Somalia has endured a tumultuous period over the last three decades, but now is the time for change. The country must rebuild itself, creating an equitable place for all its citizens. As an honorary chairperson of the campaign organization that has been working towards this goal for the past six years, I am committed to this cause.
Reports from the government and the UN indicate that over 75% of Somalia’s population is comprised of young people. This generation has never experienced peace, having lived their entire lives in a violent and hostile environment. Despite this, there is a deep yearning for peace among them. Yet, peace itself has remained elusive.
Somali journalist Wali Hashi, based in Finland, introduced a new idea of a forgiveness campaign, where individuals are encouraged to forget and forgive those who have wronged them. This novel approach to Somali reconciliation intrigued me. While it is not an easy task, I believe adopting forgiveness as a mindset can bring about transformative change.
Various forms of reconciliation have been attempted in Somalia, but so far, nothing has succeeded. It is time to change the way we interact with each other on a daily basis. I began by introspecting and analyzing myself. I realized that the past should not dictate the present.
I resolved to forgive everyone who has wronged me, disregarding past grievances. My aim is for each individual to undergo this self-transformation, reaching out to family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers in order to find forgiveness in their hearts.
The collective act of forgiveness has the potential to provide the people of Somalia with a second chance to unite, heal their pain and violence, and embark on a new path of harmonious coexistence. Together, we can rebuild this nation, which currently stands at the bottom of all nations.
Somalia possesses immense riches and strategic importance; its environment is promising. Rather than tearing one another apart, we must work towards the greater good. The forgiveness campaign is contagious; once it begins, it affects everyone and everything. The pain and experiences we’ve endured will shape us into resilient individuals who can overcome moments of madness.
As the new chairperson of the forgiveness campaign, I implore every citizen of Somalia to reflect deeply and choose to forgive others voluntarily. Only by doing so can we restore respect and dignity to each individual. The young people growing up in this country deserve to inherit a new way of thinking from their ancestors—one rooted in forgiveness, kindness, and collabo7rative efforts to develop our nation once again.
It saddens me that, in the 21st century, there are people still fighting over trivial matters, while the rest of the world is focused on personal growth and technological advancements. This cannot be fair. I may not fully comprehend why I have been chosen for this role, but the transformation I have undergone has galvanized my commitment.
I implore and encourage everyone to embark on their own personal transformation so that, together, we can aspire to witness our country rise from the ashes of destruction and clan conflicts. That day will dawn if we work collectively and make a conscious decision to change our ways, both individually and as a nation, as soon as possible.
Mohamed Mohamud Adde, An academic and Political Analyst.