Woke up this morning, had a toasted sandwich and a coffee. I logged in online to read the day’s news. The catastrophes of Burma and China are still on the headlines but there is also Safia Ali‘s story on the front page of the NYT’s website. The resident of Dagaari, central Somalia and mother of five is dying. She is dying from hunger alone. She hasn’t eaten in seven days. More than likely, her five children will follow too – unless food is delivered right now.
Safia and her children are perfectly healthy but over a year of drought has caused the obliteration of their livelihood – their animals. There is no farm harvest to speak of. Not to mention the violence between the resistance and the Ethiopian military has prevented aid from reaching almost anywhere in southern Somalia. Just couple of weeks ago the next biggest town near Dagaari was bombed by the U.S. military going after Aadan Hashi Ayro, member of Al-shabaab. In retaliation, Al-Shabaab has been going after anything Western, including aid workers.
Although the drought is an act of the Almighty, the violence between the resistance and Ethiopia is hastening the complete annihilation of the Somali people. Most of us Somalis in the diaspora know exactly the ugly face of famine in Somalia. The question now is how long will it take for the international community to realize the perfect tsunami they have created in Somalia with the Ethiopian invasion and ‘War on Terrorism’ double-down? More importantly, will Somalia has to reach the famine catastrophe of 1991 before any attention is paid to Somalia again?
But then again, thousands of Safia Alis will not get the benefit of an answer to those questions, because more than likely, they would already be dead. And I, more than likely, will block the images of dying Saifa Ali and her children the next time I’m enjoying my french toast and coffee.