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Resilient Shadows: The Tale of Somaliland and Somalia



The late 1980s saw the streets of Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, drenched in an eerie silence, punctuated by the distant rumble of artillery. The old regime of Siyad Barre, Somalia’s iron-fisted ruler, had turned its wrath on Somaliland. This was a time of siege, terror, and unyielding spirit.

Hargeisa was once a bustling hub, known for its vibrant markets and the resonant calls to prayer that marked the rhythm of life. But as Barre’s forces descended, the city transformed into a labyrinth of fear. The Somali National Army, the second most powerful in Africa, aimed to crush the burgeoning resistance. Barre’s regime was ruthless, deploying tanks and heavy artillery against civilians, reducing homes to rubble and dreams to dust.

Amidst the chaos, the Somalilanders fought with an indomitable spirit. The fight was not just for survival but for identity, for the right to exist as a free and sovereign people. The Somaliland National Movement (SNM), born out of necessity and fueled by a collective rage, spearheaded the resistance. They were vastly outnumbered and outgunned, but their determination was their strongest weapon.

The Battle for Hargeisa was brutal. Civilians were caught in the crossfire, and the city, once known as the “Pearl of the Gulf of Aden,” was scarred deeply. The “Hargeisa Holocaust” saw tens of thousands killed and many more displaced. Families were torn apart, and the cries of the bereaved echoed through the ruins. Yet, even in these darkest hours, the resilience of the Somalilanders shone through.

Against all odds, the SNM managed to push back Barre’s forces. They used guerilla tactics, intimate knowledge of the terrain, and sheer willpower to outmaneuver and outlast the better-equipped Somali army. The victory was bittersweet. Hargeisa lay in ruins, but the spirit of Somaliland was unbroken.

In 1991, as Barre’s regime collapsed, Somaliland declared back its independence. What followed was a period of painstaking reconstruction. The people of Somaliland rebuilt their nation from scratch. There were no international aid packages, no recognition from the world, only their determination and resilience.

Over three decades, Somaliland transformed. Hargeisa rose from the ashes, becoming a symbol of resilience and hope. Schools, hospitals, and businesses were rebuilt. Governance structures were established, rooted in democratic principles. Somaliland became a “best-kept secret” in Africa, a beacon of peace and stability in a tumultuous region.

Meanwhile, Somalia descended into chaos. The fall of Barre’s regime left a power vacuum that various factions and warlords scrambled to fill. Piracy off the Somali coast became rampant, as did corruption and terrorism. Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group, took root, further destabilizing the country. Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, became synonymous with danger and despair.

The contrast between Somaliland and Somalia could not be starker. Somaliland, unrecognized yet thriving, and Somalia, internationally acknowledged but failing. The mystery of Somaliland’s success lies in its people’s resilience, their ability to unite and rebuild despite the odds. It’s a tale of perseverance and quiet strength, a narrative often overshadowed by the turmoil in the south.

Yet, amidst this stark dichotomy, questions remain unanswered. How did a region so devastated manage to rise so spectacularly? What secret lies within the hearts of the Somalilanders that fueled their resurgence? And what does the future hold for these two divergent paths?

These mysteries linger, encouraging reflection and deeper exploration. The reader is left to ponder the hidden strengths that lie within communities, the power of unity and resilience, and the contrasting fates of nations born from the same soil.

Somaliland’s story is far from over. It’s a narrative that continues to evolve, filled with untold tales and hidden truths, waiting for those curious enough to delve deeper and discover the resilient shadows that shaped this remarkable land.

The Legacy of Resilience

As night falls over Hargeisa, the city lights up, a testament to its rebirth. The wounds of the past remain, but they are scars that tell a story of resilience and hope. In contrast, Mogadishu struggles under the weight of its past and the uncertainty of its future.

The tale of Somaliland and Somalia is a powerful reminder of the human spirit’s capacity to overcome. It is a story that beckons us to look beyond the surface, to explore the mysteries that lie beneath, and to find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places.

In the shadows of resilience, the legacy of Somaliland continues to grow, inviting the world to witness the strength of a people who refused to be defined by their suffering but instead chose to rise above it, crafting a future filled with promise and potential.


Envy’s Playground: The Secrets of the World’s Most Jealous City



Welcome to the capital of the most envious city dwellers in the world. Step into this bustling metropolis, a place teeming with life yet shrouded in a palpable aura of discontent. Here, amidst the towering, bustling streets, lies a hidden underbelly of jealousy and rivalry that simmers beneath the surface.

Imagine a city where envy reigns supreme, where the mere sight of someone else’s success is enough to incite bitterness and resentment. Welcome to a world where the good are shunned, and the wicked are celebrated; a place where jealousy is not just an emotion but a way of life.

