Somali interstate football tournament 2020: Experiences from player Mohamed Mahmoud
This is Mohamed Mahmoud. Born and raised in the Barri region of the Northeastern State state of Somalia, he saw an opportunity in Galmudug, followed his football dream and made history as a Puntlander family, as a Galmudug player regionally and as a dream-following young Somali man.
This triple identity of Mohamed is a blow to those who have always argued that federalism is a tribal composition. It is not. Mohamed did not need any papers or legal opinion to play for his other region Galmudug. All he needed to do was train Galmudug to see his ability to attack in the middle. It was a valuable risk!
This is my understanding of Somalia’s federalism. No walls to prevent one from seeking opportunities, no local residence papers or no regional administration to prevent one from pursuing his dream.
I debated in 2014 that “if I have money, education or material, no one will stop me from living in Mogadishu …” that’s what Mohamed did. He took his skills to another Somali region. Mohamed’s story tells a typical American story where people move around and look for opportunities.
Only power sharing and administration is what has been put together. Somali people are not federated. They are an whatever region they were born in. Politicians are those who seek seats in the clan and in the composition of 4.5.
Congratulations to Mohamed, his teammates, Galmudug, and those who gave him a chance to excel. Postscript: this story takes place when Somalia’s leadership is conferring in Garowe – a topic of conversation at the launches.
Faisal is a widely read essayist, student of social change and a metropolitan planner for Los Angeles and a member of the editorial board of the Horn of Africa Journal.