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Awdalnews Editorial: Remembering Annalena ‎Tonelli As The Epitome Of Human Pride
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Finnish Observation Team: Somaliland ‎Elections Competitive And Support Democracy

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Awdalnews Editorial: Remembering Annalena ‎Tonelli As The Epitome Of Human Pride

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Editorial & Opinions

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An Old Social Tradition Produces Helping Hands

As the people of Borama, Awdal region of Somaliland , commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the brutal assassination of Annalena Tonelli on the 5th of October, they do so with less self-flagellation this time than the pervious anniversary for three good reasons. The first is that the criminal hand that robbed the light from the blind, the hearing aid from the deaf, the healing touch from the terminally ill, the hand of mercy from the destitute, the disowned and the orphan; the main culprit for the killing of Annalena Tonelli is behind bars in Hargeisa central jail. The man suspected to be the evil doer, Abdirahman Indha Adde, was the ring leader of the Al Qaeda cell that was recently arrested in Somaliland while trying to deliver another death and liberate his colleagues in terror who are waiting trial in Hargeisa prison for the slaying of Annelena and other humanitarian workers.

The second reason for Borama people's sense of atonement is the functioning of Annalena Centre, comprising Annalena's TB Hospital, Annalena School of the Deaf and the Blind and the other facilities she created for the care of AIDs patients, orphans and the poor. The big worry of the local people at the time of Annalena's murder was whether these facilities would survive their founder's death. On the second anniversary of her death, however, Borama people are proud to see Annalena win over evil from her grave thanks to the selfless efforts of devoted individuals who saw themselves as the chosen custodians of the legacy and heritage of a great humanitarian worker.

The third and most important factor that mitigates the people's sense of collective guilt is the knowledge that Annalena or Hooyo Annalena as the people of Borama like to call her was sure of the people's love for her and for the work she was doing. The people believe that knowing the selfless and noble person she was, Annalena would not rest in peace in her last abode thinking that the residents of a whole town live with a sense of disgrace and infamy for a crime committed by a lost individual.

After two years of her demise, it is time to let the good deeds of Annalena overtake the gloomy and unfortunate incident of her murder. It is time to see the light that she spread, the hope she had given and the new spirit she rekindled in the hundreds of hopeless, helpless and destitute people. It is time to remember her with the modesty and silence she chose to do her work, a time to see her as the 'nobody' she chose to be and venerate her legacy and not her person. It is time to see Annalena through the eyes of the blind she helped to see, to hear her humble message through the ears of the deaf she helped to listen; a time to remember her passion and love for the poor and her disgust for glory and fame. It is time to disassociate Annelena's name from her brutal killing and remember that she died heroically standing and holding to her grounds like a soldier on the battleground against darkness and human misery.

Finally, it is time for the people of Borama to uphold the memory of Annalena by celebrating the anniversaries of her arrival in Borama, passing down the legacy of her great works to future generations instead of living on a sense of atonement and self-flagellation for a crime they unanimously curse and condemn. The name of Hooyo Annalena should deservedly invoke in us hope and self-less search for perpetual restoration of human dignity instead of human brutality. Annalena should symbolize for us the epitome of human pride and not the abyss of human savagery.



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