The Last Hope for Somalia

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There are certain things that we, Somalis, take for granted. I'm not speaking of food, shelter or the basic clothes that cover our otherwise bare skin. Instead, I speak of something that is far beyond the Somali's intellectual grasp; opportunities. Whether due to war, pursuit of a better life or the sheer need to travel abroad, it seems that our people are scattered all over the world.

Recently, I stumbled upon a Somali gentleman with 2 children, and I listened attentively as they conversed in Chinese. Likewise, we have generations who are fluent in other dominant, world-shaping languages. One may perceive such adapting mechanisms as an advantageous characteristic; currently, it's the saw that tears through the pillars of our future. I chose not to involve religion or politics, but rather basic logic and rationality to our ongoing failure to prosper.

Seemingly, we as a people have an inapt tendency to think that our remittances will sustain itself as a long-term solution for our motherland. Subconsciously, our self-denial convinces us that we're doing ‘all that we could do'. However, is that all that we can do? Or are we doing all that we choose to do rather than all that we should do? Choices are a true gift. Free-will, as free as predetermination determines, actively creates room for two sets of choices; a selfless or selfish act.

Thus, remittance to the average individual would be considered as a selfless act. Metaphorically, if I took a slice of your flesh and hid your wound with a cloth, could the mere hiding of a wound be considered a cure? Similarly, remittance is merely the solution for the present and if our minds continually remain idle in the present, how are we supposed to ensure a prosperous future?

Understandably, there are various factors that contribute to Somalia's unsuccessful years. Yet, those who live abroad must recognize, realize and acknowledge that we're contributing to the problem as well.

The pursuit of a better life comes with expectations. Education is the key factor in upbringing oneself socially and economically. With the hopes of investing in those whom he or she holds dear. If we educate our people abroad with no aspiration of reinvesting in our country, what purpose does our struggle abroad bear?

Unfortunately, our people find themselves in a position of ‘desperate association'. We desperately associate ourselves with those whom we're living amongst. Temporarily, I find the exploitation of foreign opportunities beneficial. Nonetheless, if the obscurity of our personal identity jeopardizes the sole intent of our migration, we can easily get lost in translation. The ‘I' becomes ‘We' as ‘We' forgets the ‘I' and the ‘I' is the individual that an entire country relies.

Exploitation of education and benefits that'll progress our motherland is the sole purpose of being abroad. Yet, we forget the plight that initially began our revolution and consequently, silence the skeptics with monthly remittances and visa forms. Is that the solution which our country desperately seeks? More than the warlords, more than the corrupted politicians, more than the religious fundamentalists, more than the remittance dependent four-wives marrying ‘qat' addicts, it's those who live abroad who are blindly contributing to the downfall of a once glorious nation.

For we have an advantage that none of those individuals back home boast, we are amidst opportunity. We aren't sheltered by UNDP plastic coverings as roofs or surviving off of USAID donations, the echo of mortars aren't vibrating within our ears and all struggles we claim can't be equated to our brethrens.

Opportunity; are we not taking our chances for granted? Shall we not procure a method of returning to our motherland with the hopes of rebuilding Somalia? Isn't that the purpose of our being abroad? If we continue the way we're going, are we merely not losing our culture and paralyzing Somalia even more? It's the responsibility of each individual abroad to learn a trade that'll benefit Somalia, and return to our country. Many small steps will eventually become one great leap.

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