5, March. 2004
EVEN ORPHANAGES ARE NOT IN SAFE HANDS
M. M. Afrah
years ago no one in Somalia knew who was Osama bin Laden and
his Al-Qaeda (The Base) network and what he stood for until
the Americans, who ironically supported and nurtured him during
the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, gave him unprecedented
media blitz, as the master-minder of the 911 tragedy, and
who in a secret hideout high in the Afghan mountain ranges,
is "plotting to take over the world"-a typical James
Bond fiend and plot.
single tired cliché was overlooked.
By the same token all Muslims or people with Muslim sounding
names "are either terrorists, fellow travelers or what
the intelligence people prefer to call deep sleepers, waiting
orders to strike." Not even orphanages in war-torn Somalia
are not spared in the Global War on international terrorism.
to picture an American, many people outside the United States,
often have to stop themselves from conjuring a gun-toting,
Bible-thumping redneck waving nuclear missiles in the name
of the 10 Commandments, lower taxes and cigar-chewing rubber-baron
contrast, ordinary Somalis who encountered the U.S. Marines
and Army Rangers during the aborted Operation Restore Hope,
say they (the Americans) were open, generous and unlike the
French, Belgian and other European contingents, were easy
to cultivate friendship with them and are very proud of their
"can do" mind-set. Also many of the American soldiers
were anxious to learn the Somali language and culture, despite
orders from the top brass in the Pentagon not to fraternize
or hobnob with the local people.
whose country was liberated from Hitler's Nazi regime by the
allies spearheaded by thousands of American servicemen and
women who lost their precious lives in the process, are today
"infuriating" the United States because of its war
in Iraq and its Global War on terrorism. As the American troops
fought the massive Nazi war machines, General de Gaulle was
staying in a 5-Star hotel in London drinking champagne, shouting
"Vive le France" while some of the current French
politicians were hiding in closets, only to come out as soon
as the Yankees had liberated their country from the Nazis,
waving French and American flags, while French women threw
roses at the feet of the Yankee liberators.
Frenchmen have even boycotted watching Hollywood movies altogether,
"fighting American cultural imperialism," they shout
at the top of their lungs.
little Somalia in the 21st Century, a country which has been
at war with itself since the collapse of the military regime
in 1991.A bunch of brutal warlords and their cahoots denuded
the country and massacred thousands of innocent civilians,
who left behind thousands of orphans in the streets of the
ruined capital. A Good Samaritan comes to rescue these kids
from the jaws of starvation, disease and death.
Good Samaritan happened to be an Arab charity organization
based in Saudi Arabia, (home of the infamous 911 perpetrators)
and the President of the United States of America, the country
that helped reconstruct post Germany, and to some extend Italy
and France, with the grand Marshal Plan, now decided to close
Al-Harameyn Orphanage in Mogadishu, where more than 3000 civil
war orphans receive food, shelter, education and health care,
on the excuse that Al-Marameyn is the breeding ground for
international terrorism (read: Osama's Al-Qaeda network).
history of Somalia is replete with incidents of injustice,
torture, abuse of power by colonial administrators, successive
corrupt civilian regimes, more than twenty-years of military
dictatorship and now warlords who denied the people the rule
of law for almost 14 years, but closing an orphanage by the
world's only superpower defies human imagination.
lingering question is: "Is it true that Al-Harameyn is
the quartermaster of Al-Qaeda as alleged by President George
Global terrorism is like trying to box a cloud. Which is why
I was taken aback at the closure of Al-Harameyn's Mogadishu
Orphanage without a clear prove that the place is the breeding
ground for future international terrorists. We are of course
aware there are Al-Qaeda operatives/cells in London, New York
or Paris and it would take a heck of time to smoke them out,
because they never leave behind their business cards announcing
their next target.
ago when I wrote about terrorism and the Xawaala
money remittance system, I was pretty sure I'd
get emails from furious Americans. Maybe even a telephone
call or two. I was looking forward to articulations of counter-argument,
either pointing out flaws in my argument, or make me happier
not get much of that.
someone in Columbus, Ohio (USA) wrote, "Yes, we all know
that most of the money transfer companies are providing laundered
money to Al-Qaeda, and yes, the Government was right to close
down these front organizations."
of N.Y. agrees, writing: "It's no secret that Somalis
in the United States send money thru' the mushrooming illegal
money remittances companies in the US, not to their hungry
relatives in Somalia, but to Al-Qaeda terrorists network.
I received hundreds of emails from Somalis across the five
continents supporting my arguments about the Xawaala system.
Even from a young Somali in Alaska, of all places! He could
become the first Somali who lived with Eskimos in an igloo.
the U.S. Treasury Secretary condemned Al-Harameyn for "cloaking
itself in the name of charity, only to fund and support terrorist
organizations around the world."
also says that the orphanage employs "radical Islamic
terrorist organizations connecting to Al-Qaeda". But
Ali Haji, a senior teacher at the orphanage strongly rejected
the allegations, saying: "All we were doing was feeding
and looking after these children. We taught them nothing against
America and we did nothing against America."
door of the orphanage is closed and the 3060 orphans will
join the thousands of the psychopathic sadists, the lowest
dregs of human society, popularly known as Mooryans (Predators).
These children saw their parents killed; too many maimed for
life, too many whose minds were shell-shocked beyond recall.
On the streets in the middle of the horrors of war, boys became
men in a second and took up arms to shoot anything that moved.
Then they became drug addicts with no future in life.
cannot reason or dwell on why they suffer and hurt, but that
doesn't negate that they do feel pain. Now, what kind of person
looks into innocent, trusting eyes and suddenly cuts off their
lifeline without substituting it with an alternative charity
organization acceptable to Washington? Perhaps we could try
to lure Malaysia, a sincere friend of the Somali people, to
fill the vacuum left behind by Al-Harameyn.
those kids desperately need a Guardian Angel to get them out
of their predicaments.
the long suffering inhabitants of Mogadishu are in for a big
shock because they must cope with hordes of the latest starving
orphans that need their attention more than anything else
By M. M. Afrah©2003,