Somaliland Became the Black Hole of Calcutta for local Journalists
By Yusuf Deyr
I am not a writer, but I am an excellent rewriter who rewrites what others had written. All my life, I have been a socialist in all aspects of life with the exception of the love of my girlfriend. My alma mater is a good library, a good book and my life experience. It is the only School that I have ever attended. Library lovers never go to bed alone. When I read and absorb all that the others have written. Then,I get the impulse to relay and passes the ball to the closest player near the net, to share me the story of the day.
I would hurl questions into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly; I would set my brain – alarm on, to search the appropriate words and idioms. Create a sense of narration and express my hunger for writing that gnaws in all of us. I try to fill the parts that other people have skipped; while the pages are still blank.
But there must be a devotion and a miraculous feeling while the words being there, written in an invisible ink and clamoring. My holy assignment is to make the invisible, visible. The act of putting pen to paper encourages me to pause for a thought,this in turn makes me to think more deeply about life, which helps me to regain my equilibrium.
Then I fill my paper with all the breathings of my heart. It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? If the moment passes away, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows. He catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Otherwise, he will miss the train of life forever. Dear reader, in writing any topic, don’t tell me that the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on a broken glass. What I like in a good writer is not what he says, but what he whispers. As a writer, regard yourself and assume that you are an actor or actress on the stage.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Let your life lightly dance on the edge of time like a dew on the tip of a leaf. We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we adjust our sails to always reach our destination. Put your heart, soul and mind into even your smallest act. Performing the drama of the situation and revealing his or her personality in the process. Be selective and accurate in tone, in words and in action. Striking and stirring vividly the sentiment, feelings and emotions of your audience. Take them and drive them to where you want them to be, without letting them to notice. Dear reader, ink and paper sometimes are passionate lovers, often times brother and sister, and occasionally moral enemies. The time I begin writing an article is when I have finished studying my subject – matter in the air by imagination, on the horizon and have updated it to my satisfaction. By that time, I start clearly and logically perceive what it is; and what I really want to say.
A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer or a question. A metaphor is like a smile. Every man’s natural desire to be somebody else is the dome school of his experience. When once the itch of writing comes over a man, nothing can cure it or stop him, but the scratching of a pen. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. All pieces are joined of several strands of thread or strings which may not be easily freed. A writer is only a gardener first, and then a cook. His tasks are, carefully to select and cultivate his strongest and most nutritive thoughts.
And when they are ripe to dress them with good dessert full of surprises, wholesomely, and in a way that may be a relish and receive the satisfaction of the ear of the reader. A writer plants the English Alphabet and harvest flowers, nourishment, and weeds. Spends years of rearranging twenty six letters of the Alphabet. It is enough to make you lose your mind day by day. Because words are slippery and thoughts are viscous and sticky. Although my handwriting is ugly; Ink on paper is beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains. I enjoy walking through the fields of words strolling with steady paces, touching with my magic stick those attractive butterflies that are standing on those green stems, leaves and blooming flowers. Or to piss off, annoy, and shatter the tranquility of that disgusting dictator of the day.
Hence then, words have just crawl down my sleeve and come out on the page. If you don’t breathe through writing, if you don’t cry out in writing, or you don’t sing in writing; then don’t try to be a writer. Because you must typify and embody the character that you are representing and talking about. After that, you can tell the story with great relish. All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they were really happened. And after you have finished reading one, you will feel that all that happened, had happened to you; and afterwards it all belongs to you. The good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the wounds and scars, the people and the places you have visited as an envoy. If you can go through that fatiguing, imaginative and fascinating process, and then can passes it to other people, then you can be a writer. Dear reader, is a stolen copy, an idiom or a phrase as an illegal copyright? I would rather prefer to be caught in stealing a two – word phrase from another writer than to be caught holding up a bank. Writing is my struggle against silence, stress, depression and solitude. Writing is my time – machine, takes me to the precise time and place that I belong.
It is my refuge, shelter and relief from the pursuit of rootless dictators like Mr. Silanyo and his intimidating, terrorist in disguise RRU.It is my asylum and sanctuary against his surveillance, distress, danger and despair. I take a refuge in reading and writing. As poets express their pain, love, misery, joy, complain and revolt in prose and verses, writing is my shield against the evil – eye. I love poetry, because poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning as it is now in Somaliland, poetry is just the ash. Poetry is a deal of joy, pain – killer against despair and worries; with a dash of the mouths of the poets. It gives you the power and energy, to annoy and enables you to shorten the life – span of rootless dictators. Poetry is just imaginary and delightful gardens occupied by repulsive and loathsome personalities.
He who draws noble delights from the sentiments of poetry though he has never written a line in all his life, which I do; is a true poet. Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that distorted motives and facts. A mirror and a magnifier of the hidden, secret and awful deeds of bad rulers. While poets are soldiers that liberate nations from the uncompromising, and rootless oppression of the dictators like president Omer Geele and our own. Poetry is a killing tools that facilitates their overthrow . Most poets are springing back resilient, creative and unwavering warriors with a deadly weapon tongue like the deceased Gariye, the Great . A poet can survive anything but misprint. That is a wing and a nod, to those who are after me and got interested to adulterate and stain my personal profile and character for no apparent reasons.