In this city of envy, social hierarchy is dictated not by wealth or status, but by the degree of one’s jealousy. Meet the denizens of this envious realm, each with their own code names and roles in the intricate web of envy that permeates every aspect of society.

First, there’s the DOQON, the epitome of envy and greed. Known as KUSHUBO, this individual is nothing more than a hired lackey, willing to do anything for a few measly dollars. Addicted to the euphoric high of khat, KUSHUBO wanders the streets in a perpetual haze, his red-stained teeth a testament to his vices.

But KUSHUBO is not alone in his envy-fueled pursuits. KASHUBO, the femme fatale of envy, whose beauty and charm conceal a heart blackened by jealousy. With a coterie of witches at her beck and call, KASHUBO weaves intricate plots to destroy those who dare to excel above her. A master manipulator, she pulls the strings of power from the shadows, her influence extending far beyond the reaches of the city.

And then there’s the NACASKA YAR, the cursed beggar whose mere presence strikes fear into the hearts of those who cross his path. Rumored to be the bearer of poison, NACASKA YAR is both pitied and reviled, his plight a stark reminder of the consequences of envy unchecked.

But amidst the chaos and intrigue of this envious city, there is hope. For in the depths of despair, there lies the potential for redemption. Join us as we delve deeper into the twisted world of envy and uncover the secrets that lie beneath the surface. Prepare to be captivated, for in this city of envy, nothing is as it seems, and danger lurks around every corner.

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Iconic Photographs: Capturing Somaliland’s Political Legacy Part 1



A Renowned Photojournalist’s Journey from Sweden to Somaliland, Revealing Unseen Moments and Historic Figures

Discover the iconic photographs by Kasim Abdulkadir, founder of and former journalist for Swedish National TV. His captivating images from Somaliland’s political scene, including rare photos of key leaders, reveal a rich tapestry of history and influence.

Current president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi

Kasim Abdulkadir, the visionary founder and director of one of the oldest websites,, has a remarkable legacy in photojournalism. During his illustrious career as a journalist and cameraman for Swedish National TV (SVT) and a producer for Swedish National Radio (Sveriges Radio, SR), Kasim captured some truly iconic photos. One of the highlights of his career was covering the campaign of the Somaliland Kulmiye party, where Ahmed Mahamud Silanyo was the candidate. Silanyo’s campaign in Stockholm was documented through Kasim’s lens, capturing the essence and fervor of the political movement.

Ahmed Mahamud Silanyo – Somaliland former president – Stockholm, Sweden

In 2014, Kasim returned to Somaliland for the first time since leaving in 1988 for Sweden. This journey back to his homeland resulted in an extraordinary collection of photographs, some of which are being publicized for the first time. These images include a poignant photo of the current president of Somaliland, Muse Bihi, and snapshots of key figures such as Hirsi Haaji Ali, the chairman of the Somaliland Waddani party, and the late former police commander Abdillahi Fadal Iman. Kasim’s photos pay homage to these leaders, capturing their dedication and service, with a special remembrance of Commander Iman, wishing Allah’s blessings upon him.

Hirsi Haaji Ali, the chairman of the Somaliland Waddani party – Hargeisa, Somaliland

The collection also features prominent leaders like Finance Minister Saad Ali Shire and Vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail Saylici, who has been a pivotal figure in Somaliland’s political landscape since winning the 2010 election alongside Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. Saylici continues his service in the cabinet of Muse Bihi Abdi, both members of the Peace, Unity, and Development Party. Another notable figure in Kasim’s photos is Abwaan Cali Seenyo, the owner of Somaliland SAABTV.

Finance Minister Saad Ali Shire and Vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismail Saylici Stockholm, Sweden

Abwaan Cali Seenyo – Hargeisa, Somaliland

Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, the Waddani Party’s presidential candidate with Aidarus Sheikh Adan Stockholm, Sweden

Jamal Ali hussein, Stockholm, Sweden

Former police commander Abdillahi Fadal Iman

Swedish MP Amir Adan of Ethnic Somaliland origin with Kasim Abdulkadir in the National Swedish Radio SR

Kasim’s lens also captured Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, the Waddani Party’s presidential candidate for the upcoming 2024 elections, during his visit to Sweden. Among these invaluable images is the former president’s wife, Amina Waris, adding a personal and historical depth to the collection.

Former president’s wife, Amina Waris

These photos, each a testament to Kasim Abdulkadir’s exceptional talent and dedication, not only document pivotal moments in Somaliland’s political history but also bring to light the stories and faces that have shaped the nation. Kasim’s work continues to inspire and educate, showcasing the power of photojournalism in preserving history and influencing the future.

Somaliland ambassador to Djibouti H.E Abdifatah Saeed Ahmed

Former Somaliland MP Axmed Maxamed Diiriye (Nacnac)


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