SOMALIA 2017: Return to the motherland

Out of my comfort zone, my depth and also out of cigarettes.

This is probably going to be the most challenging nicotine withdrawal process I could undertake but I’m determined to make it work.

What can I say, I love a challenge… or at least I think I do? We’ll see!

Whatever happens from this point onward, there is no telling, but I can promise myself this

I will absorb every experience and document as much as I can.

If you spend enough time in a place, however different it may be from your regular setting, you will find a way to settle in and make it home.

There is a very distorted image of Somalia that I grew up seeing; through the eyes of those who left for a better chance in life and the endless disparaging reports from relatives and local television/radio news outlets that would put anyone off returning. I hope other Somali millennials, like myself, who grew up in the diaspora might share this journey with me.

I’m sure there is more to this country than the little we’ve seen from the outside looking in, through distorted glass.

Ultimately my goal is get to know my native country a bit better, first hand and up close because research papers, articles and documentary footage can only take you so far.

So, here I am. This isn’t a holiday.

I want to make my own mind up about this beautiful and proud yet deeply conflicted and often misunderstood ‘Horn of Africa’. There is still so much I do not understand, but I will make it my mission to try.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Helen Keller

Souk Weyn, Gaalkacyo