Dear reader, God is closest to those with broken hearts. When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal. I don’t know why they call it heartbreak. It feels every other part of my body is broken too. The best way to heal men with a broken heart is time and a cheerful girl friend. In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing. Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it is better to leave it broken than trying to hurt yourself by putting it back together.
Let your tears come out. Let it water your soul. Dear reader, according to the recent official Communique released by Human Rights Watch, Somaliland has got the worst record of the authoritarian regimes that restrict and suppress the media and freedom of speech. The countries mentioned are : Bangladesh, Egypt, Yemen, Gulf States, Turkey, France, Serbia, Zimbabwe and Macedonia. Despite the relentless efforts of these authoritarian regimes, to restrict the free flow of information. Yet many tenacious Somaliland journalists have refused to bow to these corrupt and violent force’s intimidation, detention, terror, imprisonment and torture. As a result more than dozen journalists and broadcasters are held as hostages behind Iron -Bars, experiencing right now, daily torture and interrogations in their confinement. Hatuf Newspaper was under ban for the last three years and their office is under the custody of the RRU. Also recently the publication of many Newspapers were banned like Xogogaal, Hubsad, Somaliland Times and Foore. In Haregeisa three media men are in prison. Abdi Hassan from Bulsho TV, Abdirasheed Sheikh Abdillahi and Saiid Khadar Abdillahi. In Berbera: Abdirahman Mohamed Egeh Somalinews TV, Ahmed Siid Mohamed Kalsan TV and Mubarig Osman Siid Star TV. About another five anonymous persons I couldn’t get their names.
Mr. Silanyo, when did a man with a pen and paper became a thief with a knife? Dear reader, can you imagine a president of a nation is suing in court a simple editor of a local Newspaper. What a Shame! That is the mentality of this Split – Lip – Government. Mr. Silanyo, The people have no a problem with the law; they have a problem with the police and with the judges. Because they don’t serve the justice, they serve the regime.
If the law could speak for itself, it would complain of the judges and the police. They use so many ways to make you guilty. Our Government teaches the whole people by it’s example. If the Government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law. It invites every man to become a law into himself; it invites anarchy. The judicial System is blind and it is on sale for those who can afford to buy it. When a poor hungry peasant steals a kettle, it is a robbery. When big shots of the regime steals the National Treasury, it is a taxation. Dear reader, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst. Dear reader, if you haven’t got anything nice to say about the media, come and sit next to Cali Waran Cadde. Mr. Waran Cadde, get your facts first then you can distort them as you please. Remember, at the end you will be the last victim of that lion that is roaring in your backyard. Dear reader, the Silanyo autocracy are secretly and shamefully envied by the media and journalists who work for us, for freedom of speech and flow of information. The authorities wants to put a gag in their mouths because there are young generation readers for whom the journalists information is pure oxygen for them. Nowadays in Somaliland, you cannot trust information or dispense it freely because of censorship. So Somalilanders have become very flexible in the use of metaphors. They have learned to communicate with double meaning. As they are totally suffocated and suffering from a breathless sensation. Mr. Silanyo, I may be drunk tonight, but in the morning, I will be sober and you will be still ugly. We know that you believe that a successful man is one who makes more money than what his wife can spend. Mr. Silanyo, roses are red, violets are blue, you are Schizophrenic, and so am I. Dear reader, I am not preaching violence but I am calling for a peaceful resistance.
Violence is what they want , to license them to stay more time in power and to get an excuse. To prove to these rotten regime which is composed of the left – over of the old Vampire. Their culture is secrecy, bullets, imprisonment, a culture of greed, the culture of violence, a culture of might, a culture of intimidation, and the culture of intolerance. Dear Somalilander, When tomorrow comes, it is a full package of new strength and thoughts. Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet firmly on the ground. Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines. The way to get started to quit talking and begin doing. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop. Accept the challenge so that you can feel the exhilaration. When dictatorship is a fact, peaceful revolution becomes right. Somalilanders, as usual, during our darkest moment we will focus to see the light. If opportunity doesn’t knock, we must build a door. We must put our hearts, minds and souls into our smallest act. That is the secret of success. Believe you can and you are halfway there. We believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. Our mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards. Every morning when we wake up we can expect joy, happiness, negativity and pain.
To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices. Not to deny my humanity but to embrace it. Dear reader, I am ending my enticing peaceful speech. Law is nothing unless close behind it stands warm living public opinion. The Silanyo law and courts are spider webs which the big flies passes and the little ones get caught. Spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing net in the hands of the Government. Mr. Silanyo calls his own regime violence as a law, but that of the individual is a crime. In reality corrupted leaders are terrorists in disguise. Young generation, if you want to see the vision of your generation during the Silanyo regime. Just imagine a boot stamping on your faces forever. Remember, a ruler that cannot be bent will certainly be broken.
Dear Somalilander, to see what is in front of our nose, we require a constant struggle. Progress is not an illusion, it happen, but it is slow and invariably disappointing. A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him. Truth is on the side of the oppressed.
Mr. Silanyo, a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less of his share of the credit. When did a man with a pen and paper became a thief with a knife. Mr. Silanyo, thank you for being totally ugly. A dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
Somaliland became the black hole of Calcutta of the journalists.
Yusuf Deyr, Toronto