Did misfortunes followed you wherever you went to? to the toilets? or even traveled with you? This is a short story about Ali dahir,a young boy from the Ogaden;who I met in Europe in 2016.The Ogaden is an area occupied by Ethiopia,, inhabited mainly by ethnic-Somali people, known as the Ogaden. The area has a population of nearly 6 million. The Ogaden people are mainly agro-pastoralists, they live in simple lives, tending to their livestock, and moving along ancestral pathways. The locals live hard but honest lives in tune with the land and the past.
Most of the people have never accepted the presence of Ethiopian troops. They are regarded as colonists. There has been a history of rebellion between the Ogaden people and the Ethiopian regime which dates back to the partition of Africa by the British. To date, violence in the horn of Africa starts and ends with Ethiopia, they are the regions “trouble shooters” or “bully”. The Ethiopians still have the legacy of the Abyssinian expansionist rule in their minds. In 1984, the Ogaden Liberation Front (ONLF) was formed to fight against Ethiopia and the autonomy of the Ogaden region. They normally use guerrilla tactics and do not have official military bases. When they attack Ethiopian personnel, the security apparatus punishes the local communities in retaliation. Innocent people who have no affiliation with the ONLF have been always caught in cross fire. There is an African proverb that says when two bulls fight, the grass suffers. The Somali people in the Ogaden, are that proverbial grass.
I just laid motionless; a wake but no strength waiting for something to happen to me. Something bad. Something that no one could prevent from happening to me. Something that I never wished for before. But it was something I would like to willingly invite. It was coming. I was sure of that. I had seen it come to a lot of people. And the signs were showing in me. I just gave in and waited for it.
Minutes ticked, a lot of hours since we were dropped there and since I gave in to despair and decided to take in that “something”. But it wasn’t coming.
Chances were that it was once speeding to me and maybe it suddenly made a u- turn. Who knows it went back?
It was dawn, may be 4 or 5 when I heard a faded voice “he is dead”!
I could only hear my thumping heart as it beat loudly. Every now and then a wave of terror rolled through me, mixture of fear and despair that caused me to ask myself several rhetorical questions. “I am really dying”?
I was very weak. It was too much of a pain. And even though I wished for death it seemed to be dragging its feet as it came.
I remembered saying a prayer, though I wasn’t holy, I wanted it to be the last good thing on my lips. I passed out. ...................
find out what happened to Ali Dahir,find what he has been through and the bitter things he encountered while detained in the US,will he be allowed to stay or will he be deported? flip the pages and see for yourself.
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