2021: My Year in Review
I am grateful to Allah for making 2021 a blessed year for me as it was a very productive indeed. I travelled to many places, met and connected with great people, attended many important events and learned new skills.
For my new year’s resolutions for the year 2021, I have planned to read five to ten important books to expand my knowledge. Although it has been a busy year of studying as well as working, I have managed to read five books, number of articles and handful of academic papers. I usually do four hours of reading every week which has become a hobby for me. It is this hobby that helped me engage more in the political, economic, and social affairs of the country, the continent, and even the world at large. According to my January plan, I have achieved to reach my reading target.
In the past, due to my studies and work, I didn’t get the opportunity to travel, but in 2021 I have travelled to many different parts of the country for both business and pleasure.
The places I traveled include:
My first trip of the year was a work trip to Abudwak, a town in the federal state of Galmudug. After returning from Abudwak I had published a small article titled “My Third Trip to Abudwak”, In it I summarized my experience in the town in terms of business, education and health. I had met religious scholars, and saw first-hand the youth activists’ efforts on peacebuilding and reconciliation.
On my way to Abudwak, I made several stops in the rural areas for few minutes each to feel the spring winds on my body and to admire the beautiful different types of flowers on the roadsides. After an hour of traveling, I safely arrived in Abudwak town and stayed in a hotel owned by a female MP in the Galmudug parliament.
After a much-needed rest, I went for a walk in the afternoon. The weather was wonderful and much of the male population in the town were huddled in teashops. I paid a visit to the market and was amazed by the diversity of businesses there. While there, I realized that Abudwak is very populous town.
In the past decades, repeated conflicts have affected this district and the integration of youth from different parts of the town had been very poor but know this; Abudwak has made tremendous strides in rehabilitating its image and is now gradually, but surely, recovering from the conflicts of the past.
Social services like health provision and education are in good shape. Adults who missed a chance to go to school due to wars are now enrolling in adult learning centers and some are attending the Somali National University’s branch in the town.
While taking my morning stroll, I couldn’t help but notice young children on school buses and university students on their way to classes. The hope for a better tomorrow was palpable.
Abudwak is located in the border between Ethiopia and Somalia and therefore the people of Abudwak, and the state of Galmudug in general, can benefit from this geographical location trade wise.
Afgoi, Mareerey, and Ma’alinka Village
My second trip of the year was a leisure one to Afgoi, Ma’alinka Village and Marerey all in the Federal state of South West.
Since it was my first time here, I was very excited about this agricultural part of the country and as a result had a wonderful and memorable time, but I also met some challenges on the road. Due to the destruction caused by the war coupled with heavy rains, the roads were almost impassable.
My third trip of the year was to Galkayo, my second town in Galmudug. This was a work trip; however, I had managed to meet with some community leaders from whom I have benefited enormously.
My fourth trip of the year was to Dusmareb, the capital city of Galmudug State of Somalia, where I attended a conference on human rights. Since I am based in Galmudug, I travel to this capital once every two months for assignments or to attend consultation meetings. This was my seventh visit to Dusmareb, nevertheless it was still a fulfilling trip.
In 2021, I learnt some productive skills and they are:
Monitoring and Evaluation: the fundamentals of monitoring and evaluation has helped me to do more assignments, work on number of research projects, complete more than three baseline assessments and do the evaluations of national level projects.
Graphic Design: to acquire this skill was very important for me as it will help me design my own projects without much input from a third party.
in 2021, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people were unable to meet face-to-face as much as before, however, due to my travels, I met with a great number of people. I met with open-minded, dynamic, and generous individuals. I met all kinds of people with different professions, nationalities and even religious backgrounds and I benefited from them equally.
One of the benefits of meeting new people has been; the people I have connected with helped me get to know with other like-minded people.
2021 has been a year of growth and inspiration. I was fortunate enough to lead the best team at “YECO Somalia” as their executive director. I will miss the people I met and connected with that are no longer in Somalia. Finally, I thank Allah for making 2021 a blessed and prosperous year for me.
Happy belated New Year everyone!.