It is International Women’s Day and Praxis celebrates this by featuring works upholding womanhood written by Africans in indigenous African languages, followed by an English translation. This initiative is aimed at popularizing writing in African languages. Jama Musse Jama, founder and director of Hargeysa International Book Fair, writes a piece in Somali, dedicating it to Edna Adan Ismail.
Edna Aadan Ismaaciil: Marwo kartideeda ku mutaysatay ixtiraam iyo kalgacal
Waa Maalintii Caalamiga ahayd ee Haweenka, waxa aan ka fekerayaa haweenka dadkayga is beddel wanaagsan u horseeday. Waxa maskaxdayda ku soo dhacday Edna, aniga oo ixtiraam iyo kalgacal u haya iyada iyo qaar kale oo ay ka mid yihiin Aamina Milgo iyo Shukri Bandare, oo dariiqa u xaadhay jiilka labaad ee haweenka hawl-karka ah ee ummaddayda. Edna Aadan Ismaaciil, ka dib shaqooyin door ah oo ay ka soo qabatay arrimaha bulshada iyo siyaasadda, waxa ay u adeegsatay dhammaan hantidii iyo waayo-aragnimadii ay ka heshay shaqooyinkaas, markii ay hawlgab ka gashay Hay’adda Caafimaadka Adduunka, in ay ku dhisto cusbitaal caalami ah oo loogu adeego dumarka iyo carruurta, kaas oo ay ka dhistay Hargeysa, Somaliland, oo ay iyadu si hagar la’aan ah u hagayso ilaa maanta.
Waa u-doode xuquuqda bani’aadamka, xaqsoore caddaaladda ragga iyo haweenka, waxana ay tusaale fiican u tahay dumar iyo ragba. Edna waa qof dadaal badan, shaqadeeda ka adag isla markaana leh hal-abuur. Waxa ay ka fadhiistay shaqo aad u sarraysa oo Qaramada Midoobay ah, weliba qayb dunida ka mid ah oo dagaallo iyo ammaan darradu ay hadheeyeen. Waxa laga yaabaa inay dadka qaar is yidhaahdaan, ahaanshaha madaxa Hay’adda Caafimaadka Adduunka ayaaba ka badnaan lahaa inay hesho wixii ay au baahnayd, laakiin taasi Edna kuma ay filnayn umana ay arkayn sidaas.
Abaalmarinnada caalamiga ah ee Edna lagu siiyay horumarinta caafimaadka haweenka iyo carruurta way badan yihiin. Waxay ka soo bilaabmaan dowladda Jabbuuti sannadkii 1997kii oo ku siisey gacantii ay ka gaysatay horumarinta caafimaadka iyo daryeelka ee dalkaasi. Waxa kale oo la siiyay abaalmarinno kele oo caalami ah sanaddadii 2006dii, 2008dii, Koonfur Afrika 2010kii, Faransiiska 2011kii iyo “Abaalmarintii Boqoradda Afrika” oo ay ku heshay ololihii lagaga hor tegayay Gudniinka Fircooniga ah, kaas oo ay bilowday sannadkii 1976kii, kolkaas oo dad aad u tiro yari ku dhiirranayeen inay ka ba hadlaan arrinkaas. Edna waa u udub dhexaad ololaha caafimaadka haweenka iyo ubadka ee adduunka oo dhan.
Waa gabadh waxyaalo badan dadka dadkeeda ugu horraysay: Waa gabadhii ugu horraysay ee ku guulaysatay deeqda waxbarasho ee haweenka ee uu bixiyey xafiiskii Maxmiyaddii Ingiriisku sannadkii 1954kii. Waa gabadhii ugu horraysay ee noqota Kalkaaliso Caafimaad iyo Umuliso sannadkii 1961kii. Waa gabadhii ugu horraysay ee la siiyo rukhsadda baabuur wadashada sannadkii 1962kii. Waa gabadhii ugu horraysay ee ka noqota Xog-haye Guud, isla markaana ahayd xubnihii aasaasay, Ururka Bisha Cas ee Soomaaliyeed sannadkii 1964kii. Kolkii saygeedu, Maxamed Xaaji Ibraahin Cigaal, uu noqday Raysal Wasaaraha Soomaaliya sannadihii 1967–1969kii, waxa ay dalka ugu soo noqotay si ay hawlaheeda u sii wadato iyadoo ah Marwada Koowaad ee Soomaaliya ilaa markii uu dhacay Inqilaabkii Militariga ee shuuciga ahaa kaas oo meesha ka saaray dowladdii la soo doortay.
