Professor’s recent visit to the Republic of Somaliland was unbelievable, superfluous and overwhelming. The visit started as the plane carrying the professor landed at Berbera International Airport, Somaliland’s major sea port. Thousands of people chanting Samatar came out to welcome the professor at the airport. Then he was collected by a special plane that took him to Hargeisa. As soon as the plane landed at Hargeisa’s Egal International Airports, throngs of humanity, led by business, educational, religious and political leaders of the country have welcomed him. The same story has propagated at everywhere the professor Samater set feet on. The second day the professor visited his home town the beloved Gabiley, and an important agricultural, cultural, and educational city. Gabiley was so special to professor Samater because it was the place of his birth, his real home town if you will. In Gabiley before the professor’s motorcade arrived, between 3-5 mile, Gabiley citizens went out of town to welcome their beloved son. In Gabiley the professor delivered a speech in Gabiley’s Timacade University. “Gabiley’S Timacade University was built on the old site where the legendary “Qalah” boarding middle school was located. “After that, Dr. Samatar’s delegation has left Gabiley the next day and headed to the city of Borama. Before he reached the city of Borama, thousands of people waving green tree leaves, and holding Somaliland flags welcomed the professor in Dilla and Tulida. In Borama, the people welcoming the professor came out ten miles out of the city. Inside the city of Borama over one hundred thousand people have turned out for the professor. While in Borama he delivered speeches in the two great universities in Borama which are Amoud and Eelo American Universities. Then he took a swing further west to Qulijeed, Bonn, Garba Dadar, Fardaha laguhid, Garisa, and two ancient cities of Zayla and lughaya. As usual the professor was welcomed everywhere he set foot on. After that the professor conducted a week of meetings with the Somaliland government leaders. In the interim the pre-eminent professor delivered speeches at both Hargeisa and Adams Universities. After that, he proceeded to Berbera where he was warmly welcomed by tens of thousands of people, and delivered a speech at Berbera’s marine university. The professor’s delegation went through the historical city of Sheikh (the seat of then legendary Sheikh Secondary School) and went down to the great city of Burao. In Burao as usual the professor and his large delegations were welcomed by thousands of Buruo citizens, and then the professor delivered a tumultuous speech at Burao University. After that he proceeded to Eiregavo. Before he reached Eiregavo, he was welcomed in Al-Afweign by thousands of Somaliland citizens.
He finally reached Eiregavo which was the last leg of the professor’s historical visit. In Eiregavo the professor delivered a speech at Eiregavo university. Eiregavo is a historical city that is well-known for its diversity, and overwhelming hospitality. At the same time Eiregavo area is the place the tombs/mausoleum’s of Sheikh Isaak, Sheikh Samaroon, and Sheikh Eisa are located. Last but not least, Eiregavo is the only region in Somaliland, or perhaps the whole Horn of Africa region the famous frankincense and myrrh is grown. After the end of his long Somaliland visit, the professor and his delegation came back to Hargeisa, and stayed there for a week. Over all, the professor has left his beloved homeland so impressed, so taken by the resilience, by the hard work, the democratic spirit, pride and confidence of his people. At the same time, became so touched by their unlimited welcome, enthusiasm, strong faith, superfluous excitement, optimism, and forward thinking attitude.
Despite some grievances of unequal representation raised by some Somaliland communities, the professor has noticed in his own eyes, the people of the Republic of Somaliland from corner to corner have unanimously decided to stay independent, sovereign, and self-reliant. They have unanimously and overwhelmingly told him in black and white that their independence is permanent, sacred and can’t be subject to negotiations with any one. In conclusion their sovereignty and independence was a people’s choice, and not the choice of politician/politicians, tribal elders or anyone else.
Brief description of the visit:
The visit was historical, earth moving, breath-taking, record shattering, superfluous, gut-wrenching, remarkable and tumultuous. To describe and vividly capture the true scene, I think I will run out of adjectives, if I try to put the details of everything that has transpired into perspective in terms of, when the professor was at the middle of the visit, and the public reaction the visit has generated. I would like to say the professor’s recent visit to the Republic of Somaliland was historical in nature. Everywhere he goes hundreds of thousands of people welcomed him. The professor was overwhelmed by the unlimited generosity and kindness he got from his native land and its people. His kissing of the land when he knelt down and embraced the sand has left an indelible image on the minds of millions of people around the world.
The professor’s legendary visit has rekindled a plethora of historical memories, and few of those memories and analogies are as follows:
1: When I watched a rewound the video of the professor’s several times, the visit has reminded me the historical coming back of Ayatoleh Khomeini to Tehran, Iran, in 1978, when millions of people turned out to welcome him. That huge concentration of humanity marked the beginning of the Iranian revolution, and the ignoble removal of the Shah, whereby the Shab has miserably failed to overcome the massive peoples’ revolution and the tumultuous public torment that washed him and his might army away in a matter of days.
2: The visit was analogous to Dr. Martin Luther King’s legendary I have a dream speech in the mall in Washington D.C.in 1963 where nearly three hundred thousand excited people have turn out.
