Letter to ‘Maandeeq’ My motherland.- By Abdirashid Fidow

(Image source: UN/IST.)
Dear Maandeeq,

It is with great respect that I write this letter. It brings me sadness and happiness too. I am living far away from you now, but everyday I still remember you. I just wanted to say that I truly love you from the bottom of my heart. 

I hope you are doing well, I’ve heard so many negative things about you lately. I’m not sure what to believe. So I ask you, how are you? Are you Good? Have you been better? Are you bored, tired or fed up? Please, if this letter finds you, take a moment to answer me.

As you know, some of your sons and daughters were divided. They were killing each other with weapons handed to them by other countries and they died on your land while the rest of the world was laughing. It makes my face wet with tears as I feel the torturing pain that you experienced.

As a mother, you have given us everything and I am thankful for that. I have good memories of you, your weather and your food.

You are rich in many ways. You are abundant in fruit and vegetables, gas, oil, fish, livestock and minerals. Yet, your sons and daughters are dying of hunger. Isn’t that sad?

Decades have passed since your children understood the values of humanity and they lived in peace and unity. They lived the lives of villagers and they were happy. Today, I see that other countries have developed while your own children are destroying you.

When people ask me about you, I tell them that you are great. So forgive me if I’m mistaken, but it’s the only way I can describe you to strangers. If people came to visit you, they would only see the destruction we left. I’m sorry that we have failed to build back the country that we used to take pride in.
I never planned to leave you. The idea would cross my mind but it was never my intention. Now that I have, I find myself thinking of you a lot. I miss you, and most importantly I need you.

One of your hospitals introduced me to this world. It was in your streets that my home was built. I first learnt af Somali in your schools. I became who I am; through the many experiences that you gave me.

I constantly find myself looking for things that remind me of you.  Things that are capable of transporting me back to you, even for a small fraction of time. Things that make me feel like I’m home again. I even try to find bananas that taste like yours, maize that smells of you or the honey that could have come from you.

The choice to stay with you was taken from me. But don’t worry, I only left you temporarily and I am coming back soon.

I’ve come to London and I’ve been welcomed by many and rejected by some. I think the rejection was caused by me being Somali. I’ve got to know new people here, people that haven’t met you yet. I really wish some of them would be seduced by your charms and visit you.

I’m doing wonderfully. I work for a cause that I love and that I’m passionate about, so that’s great too. I began a journey with a few of your sons and daughters who, like me, couldn’t ignore the pain you are going through. We established a youth led movement, which aims to educate and raise awareness about the effects of tribalism.

I interchange opinions with other Somalis living here, debating the best place to eat when I’m in need of your food. We talk about you often, when we saw you last, what we’ve heard on the news about you, or how we remember you.

I can’t help but smile when I’m reminded of you, sometimes just a memory of you brings me joy.
Some people who were born under your shelter are now living in other countries and are slinging mud at you. Whoever is responsible for this, politicians, freedom fighters or warlords, I hope they know now that they brought disruption upon their own country. They can’t run away and point fingers at others. Everyone must take the responsibility for this darkness. 

A day will come when I hear someone say, "Oh my friends, wake up! Darkness is over and the sadness is no more.” and all of your children will be reunited.

Will it be my voice? Will I be here to witness it? 

It is my dream to see the day we are free from tribalism, corruption and injustice. I dream of us standing strong under one flag united. The day your sons and daughters live peacefully and harmoniously. When tribalism, war and poverty will only exist in our history books. The day every Somali is treated with respect, fairness and dignity.

Yours truly,

Your son.
By Abdirashid Fidow

Edited By Copywriter: Deega Jama


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