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Habsade’s laugh

Issue 306
Front Page

Million Development & Reconstruction Package For Somaliland

Conditional Recognition Sought For Somaliland By EU Party

Fifty Puntland Security Defense Forces Defect To Somaliland

Somaliland’s House Of Elders Questions The Legality Of Election (Amendment) Bill 2007

Somaliland President Meets Delegation From The World Bank, UN, EU, France And Italy

Locals In Puntland’s Buru District Proclaim ‘No Go Area’ For Foreign Mineral/Oil Prospectors

Sweden To Explore Capacity Building In Somaliland

Commonwealth Summit Opens In Uganda After Pakistan Suspended

Secretary Of State Rice To Attend Summit In Addis Ababa

Hirsi Ali’s Anti-Islamic Propaganda

Africa And World AIDS Day: Preventing Pediatric AIDS

U.S.'s Rice to visit Ethiopia in rare Africa trip

Eritrea Says Ethiopia Has "Already" Declared War

President Chissano Pays Tribute To The People Of Mozambique In Accepting The Ibrahim Prize For Achievement In African Leadership

Regional Affairs

New Broadcasting Equipment For Radio Hargeysa

Leading Welsh Labour Party Activist Arrives Today In Hargeysa

Special Report

International News

Eritrea: Frazer Refutes Bolton's Remarks On Border Issue

World AIDS Day Marks Day of Both Sadness and Hope, Says Bush

Canada Citizen Files lawsuit against Ethiopian government


Discovering The Mind Of Somali Dictator Through His Own Words

A cruelty the world ignores

U.S-Instigated War Brings Mass Death to Somalia

ERITREA-ETHIOPIA: The Issue is Occupation

Revenge Drives Young Somali Militant

Food for thought


Egypt Sharpens Its Domination Talon Towards Somalia

Education industry booms in Somaliland

When The Fundamental Structures Of Good Governance Is Not In Place, What Value Will DRP Projects Have?

The Academic Life Of The Emerging Somaliland Universities

Somaliland Times has failed in its responsibility to provide unbiased and balanced information to the public

Why Do Political Leaders Shamelessly Ignore Realties?

Our Own Mandela, Still In Mandera

Puntland Oil and Mineral Development: Benefits and Risks from Socio-economic and Environmental Perspectives


In a luncheon in honor of Ahmad Abdi Habsade and other Sool leaders, Mr Habsade said, “I have laughed in the five days I spent in Hargeisa more than I did all the time I was in Garowe (Waxaa run ah 5tii Casho ee aan iminka Hargeysa joogey intaan qoslay inaanan Garoowe ka qoslin).” On the face of it, Habsade’s comment may seem like a simple expression of courtesy. However, when looked at more closely, that comment contains a big chunk of the rationale offered by those who believe that Sool is part of Somaliland. But how does Habsade’s laughter reflects the connection between Sool and Somaliland, one might ask?

Habsade himself explains it this way: “it isn’t about being hostile to anybody, it’s about who you know (Taasi waxay ku tusaysaa, maaha xumaan ee waxa weeye yaad taqaannaa).” To make the meaning of his words more clear, Habsade pointed to Hasan Abdi Khayre (the former minister of postal services) and said every time he sees him, he is reminded of their childhood days and the fun they had growing up together. In other words, Habsade laughed in a few days in Hargeisa more than he did in all the years he was in Garowe because, in Hargeisa, he was among people he had known since his childhood and youth, therefore he was more comfortable and could exchange jokes more frequently and freely. This is the cultural argument for why Somaliland and Sool are inextricably linked. Implicit in it is that although the people of Sool and Garowe share clan identification, they do not have the strong cultural connection that exists between Sool and the rest of Somaliland, thus the paucity of Habsade’s laughter in Garowe. An oft-repeated anecdote that captures this cultural gap between the people of Sool and Garowe is a conversation between a man from Sool and Adde Muse. The Sool native does not like something Adde Muse said, so he starts swearing by saying “kufurtu billahi”, a common expression in Somaliland. Adde Muse answers by saying, “Yaakhi kunfur kama hadlaayo” which showed he missed the point.

Antonio Gramsci (about whom, during his trial, Mussolini’s Fascist prosecutor said: “We must stop this brain working for twenty years?) recognized the crucial role of culture in human affairs. He parted with the traditional Marxist view of culture as a superstructure determined by the economic base and, instead, posited a dialectical view of culture that emphasized human agency. Likewise, Habsade, Qaybe and other Sool leaders have rejected the logic of clan determinism which says that because of their clan connection to their fellow Harti in Majeertenya, they have to be politically part of Majeerteenya. Sool’s political leaders want to make their own decisions and to have the freedom to choose who they want to associate with politically. They have exercised that principle of choice and have chosen to be part of Somaliland, the land of their childhood memories, the land where they can give free rein to their sense of humor. As Habsade put it: “welcome to Hargeysa.”

Source: Somaliland Times


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