I enjoy writing. Especially about people and things that are dear to me for one reason or another. I have just completed a long project collecting and documenting information and materials for a book i am writing about my late father. The journey lasted 4 years and its captured on video, audio and there is lots of narrative stories. It was both an emotional and educational ride. I was often overcome by emotion as I traveled to my father’s birth place in Somalia and to the place where he suckled his first feed, the places he herded goats and camels and ran about as a small orphan boy. Sometimes I would stop on a random spot and think and wonder could my father as a child have walked on this very spot? Suddenly every spot on the vast ground had a special meaning. I felt such warmth. Such love. Deep inside. And often times I shed a tear.
My father lost his own father (Hirsi) at the tender age of only 8. He was born and grew up into a very harsh environment and had a difficult childhood. He despised living in the dry and arid rural areas of the Miyii- bushy villages and soon ran away from home. He went to live in Galkayo where he worked by day at a restaurant as a tea-boy and went to school by night. My father educated himself. My father passed away in March of the year 2000 in Lusaka, Zambia after an operation. May my father’s soul rest in eternal peace, amen. I learned much from him and I learned much about how brave and smart he was from people who knew him. In many of the chapters of the book I write about how much I learned from my father.
When I decided in 2008 to go and live in Somalia I got a chance to meet father’s only living brother and his many nieces and nephews. Suddenly i had this large family that i had never known and/or met before. I felt very rich, all this wealth of family I never knew i had. Ever since then I have been documenting the history of my family. I have created a Facebook page about this important mission in my life and of my father’s history. I have only recently finished analyzing the data and footage i collected over the past 4 years.
I also got the opportunity to travel to the place where my father’s father (Hirsi) lost his life during a business trip on a lorry. I traveled to the place his grandfather (Koshin) was killed and the place my father’s own mother- Khadija Awyusuf (see below)- raised her 5 small kids in hardships words can not describe under a huge tree which still stands and which I got to see in Galkayo. All of them orphaned at a tender age. My fathers mother was a remarkable woman and I believe I took after her.
The book is about a story of suffering and hardship, but of strength and resilience. A book of family bond, of paternalism and forced migration. Allow ku naxariso aboow mcn, amiin. My father was born in Harardhere in Cir. 1932 . He was the first among 5 siblings. He left behind 14 children and over 30 grandchildren.He loved cars and often climbed long mountains so that he could have a better view of the passing vehicles and trucks.
The best advice my dad ever gave me was to always tell the truth. People will always react more positively if you bring your mistakes to their attention versus them finding it out on their own, he reminded me always. He often praised his 11 daughters in public, and only criticized them in private. He taught us matters between us stayed between us.
My father taught himself how to read and write. He inspired me as a child to aim for greatness.He encouraged me to to go to school, to learn, to explore and to be somebody. Today I am one of the successful members of my large extended family. One of the few who has graduated from university. I wish for the 1000th time that my he was here to witness it all with me.
The book will be out soon.