Elusive Patriotism and National Pride

National pride and the love the country - Eid-ul-fitri in 1964 the then president of Somalia Aden Abdulle Osman and his Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke join the residents of Mogadishu for a congregation Eid-ul-fitri prayers. Credit Mohammed Omar Hussein @shiinetown

It is so funny when academics confuse fantasy with reality. It seems the writer of the article: ‘Citizens’ lack of feeling for national pride is Somalia’s root problem’ is one of those.

Patriotism in Somalia has been dead from the start of the independence.  Nothing kills patriotism more than injustice and nepotism.

The essay never mentioned the injustices in a Somali nation state.  We as Somalis should be straightforward with our own analysis of the country.  We should be honest and truthful.  I don’t know the writer’s age, where he grew up and what he knows about Somali nation state from July 1, 1960.

It is very easy to bring abstract nouns (Patriotism and Pride) into an essay that tells us nothing about the truth.  Somali people were abused by the state period. Injustices bring destruction.

How could people be patriotic when the state uses its power to destroy the rights of certain groups of its nation?  The writer ignored those atrocities and injustices.

Yes, Somalis are comprised of clans and tribes and that is a fact.  However, tribalism was the disease that destroyed the patriotism championed by the essay.

Tribalism was in the veins of the Somali state beginning 1960 and I could refer the writer to read a statistical book about the compositions of Somali Politicians and Elites from 1960 – 1990.  Namely, ‘Clan, sub-clan, and regional representation in the Somali government organization, 1960-1990: statistical data with appendix 1991-2012’ written by distinguished Lawyer Dr. Abdiwahid Osman Haji.

Personally, I feel the pain that my nation is suffering because I grew up and lived in that nation.  I served my nation as an officer and I know what it means to be patriotic. Selfishness and greed destroyed the nation.

However, wishful thinking will not bring the Somali nation state back unless all Somalis analyze and dissect the situation similar to Rwanda’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission.  But, if like some Somalis we say “Xalay Dhalay”, I don’t think we solve anything.

And it will be “Jug Jug Meeshaada Joog”.  So I would like to remind the writer that 1991 is not the beginning of the destruction of Somali nation state but a completion of a cycle of dishonesty, injustice and hypocrisy.

Abdirashid Ali
Ottawa, Canada
[email protected]

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