Below are some of my writings from back in 2005 and 2008, when I was working and sharing life with Somalis living in Ethiopia. They, too, are experiencing today’s famine, as refugees from Somalia and as ethnic Somalis living inside Ethiopia’s borders in the Ogaden Desert. I share them in hopes that they might give light to their humanity, which is our humanity, yours and mine.
While the images on the television can be hard to watch, and for me, on the side of being indignant, they are real. However, those images do not give the complete picture of the Somali people. To learn more about Somali culture, you migth start with the writings of Nuruddin Farah, one of the world’s master novelists. Check out K’Naan’s music and his searing lyrics, as well as his positive outlook on the future of his homeland.
I also added two reports that my bride and/or I write while working in the Ogaden. They provide some narratives of the people, talking about their daily lives as mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters struggling to feed one another.
At a time when we are facing the challenges of yet another economic downward spiral, we should be thankful that we do not have to choose between which of our children will be left behind to die in the bush and which will live. Regarding what we can do, perhaps send some cash to organizations like The Denan Project, or if nothing else, learn more about the people of Somalia, and educate others.
Peace to all peoples everywhere.
Somali Refugees in Ethiopia
Denan/Dhanan, Ethiopia, in the Ogaden Desert, home to ethnic Somalis