Somaliland: In Praise of the Professor…
By Ali Mohamed
Recently Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar has been doing a lot of press and television interviews on the situation in Somaliland, his personal political future and other issues pertaining to the Horn of the Africa. These interviews have been stimulating and eye-opening. It is great to see an intellectual mind at work. To be able to look at the issue from all sides, contemplate the matter and reach a rational conclusion is something to see.
On the whole, these interviews have been conducted in a free and frank manner. There are two particular interviews which are worth examining in greater details. One was with Star TV and Mohamed Baashe, and the other with Universal and Abdihafid Jama. In the Star TV interview, Mohamed Baashe conducted the interview in order to find about more about the Professor’s background and current ambitions and aspirations. It was illuminating and invigorating.
On the other hand, Abdihafid Jama of Universal wanted to turn his interview into an inquest to the Professor’s political beliefs and Somaliland’s aspirations. Unfortunately, Abdihafid, a good and probing journalist, forget that he was dealing with a Dean of a University. A man who has spent his academic life defining and defending his thesis and record.
There could only be one outcome.
Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar stated plainly that he has neither forsaken his fellow Somalis nor rejected his religion, but his road to Damascus moment with regard to Somaliland came as a result of the reality on the ground. Plain and simple.
The professor went to Mogadishu, saw for himself the reality on the ground, tried to make a difference, nothing doing. So, he said let me see what the situation is in Somaliland, and the rest, as they say, is history.
A person should not be castigated for making their individual choices. On the contrary, we should all be blessed with the opportunity to choose. If the people of Somalia believe that Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar has deserted them, then they are wrong. He has not and will never desert a Somali in need, but when it comes to fulfilling his aspirations for the future, in terms of democracy, progress, inclusion, tolerance and justice, he chose Somaliland.