3: The huge crowds of cheering people that turned out and welcomed the triumphant Cuban revolutionary group led by the legendary Fidel Castro, and Ernesto Ch. Guevara, march in to Havana following the ouster of a right wing dictator Flamingo Batista.
4: Tens of millions of Vietnamese people who came out to welcome the legendary Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, following his decisive victory over the French imperial forces in “Dine Bien Phi,” that coincided with the total surrender of the French imperial forces and the birth of the Republic of North Vietnam.
5: 1960, when tens of thousands of Somalilanders have been poured into Hargeisa’s independence garden, the lowering of the British imperial flag, and the hoisting of Somaliland’s independence flag, followed by the legendary poet-Abdullahi Sultan’s “Timicada’s” historical master piece Kana Siib-Kana Saar (Remove this one and bring up that one) when referring to bring down the British colonial flag and the hoisting of the Somaliland independence flag, followed by Somaliland’s iconic singers bursting into singing different independence songs such as: Bulkaalay canabay by Osman Mohamed, Mohamed Suleiman’s Waa-Mahad-Alee Madixeen Banaan, Mohamad Yusuf’s Dharaartan Wax-Yeeladii Dhaq-dheqeen Calankan Dhid-bay Soo Masoo Dhicin. All these songs became priceless Somaliland independence master pieces.
Public reaction to the visit
The public reaction was overwhelming enthusiasm, superfluous excitement, hope and expectations. On the one hand they gave their beloved son an unlimited love and hospitality. On the other hand deep down they are expecting their native son to contribute to the great things they have already achieved and built, and the professor has carefully and keenly listened to them.
Conclusion and analysis
I have been closely watching the recent professor Samatar’s visit to the Republic of Somaliland was historical in nature. Everywhere he goes hundreds of thousands of people welcomed him. The professor was overwhelmed by the unlimited welcome he got from his native land and its people. That means Somaliland and its people are ready have owned him back and welcomed him. He got from them unlimited, unrestrained, bondless, unrestrictive and overwhelming welcome and hospitality. He has seen a nation that have built a semblance and institutions of government and governance, in every city, town, village, and hamlet. He has seen a society that has a great deal of civic engagement spirit. He has seen a nation ready to defend their hard won sovereignty and independence with tooth and nail. The visit was historical, earth moving, breath-taking, record shattering, superfluous, gut-wrenching, remarkable and tumultuous. the Majority of Somaliland citizens have turned out in order to own back their famous, highly educated, and very important native son. There are some Somalilanders who turned out in order to avenge what they perceived as the roughing of their beloved professor by others they see as uneducated thugs and low lives. The thirty years of the nominal existence of what was called the Somali-Republic was a time of conflict and wars, and now on the record it was the most tumultuous time in the long history of existence regarding Somaliland have the impression that their highly priced son was roughed by people are so less educated, experiences, and some of them see as nothing than thugs and low lives, so the superfluous turnout was to show those people that professor Samater has come from a very large nation that extends from the extreme end of eastern Somaliland where it has an international border with former Somalia and all the way to the Ethiopian mountains. Professor Samatar belongs to a great nation that possesses an ancient civilization and culture. Everywhere he goes this nation showed their rich and cultural and folklore, that is why very where he goes they were playing the legendary Zaylici, “Hariimadee Hana Habana”, “Botor”, “Eiregavo” and Danto-Somaliland version. A very impressive feature when the professor was singing the original “Jawhara-Iyo-Luulay with a local legend-Ibrahim Liiro”. The original Jawhara-Iyo-Luulay was composed by a local legend with a huge artistic repertoire, his preeminence “Dabshid Aw-Hussein.” (May Allah bless his soul). Dabshid Aw Hussein was a prominent member of the “Kaba-Ad, or Kaba Cad” fifties/sixties urban, cultured and sophisticated cadre (Reer Magaal) that was famous for their huge affinity for arts, sports, poetry, folklore, and music. The “Kab Cad” may have been analogous to American country clubs, and like them used to have their own, private, and exclusive “Mafrashis.”
Professor Ahmed Samater used to believe on a long dead philosophy the so-called Greater Somalia, a wrong ideology that never gets off the ground. Unfortunately Somalilanders were one of the major initiators of that now extinct madness. Those ideas were dead on arrival, it died as soon as the former Somali-Italian and former British Somaliland came together for unification, a unification that never get off on the ground. Other than the fact that Somali-Italia occupied all the top posts, no integration between never happened. It was nothing but a nominal unification. Professor Samater finally realized what many Somalilanders realized long time ago, and embraced the rightful decision of his people. The thirty years of the nominal existence of what was called the Somali-Republic was a time of conflict and wars, and now on the record it marked the most tumultuous time in the long history of existence of Somaliland
The professor’s visit has marked a new era in Somaliland where the most learned, seasoned and experienced may have finally decided to fully participate in the political arena, and pose a real challenge to the old cadre that have dominated the politics of Somaliland’s second Republic. Among the old cadre are leftovers from Somaliland’s British colonial and post colonials eras.
Suleiman Egeh is a freelance author and a senior science instructor