THE BIRTH OF A NEW PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE

DEVELOPMENT NARRATOR® MAGAZINE
A medium for Somalia's reconstruction and a professional forum
for development issues

Rebuilding Somalia is a daunting task and it is unwise to tarnish the noble cause with minor differences in opinion or a perceived "genetic make up". It is very important to focus on the well-being of our people, socio-economic development, and overall stability of Horn of Africa?a region traumatized by wars and human starvations. I am hoping the following quote of RH Tawney will ring a bell in you "Clever men are impressed in their differences from their fellows. Wise men are conscious of their resemblances to them" and it seems we are not short of clever men who capitalized on our differences to their end but we are short of wise men who could step up.

We Somalis have experienced a horrifying civil war, where the country was torn apart, meager institutions destroyed, thousands of lives lost, millions living in a miserable poverty, and we are totally consumed by never-ending media negativity feed. How long could we take this agonizing tendency? In fact, Somalia is not the first country destroyed by a civil conflict and there were many other countries fell into a similar trap. But the other countries never stuck in there and one may ask what makes the difference?

To answer the seemingly enigmatic question, it is very important to understand that Somalia is at crossroads and it could head to either direction?rebirth of nation or renewal of civil war. It is time for wise Somalis to step up and steer the country to the right direction than succumbing into fault-finding and pessimism. In nation rebuilding, the best asset is its people; especially optimistic people and those positive individuals could be you, a layperson, spiritual leader, entrepreneur, intellectual, or policy-maker. There is an urgent need to tap into those optimists and reassert positive social values and outgrow from the destructive behaviors that consumed us ages.

After months of soul searching and in-depth analysis, the idea of publishing the Development Narrator (DN) magazine was born; a platform for optimism and nation rebuilding and DN is geared up for publication. The Development Narrator is a mission-driven magazine with social values and its focus is on socio-economic development and not on to partisan politics and news.

The Development Narrator is envisioned to serve as:

1. Knowledge dissemination: a forum for exchange of development information and opinions, and a vehicle for reconstruction of Somalia;
2. Inspirational source: by show casing successful Somali entrepreneurs, intellectuals, development agents, or outstanding development programs; and finally
3. Linkage: a bridge between the development entities and Somali communities?back home & in the diaspora.

As the executive editor of DN magazine, I invite you to be part of our mission as a reader or contributor and visit the magazine at www.somardi.org/DNarrator, though still under construction. We will be publishing both commissioned and contributed stories and articles and we advise our potential contributors to send inquiry letters before hand to see if the story/article is in line with the mission and policies of the magazine. Please refer to the following DN concept for publication policies and magazine sections.


DN CONCEPT

In-depth and professional reporting and analysis of Somali development issues has been non-existent since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. Although there are numerous Somali newspapers and more than a hundred Somali websites, almost all publish news and editorials with a clan or regional bias. Consequently, many Somali and non-Somali professionals shy away from being associated with the existing Somali media, and a large segment of the Somali community is not properly served. Stories of modest progress in development achieved by social entrepreneurs, community leaders, and agencies, and other efforts to uplift the battered psyche of the Somali people, are going unreported. These stories need to be heard!

Recognizing the unmet need for balanced reporting and analysis of Somali development, I am venturing to establish Development Narrator Magazine. The magazine will initially be published online, with a possible print version to follow. The pioneering principle of Development Narrator (DN) is to provide information with professional standards and integrity - without a regional or partisan political slant. Articles published in DN will be professionally reviewed and edited. Topics will be selected with the guidance of an advisory board of wide experience in publishing, business, academia, and international development.

DN will strive to be the lead professional magazine about Somalia's development, and to be a home for Somalia's development community. I hope that the magazine will serve as a bridge between development entities and Somali communities, both back home and in the diaspora.

MAGAZINE SECTIONS

1. Editor's corner
An overview of the feature stories of the current issue and information on the writers.
2. Feature Articles
These will emphasize success stories of Somali intellectuals, entrepreneurs, community leaders, change agents, development programs and agencies.
3. Opinions
Commentaries on development policies and current social issues.
4. Communities
News on Somali communities at home and in the diaspora, exploring initiatives both successful and not.

5. Knowledge Corner
An information source for professionals and entrepreneurs covering topics such as business management, production of a particular crop, or explanation of a development paradigm or theory.
6. Book Reviews
Reviews of books about development or other relevant materials.
7. Upfront Corner
A space to speak out with constructive criticism of development programs. Magazine staff will have the right to verify concerns and the aggrieved party will have an opportunity to respond.
8. Events and positions
Notices of events such as conferences and training workshops, and job postings.
9. Letters to the editor
Readers' reactions to articles that have appeared in recent issues.
10. Photo Bank
An image bank, featuring photographs of Somali institutions and ways of life past and present. The Photo Bank will reconstruct historical images of Somalia that were lost during the civil war.
11. Editor's Blog
Updates from the editor, keeping readers informed on important issues between DN publications.

ADVISORY BOARD/REVIEWERS

Dr. Mohamood Noor, USA
Dr. Michael Cohen, Canada
Dr. Hussein Haji, Canada
Dr. Sandra Cates, USA
Dr. Ibrahim Dhagane, Somalia
Ms. Jane Leu, USA
Ms. Michelle Valdez, USA
Ms. Arcile Raagas, Philippines
Dr. Abdirashid Shire, USA

The website is under construction and will be updated in the very near future, please bear with me. I look forward your thoughts and thanks being frank.

Sincerely,

CONTACT ADDRESS
Ahmed M. Dirie, PhD
Founder/Executive Editor
Development Narrator Publishing
San Jose, CA, USA
Email: adirie@somardi.org
Tel: 408-307-7223