SOMALIA: Is ‘Somaliland’ Another Name for Problematic?
Is ‘Somaliland’ Another Name for Problematic?
Linguistically speaking Somaliland is exactly what it says: a Somali land. Anyway you put it: whether you glue Somali and Land together or tear them apart, a Somali land is always a Somali land. I dare you, dear reader, to define this term and ask yourself, as I’ve asked myself what this term truly and honestly means. Define it with the help of any dictionary of your choice and if you come back with other than what I found in my dictionary then you’ve every right to tell me to please shut up.
In essence and in its pure untainted form, the word, Somali means, a Somali person, as for the word Land it also means exactly what it says, land. So in summary the definition of Somaliland could be said to mean a land that’s populted by people who call themselves Somalis and call their mother tongue Somali, afsoomaali.
History has it that when the thirsty hungry white folks landed on this parched land of ours they found a rather unusual looking folks that called themselves a rather unusual sounding name. In no time our guests were soon figuring things out for themselves: Umm…Soomaali, You say…
The story goes on to say that once they set up camp, our guests went straight ahead with their mission: O ye black folks who call themselves Somali, they said, turning to the locals of the land: Come hither, and let’s sign together this white sheet we’ve got here… Hey! you tribal chiefs, this is a pen, you can write away your meat and your dignity… there, there… in the name of your clan (s) or whatever else makes you write away your meat and your dignity. Now sign here…Good boys!
Mind you, the foot soldiers who came to our land had a plan of action and a mandate to rule the world and they weren’t exactly concerned with halal or haram. So wherever they set foot, they went ahead and divided the locals, dissected people’s lands, and divided farmlands and grazing areas amongst themselves; no questions asked, no buts, and certainly no fears of a far off Judgment Day. It was a simple case of: I hereby name you ‘so and so’, and hereby ‘sign you off’ as part of my vast Empire, and I bloody well don’t give a damn about what God says on this issue.
This scribe wasn’t personally invited to the Name-giving ceremony, but she’s guessing there wasn’t anything haphazard in the way the lucky recipients of our body parts walked away with their share of the booty:
You over there, you are French Somaliland. Period. We don’t like the French, and like the natives even less. So go away.
And you, as of today you are Italian Somaliland, so live with it.
And Hey! Princely Ethiopia, take thou that chunk next to you as a gift from the Queen. It’s an order.
And we, the honorable British Empire, we keep the feet of the booty to make a head for the Queen’s Kenyan body; and last but not least the reason we are all here, the meat….let’s christen this baby British Somaliland! Good baby!
Now, we all know where the body parts went and are fully aware of where some of them are still lurking as we speak. However, a question we all should be asking is: Where in the world did the Somali Brain go? We know where the Body went, but who ran away with our Brain?
On a side note: Of all the things the Almighty Allah allowed He hates divorce the most. Allah hates divorce for He knows the havoc and the pain divorce causes the family and the community, but when the parties can’t live together in peace and harmony it is allowed, and for a good reason.
But while divorce is allowed, distortion of facts is not the way to go. Like everything else in life, divorce has rules and regulations and there are simple guidelines and procedures for any partners who agree on going their separate ways. Transparency, Honesty and full application of God’s Law, being the keywords in any given situation.
Moreover, before any proceedings take effect, one has to know who is divorcing who; meaning that the identity of the partners must be established first and foremost, and beyond any shadow of doubt. How else will anyone go about a divorce if they don’t even know who they’re divorcing?
To understand the problem we all are up against in a definition of a ‘Somaliland’ that’s not in our books, and this is a simple exercise in mathematics that any Fourth Grader might attempt:
If a man had 4 wives and only 1 wife was unhappy about the relationship, how many wives should the husband divorce?
If you still are confused and can’t make head or tale of what Silanyo’s Somaliland’s all about, you’re not alone ‘Cos last we checked the collective Somali Brain was still gone missing.
Safi Abdi is a freelance writer, author and poet. She can be reached at: email@example.com
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Raxanreeb’s editorial policy.