FROM A RADIANT SMILE TO A RUMPLED FROWN
Damul Jadiid’s house of smiles is frowning these days. Their ascent to power began with a sack of money, a contagious smile and snail’s pace to sneak away with the loot. There was something unsettling about that smile anyways; it was too bright for a nation brimming with despondency; it was a contrast to the status quo. Its gaiety and contagiousness reverberated across the oceans as Somalis around the world welcomed him with a sense of hope. Oh, my people, how gullible you are!
And wider and shinier it grew, as the donor nations promised billions to rebuild the torn nation. It was so bright it dimmed the midday sun in Mogadishu. That is when Ali Baba stole Aladdin’s lamp to see through the dark halls of the funders’ palaces. And so the smile continued to grow. Armed with a lot of NGO abstraction and a whole lot of experience in earning without fret and toil, he thought it will get better when he gets to the top of it all. Because then, he gets to decide who wins and who looses. Or so he thought with a sarcastic grin.
The frequent flyer president kept up the smile in the air and on the ground. Not swayed by the suffering of the young and old whose homes were pillaged by the militia of his kith, he kept it up as Kabhanley burned. And with Lower Shabelle incinerated, he marched forth showing even the last molars for all to see. And brighter it grew as twenty villages in Jowhar were combusted rendering an entire population homeless. As the crocodiles feasted on their children, he was neither frazzled nor frayed. The burning of each village gave him strength and more resolve to get more loot.
He kept on smiling as Puntland was washed away by tornados. It was one of the times, when pain and misery overwhelms a community that even lip service heels some wounds. And where is that million dollars he promised – oh my, oh my, he could not spare it. Still unmoved by the suffering of the people whose president he is, he kept on flying and smiling as if nothing had happened. Until she, the intrepid Lady Yusur Abrar that is, frowzled the smile telling the world it surely is fake. What a moment for the Somali women in shaming the men who ruined their nation!
And finally, they woke up and smelled the foul smell in the air. They put two and two together – alas, they were dealing with a cult – a slithering, slimy cult which changes colours so aptly it puts even a chameleon to shame. And suddenly it all stopped – no cash and no candy! Though waned and interspersed with momentary frowns, the smile continued to glitter. But since Prime Minister Saacid left, it has been more of a nervous smile. With a new Prime Minister who, so far, seems to be more creative, determined, bolder and not bound by the shackles or Damul Jadiid, like his predecessor, the smile was slowly but surely turning upside down.
And then, out of the blue the parliament had an ace in their hand. They demand the smile to end – they had enough of it and could not take it anymore!
I do not expect much from the Somali parliament. They have an entrenched finesse of thinking with their stomach. Frankly, every clan must recall their members of parliament. They have not done anything but ruin their clan’s reputation – if at all Somali clans had any left that is. But that is a story for another day.
Any allegation against the president is true! I mean it. Any! That is if the parliament is sincere about the motion against the president. But sincerity itself is for sale in the Somali parliament and the price is not much. It is a kilo of kat, preferably mira!
Nur Bahal Toronto,