruins of the old Somalia Parliament.

[Reproduction of Photo by DBG Somalia]

Men laminating a barrel of toxic waste which ended up on shore, likely dumped in the Indean Ocean just off the Somali coast by an unnamed European nation.

[Reproduction of Photo by Aweis Issa]

Pictured here, Bashir Bariisi has been disfigured by the outrageous cruelties of factional militants.

[Reproduction of Photo by Bayby]

Pictured here, the innocent children of Somalia.

[Reproduction of Photo by Aweis Issa]

Somalian women smile for a picture.

[Reproduction of Photo by Aweis Issa]

Scuola Media Centrale, established by the AIFS Administration in the 1950s, now in ruins.

[Reproduction of Photo by Bayby]

What remains of the Somalian University.

A picture dating from the 1960s shows the magnificent Catholic Church in Mogadishu, now largely in ruins.

Somali police at the airport in Mogadishu.

Aweis at the airport in Somalia, in 2007.

Part II: My Trip to Somalia

My Trip to Somalia
By Mr. Aweis Issa

     During my trip to Mogadishu and Marka, I came across a number of Somali scholars still in Somalia. The vast majority of Somali scholars either left the country or were killed: and there are also many still in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

     On my recent trip, I had the honor to meet Professor Yusuf Cali Xasan, also known as Abja, who teaches at the Wabi Shabelle Biology Institute, based in Mogadishu. The Institute is located in Barkaha Market, which has seen a great deal of heavy fighting. As a result of recent clashes between Somalis and Ethiopians, the Institute has been bombed, with some students being injured. Furthermore, Abjaís salary is uncertain, and he does not make enough money to support his family. The Islamists are opposed to schools that teach subjects un-connected to religion. Further to this, the students are not allowed to take their textbooks outside, as these Islamists are opposed to the texts.

     Dr. Abdulahi Hussein Omar, also known as Gududow, is an irrigation agronomist for CARE International located in the lower Shabelle Region of Somalia. He was my school mate when I was a young man at the Somali National University, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. He has given his life to help his country and local farmers. Dr. Mohamed Buube, known as Mr. English, is a Malaria Etymologist, at the Lower Shabelle Region. He, too, has sacrificed a great deal to the betterment of his country. In spite of the armed conflict, these men have gone to great lengths for the benefit of others, and should be lauded for their courageous efforts.

     In a recent situation regarding Somali politics, the Prime Minister of the Transitional Government, Mohamed Ali Ghedi, came to the fore. Originally trained as a veterinary doctor, he has now been the Prime Minister of Somalia for the past three years. During that time his duty was to re-introduce peace and a stabilized government to Somalia. Instead, he absconded to Kenya with a great deal of money from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the EU that should have been used for the betterment of the country of Somalia.

     Unfortunately, Somalia has been bereft of good leadership, such as been given by Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Since 1960, Somalia has had both disappointing and divisive leadership. There has been a lack of transparent and accountable governance in Somalia, and therefore, ordinary citizens have been suffering the consequences. I have high hopes for the Somali Transitional Government, including President Abdulahi Yusuef and his Cabinet to bring Somalia into peace and harmony and respect for human rights issues. The international community has to support the Transitional Government in bringing peace and stability to Somalia.

Professor Yusuf Cali Xasan of the Wabi Shabelle Biology Institute.

Also In This Issue

France plays Leap-Frog on behalf of St.Pierre et Miquelon
Clive Schofield and Ian Townsend-Gault

Incisive analysis on the overlapping maritime claims of Canada and France in the case of St.Pierre et Miquelon

A Fading Forest: Continual Oil Sands Expansion and the Gateway Pipeline
Dustin Twin

Cree native Dustin Twin comments on the tar sands oil projects currently operating in Alberta, Canada.

Re-evaluating Aristotle's Problems
Steve Wexler

Law professor Steve Wexler analyzes Aristotle's diverse collection of thoughts in Problems.

Japan at a Crossroads
Brent Sutherland

Vancouver based freelance writer, and erstwhile resident of Japan for more than ten years, Brent Sutherland writes on the upcoming Japanese election pitting the DPJ against the LDP.

Literary Voices
C.H. Allen Clark & Stephanie Kjaerbaek

Literary selections from an international cast of writers.

The Election Crisis and Sovereign Power in Iran
C.G. Bateman

Editorial comment on the 2009 election crisis in Iran.

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