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Speech of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Speech of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees

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Remarks of Mr. Abdurahman M. Abdullahi (Baadiyow) at Sharmarke Foundation Fund raising event in Ottawa, 18 April, 2009-04-17.

Remarks of Mr. Abdurahman M. Abdullahi (Baadiyow) at Sharmarke Foundation Fund raising event in Ottawa, 18 April, 2009-04-17.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Dr. Abdurahman M. Abdullahi ( baadiyow) on Jul 05, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/21/2010

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Sharmarke Foundation Fundraising
 Remarks of Mr. Abdurahman M. Abdullahi (Baadiyow)Chairman of Mogadishu University Board of TrusteesOttawa, 18 April, 2009-04-17  
Dear friends and colleagues,Assalaam Aleykum wa Rahmat AllahLet me first thank the organizers of this important event who invited me to share with you fewremarks. Brother Ali Iman Sharmarke was a personal friend and colleague committed to the strugglefor peace in Somalia. I perfectly remember numerous conferences and meetings that we have participated to promote peace. Unfortunately, I also remember the tragic month of August, 2007when the relatives and friends of Ali Iman Sharmarke congregated in the Parliament hill to expresstheir respect for the late Ali Sharmarke and his colleagues killed in Somalia.I also, remember when Brother Ali Iman Sharmarke and his friend Ahmed Abdisalam came toMogadishu in 1999 when the Somali civil society institutions were emerging and changing the power structure and political culture in Mogadishu. I was fortunate to be able to go back to Somaliain 1993 and to participate in the establishment of the first civil society network in Mogadishu in1994. Since then, schools started to appear after its total destruction since 1991 with the localinitiatives and Mogadishu University opened its doors in 1997. Achievements of the civil society inthe stateless Somalia were commendable, but were lacking one specific success factor during that period. That was an effective media, a media of peace that gives a voice for the vulnerable andvoiceless communities and peace promoters. That was the important task which Horn Afrik Mediawas taking the lead. This was the added value that founders of Horn Afrik Media that include AliIman Sharmarke were making difference in the war-torn Mogadishu. With Horn Afrik, Somali civilsociety acquired voice and propagated peace and human values and dignity among clan-dividedcommunities. During this early stage, indeed, it was the only courageous voice to confront warlordsof Mogadishu with criticism.1
 
Today is not a sorrow remembrance of the beloved and respected brother Ali Iman Sharmarke whowas killed while working for peace and freedom of expression in Somalia, but to honour him byrenewing our commitment to the ideals he died for – peace, freedom and development. The questionis what is the best way to honour brother Ali? According to the Islamic tradition, ProphetMohammad said: "
When a man dies, his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity,beneficial knowledge and righteous offspring who will pray for him.”
Indeed, the legacy that he left behind will benefit him and also Sharmarke Foundation will make him sustain his rewards forever. Icongratulate those who formed this Foundation and in particular his widow Lull Farah (Arabeto) andchildren Nora and Hanad. Let me now talk about the subject I was invited to speak about and that is Mogadishu University andits program for training journalists in Somalia. However, before, I go into that, let me give you someshort background. With the collapse of the Somali state, Somali people are commended for their talented entrepreneurship, endurance and inventiveness. As evidence, Somali non-state actorscomprising of civil society organizations and business community has shown perseverance andresilience to the challenges of the civil war. In competing with the dark and gloomy images paintedon Mogadishu as the city of warlords, marauding and unbridled militias, ever enlarging bright spotsand islands of peace and development were emerging in the early years of 1990s. These bright spotswere created primarily by the networks of the civil society organizations, free media and businesscommunity. These non-state actors were challenging the dominance of warlord discourses and in themeantime created new environment for peace and development. The most visible among all non-state actors is the education sector almost run by civil society organizations.The idea of opening higher education institutions was taking momentum in the late 1990s and manyuniversities were opened all over Somali regions. These universities were providing baccalaureatedegrees in education, economics, business, Islamic studies, engineering, arts and healthy sciencesand so on. However, training journalists were not their priorities. Paradoxically, when free mediawas taking upsurge momentum and website journalism was taking unprecedented attention, professional journalism and training was lacking behind.2

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