Muddadan dambe ee Somaliland, Edna waxa ay noqotay gabadhii ugu horraysay oo loo magacaabo xil Wasiirnimo iyada oo noqotay Wasiirka Arrimaha Bulshada sannadkii 2002kii, sannad ka dibna loo magacaabay Wasiirka Arrimaha Debedda, xilkaas oo ay haysay muddo afar sannadood ah. Taasi weli Edna iskamay hor taagin dadaalkeedii.
Hammi bay lahayd: waxa ay mar walba ku hammiyi jirtay inay dhisto Cusbitaal. Waxa ay taasi qalbigeeda ka guuxaysay ilaa markii ay ahayd 11 jir, ee ay gacan yaraha u ahayd aabbaheed oo loo yaqaanay “Aabbaha Daryeelka Caafimaadka Somaliland”. Waxa uu ahaa sarkaal caafimaad. Markii ay aragtay isaga oo la tacaalaya tiro farabadan oo bukaan ah, waxa ay ka caawin jirtay quudinta bukaanka, nadiifinta qalabka caafimaadka, duubista calalka iyo waxyaalaha kele ee uu u baahdo. Waxa ay nafteeda ballan kula gashay inay noqoto kalkaaliso caafimaad, isla markaana ay dhisto cusbitaalka uu aabbaheed jeclaan lahaa inuu ka shaqeeyo. Waxa uu arrinkaasi qaatay inay sugto ilaa intii ay hawl-gab ka noqonaysay markay da’deedu noqotay 60 jir. Hammigaasi waa uu dhaboobay markii ay shaqada Hay’adda Caafimaadka Adduunka ka fadhiisatay ee ay ku soo noqotay dalkeedii hooyo oo ku baaba’ay dagaalladii dhex maray shacbiga Somaliland-ta maanta iyo dawladdii Jamhuuriyadda Soomaaliya, ee sababay burburka 95% ee magaalooyinka Somaliland marka lagu daro dhamaan goobihii adeegga sida cusbitaallada, dugsiyada iyo guryahaba. Xaaladda noocaas ah ayaa horseedday in ay Edna dhisto cusbitaalkan oo ay ka dhistay goob markii hore ahaan jirtay xabaalo, goob ciidanku ku gaardiyo, goob xukunnada dilka ah lagu fuliyo iyo goob qashinka lagu qubo, halkaas oo Edna ay ka dhigtay mid ka mid ah goobaha caafimaadka ugu casrisan ee Geeska Afrika.
Cusbitaalka oo la furay sannadkii 2002dii, waxa uu u noqday bartilmaameed ummadda Somaliland, waana mid looga yimaaddo meelo badan oo lagu daweeyo dad ka kala yimaadda dhammaan Geeska Africa. Dadaalkaas bani’aadamnimo ayay ku mutaysatay in caalamku ay ixtiraam badan u hayaan maanta oo ay tahay Maalinta Caalamiga ah ee Haweenka, isla markaana ay tahay gabadh qiimo leh oo lagu soo hirto oo la maamuuso.
Edna Aadan Ismaaciil, iyada oo da’deedu tahay 78jir waxa ay muujisay dedaal iyo waxqabad kuwaas oo hor dhigaya adduunka in loo soo taago Abaal Marinta Caalamiga ah ee Sharfoon ee “Nobel Prize Laureates” sida gabadhii Wangari Maathai, dadaalkii Albert Schweitzer, adkaysigii Mahatma Gandhi iyo Aragtidii dheerayd ee Nelson Mandela.
