Saturday, May 2, 2020
By Mohamed Omar Hashi
One year ago, on March 28th, 2019, I was in my home, Manchester, North West of England, hosting a yearly meeting with my brothers. My phone rang; I answered. “Hello?”
“Mohamed,” Farhiya, Abdulkadir’s wife, replied, and her voice sent shivers of panic through me.
“Are you ok?” I asked, even though I could sense something was wrong.
There was an edge of trauma in her voice when she said, “Mohamed.” Farhiya could not voice her words. There was a moment of silence. She could hold no more and started crying. “Abdulkadir was killed,” she said. I was overwhelmed and in a state of shock - I tried to subdue my emotion.
I reminded her, “Ina lilahi wa ina ileeyhi raajicun.” Verily we belong to Allah, and undoubtedly to Him do we return.
I continued “Abdulkadir’s legacy is not dead, it continues to inspire our Nation and his solemn lesson of service and sacrifice will inspire generations. Abdulkadir motto was education, education, education, that was his main philosophy, I am proud of you, you are a strong lady, I am certain that you will give your kids a world-class education and send them back home to continue Abdulkadir’s legacy.”
I had trouble sleeping for weeks if not many months. I was devested and depressed for a long time. Abdulkadir was my friend, brother, and a collage. Abdulkadir Hasan Abdi (Shacab) was murdered by the terrorist group Al-Shabaab at the Weheliye hotel. Abdulkadir gave his life in service to our country and departed our world as a martyr and gave his life for a cause greater than himself. Once again, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Abdulkadir’s family, his father Hasan, brother Abdulkadir, wife Farhiyo, his children, and to all his friends and family.
Abdulkadir was born in 1978, and following his early years of education on Islamic studies and Quran memorization and later becoming Hafiz (a term used for someone who has completely memorized the Quran). Abdulkadir was also a linguist and spoke fluent Arabic and English. He enrolled at the Mogadishu University, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in economics. Prior to his death, he was doing a master’s degree in Economics at the University of Oslo.
After the invasion of the Ethiopian army in Somalia, Abdulkadir became one of the operative of The Alliance for Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS) and later becoming a Member of Parliament of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Abdulkadir was also the coordinator of the University of Science and Technology in Yemen branch in Somalia, managing the university’s Somali distance learning - using this role to help talented young people from Somalia to get a better education.
Abdulkadir was known as a vocal critic of corruption and had focused on corruption and attacks on civic activists, accusing the federal government of passiveness in investigations of the attacks. The courage and selflessness of Abdulkadir, who conducted extensive research on good governance, reconciliation, conflict resolution, education, extreme poverty eradication, compulsory education, and other grave violations of human rights including abductions and extrajudicial executions were also unparalleled. There is no doubt that he paid with his life for this fearless work. One year on, the Federal Government authorities have manifestly failed to find the perpetrators of this crime and those who ordered it.
I will always remember his bright intellect, the passion with which he loved his country, his visionary ideas of peace and prosperity, and his desire to advance the interests and values of our nation. In the time when our country seems to be wandering aimlessly and without any sense of direction, let us take a moment and think of Abdulkadir, what he would have contributed to our country’s—compatriot, father, husband, brother, friend and fellow human being.
Abdulkadir was gifted with brilliance, the most excellent education on earth, and a loving and adoring family. He could have had a beautiful, happy, productive, and safe life anywhere in the world. It was a choice that almost all of us would have taken. But he chose to serve his country and walk his path gracefully with an immense fortitude that inspired everyone around him. Abdulkadir was fearless in his condemnation of the reign of terror and violence, and we should all follow in his footsteps because there is no room for violence and terrorism in a civilized society.
I first met Abdulkadir when I joined the Transitional Federal Parliament of the year 2009, and we worked together on many initiatives. I always admired his determination to use his knowledge to help the disadvantaged. Those who worked with him and especially the young generation, saw in Abdulkadir as a role model whose vision of new Somalia gave them hope of a better future. He and his colleagues were murdered in a country that is recovering from the trauma of war. Today, the loss of our brother Abdulkadir is still fresh, but our memories of him continue. I have no doubt that his legacy will live on through the work that he did and in the hearts of those who love him.
To so many, he was a shining star, but I’ve always regarded him as a brother whose brilliance has never ceased to impress me. I view his death as a personal loss, and not through the prism of his success, or the things he could have achieved for our country if his life hasn’t ended violently. There is no doubt whether Abdulkadir was a courageous man, but in my opinion, his capability to analyze information and find the best possible resolution for an escalating situation remains underappreciated.
The people that knew him understood why he gave his last full measure of devotion so we might live in freedom. We cherish his service and the peace for which he laid down his life. He was heard saying that he did not choose the life he was leading and that that life has chosen him. Abdulkadir humbly carried the burden of responsibility his country has placed upon him, without ever regretting the choices or the sacrifices he made in his life.
He stood for all the things that terrorist organizations dread the most, but on March 28th, 2019, they won a battle against a peaceful society. One year later, no investigation was conducted, no one is held accountable, and Abdulkadir’s family never received any justice. Peace is still a long way, and the impact of this tragedy lingers to reverberates with those who lived through it. Abdulkadir’s death has left an unerasable scar on the souls of everyone who knew him or believed in his ideas. We must not permit the people who brutally killed one of the nation’s finest minds to annihilate his dreams of a new era for Somali people. It is our duty to preserve the legacy of Abdulkadir and it remains our charge to work peace, freedom, and security.
Mohamed Omar Hashi was a Member of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia from 2009 to 2012 and holds an M.A. in International Security Studies from the University Of Leicester.
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