Waxaa an u hayaa ixtiraam iyo kalgacal, waxana aan ugu mahad naqayaa Edna Aadan waxa ay u qabanayso bulshadayda, waxaana aan dhammaan haweenka dalkayga ugu hambalyaynayaa Maalintan Caalamiga ah ee Haweenka.
Edna Adan Ismail: a woman who has earned respect and admiration from her own society
It is International Women’s Day, and I am thinking, in my mother tongue, of the women from my community who are making a difference to better our society. Edna comes to my mind, in respect and admiration, along with other names like Amina Milgo and Shukri Bandare who set the route for a second generation of strong women in my people. Edna Adan Ismail, after a lifetime career in different fields, as activist and in politics, used all her assets, experience and the entitlements she earned following her retirement from WHO, to build a world class hospital for women and children in Hargeysa, Somaliland, which she runs tirelessly to this day.
Strong advocate of human rights and gender equality, she is a great role model for women, and even men, in Africa. Edna is a competent, committed, and creative human being. She retired from a high pressure UN position in a part of the world filled with conflict and tension. One would think that being WHO Representative would have been more than enough, to accomplish in a lifetime. But it was not enough for Edna.
Her list of international honours and recognitions for her contributions to women’s and children’s health is a long one and started with the decoration she received in 1997 from the government of Djibouti who made her ‘Commandeur de l’Ordre National du 27 Juin’ for her contributions to the health and welfare of the people of that country. She has received many international awards including African Living Legend Award (2008), Medical Mission Hall of Fame (2006), President’s Gold Medal in South Africa (2010), ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur of France’ (2011), and the AMANITARI (African Queen Award) for her pioneering campaign against Female Genital Mutilation, a campaign she started in 1976 when few dared to speak about the practice in public. She certainly resides at the pinnacle of global attainment in women’s health.
A woman of so many firsts: first female to be awarded a scholarship by the British Colonial Office in 1954 when her country was British Somaliland Protectorate. First Somali Nurse and Midwife in the country in 1961; the first woman to obtain a driving license in 1962; the first female Secretary General, and a founding member of the Somali Red Crescent Society in 1964; and many other firsts including when her husband, late Mohamed Hagi Ibrahim Egal, became Prime Minister of Somalia (1967-1969), and she returned home to assume her responsibilities as the First Lady of Somalia until the Marxist Coup d’Etat of Siyad Barre overthrew the democratically elected civilian government. That was not enough for Edna.
In present Somaliland, Edna became the first female to be appointed to the position of Cabinet Minister and became Minister of Social Affairs in 2002. After one year, she was made Somaliland Foreign Minister and served in that position for four years. That was not enough for Edna.
She had always had one desire: to build a hospital. This has been in Edna’s heart since the age of 11 when she assisted her father who was known as the ‘Father of Health Care in Somaliland’. He was the most senior medical person at that time and when she saw her father overwhelmed with the patient-load that he was shouldering, Edna would help out with small tasks of feeding patients, cleaning instruments for her father, rolling bandages, and running errands for him. She promised herself that she would train as a nurse and one day build the kind of hospital that her father would have liked to work in. It had to wait until she retired at age sixty. That ambition became realized after she retired from WHO and returned to her home which had become devastated by the long civil war between Somaliland and Somalia and which resulted in the total destruction of 95% of the cities of Somaliland including all the facilities that had served as hospitals, clinics, schools and dwellings. That situation was what had made her build this hospital on a site that had once been a cemetery, a military parade ground, an execution ground and finally a garbage dump before Edna turned it into one of the most modern health facilities in the region.
The hospital, which she opened in 2002, has become a regional referral hospital that treats people who come to Somaliland from a wide geographical area in the horn of Africa. This dedication and humanitarian cause has propelled this woman to a position of global significance today; the International Woman’s Day, and a worthy woman to be admired and honoured.
Edna Adan Ismail, at age 78, sets a standard of commitment and performance that places her in the ranks of Nobel Prize Laureates such as Wangari Maathai, with the commitment of Albert Schweitzer, the persistence of Mahatma Gandhi, and the vision of Nelson Mandela.
With immense admiration and respect, I thank Edna for what she is doing for our society, and Happy Women’s Day to all other Somali women.