COMMUNIQUE FROM THE “TOL CONVOCATION” FIRST MEETING HELD ON APRIL 1-3, 2010 AT MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
Posted by Sawnews.tk on April 8, 2010
“Maantaba malkaa inagu qummane, yaan la gees marine,
Marka aanad hammon noloshu waa, mooyi dabadeede,
Madhax ma laha aadmigu wuxuu, kuu mitamiyaaye,
macaluul wax kaagama taraan, maal laguu guraye,
midigtaadu waxay xoogsataa, maydha kaa jara e’
(Abdillahi Suldaan Maxamed Timacadde, 1971)
In the mighty vortex of history, which inevitably crushes all peoples that are not as hard and as flexible as steel, such a community couldn’t permanently maintain itself (Theodore Mommsen, 1908)
Without overlooking the discernable variability in the condition of the Somali people, these are, indeed, dark times for the majority. All indictors of the major spheres of existence, from environmental, economic, cultural, political, to personal security, point to the buildup of vulnerabilities, best captured by this alarming fact: nearly half of the population is now considered as malnourished.
The general state of affairs notwithstanding, we are convinced that some zones are more brittle than others. One such example is the Gadaboursi community — inhabitants of a large swath of territory in the Horn of Africa. While specific members of this community have found notable successes in their respective endeavors, we hold that these individual accomplishments do not add up to the progress of collective well-being. In fact, a strong argument can be made to the contrary: communal survival, let alone advancement, is in new danger. To be sure, the threats emanate from a variety of sources, whose clear identification, detailed analyses, and judicious prioritization are waiting to be undertaken. What is certain is this: there is a growing consensus that the most immediate challenge to the community, and key to any collective efficacy in the face of the mounting menace, is the question of effective and inclusive leadership – one that combines the best of the community’s traditions and talents in imagining a new, galvanizing and enabling vision delivered and pursued with uncommon ability, courage, and rectitude
Here, it is necessary to make clear the nature of the group’s affinity. The conviction behind this initiative distinguishes between an affiliation based on tribal mentality/clanism and kinship. The first connotes what Somalis would call Qabiil and, thus, is motivated by small-mindedness and the “Othering” of those who don’t belong to the assumed genealogical tree; the latter is grounded on the concept of Tol that acknowledges primordial ties but, more importantly, stresses the following: optimum protection of individual and communal welfare, and meeting of obligations to other communities (from the intimate neighbor to the most geographically distant of the Somali people) in a larger context of peace, social justice and generosity. In short, Qabiil is always negative, if not degenerative, and lends itself to internal fissures and hate for the non-member. Tol, on the other hand, is conducive to group solidarity linked to deep empathy for strangers. We believe such a perspective transforms the way many contemporary Somalis relate to each other and, thus, bodes well for engagements that enrich constructive pluralism.
This convocation, a prelude to more comprehensive others, brought together a select and distinguished group from the Samaroon diaspora to interrogate the phenomenon of leadership and then inquire into fresh ways for the community to organize itself for the hard challenges already here and others that, no doubt, the future will thrust upon us. The ultimate wager was that the participants will produce concrete suggestions that will embolden the whole community to dare to make a new history. This was realized, and with a great deal of enthusiasm. Below, we would like to share with you, in a compressed fashion, some of the most significant points that the vast majority of the attendees of the convocation had agreed upon:
1. The First Tol Convocation, held on April 1-3, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America, brought together a select cohort from the Samaroon Diaspora (over one hundred of them). Mindful of the continuing value of the work by existing respective traditional leaders, the Convocation’s primary focus was on effective, inclusive, and united leadership.
2.Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble Ugas Dodi was Special Guest of Honor of this Convocation. Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar delivered the Keynote address entitled: The Imperatives of Tol Leadership in an Age of Ominous Upheavals.
3. Ugas Abdirashid’s address was at once graceful, celebratory and reflective. Professor Samatar’s keynote address isolated for close examination the concept of “ leadership” as the central theme of the Convocation and, therefore, providing a larger context in which participants considered the agenda of the Convocation.
4. Several outstanding Samaroon Diaspora leaders, professionals, and intellectuals cogitated upon the conditions of the Tol leadership in modern times , as well as the reigning tough challenges of the present and those to be brought forth by the future, in seven parallel group discussions on operationalizing leadership: How? When? and one meditative plenary session.
5. Tol Samaroon, the Convocation noted, constitutes an important community with significant historical influence in the Horn of Africa region.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
- We, members of the Tol Convocation, hereby establish a Diaspora Committee for the purpose of launching the long process of reinvigorating the traditional leadership as well as imagining modernizing innovations that, together, will advance the mission and ideals expressed during the Convocation. The Committee shall consist of 27 prominent members of the Diaspora community and the honorary membership of Hon. Ugas Abdirashid Ugaas Roble, bringing the total membership to 28. Members of this Committee were nominated and affirmed based on their individual record, with regard to these criteria: integrity, competence, professional accomplishment, and civic-mindedness. The Committee is also reflective of the broader traditional balance within the Tol Samaroon. The Committee commences its work soon.
- The Convocation reiterates the fundamental goal and desire of the Tol Samroon to live in peace with its neighbors and with the realization that all prosper in an ambience that fosters justice, mutual respect, and cooperation. Furthermore, the Convocation underscores its core belief in peaceful means as the only viable tools to resolve all disputes.
- The Convocation acknowledges, with gratitude, the tireless efforts of the existing traditional leaderships towards improving the collective well being of the Tol Samaroon.
We, members of Tol Samaroon Diaspora meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 1-3, 2010 are satisfied that the foregoing represents the main and adopted resolutions of the Convocation. We hold that, if followed, they will address the deep concerns and well fare of Tol Samaroon as well as their immediate neighbors. In addition, we resolve to bring these resolutions to the attention of the Tol everywhere and existing leadership, with the confidence that, by working together, the conditions of the Tol will make a remarkable improvement.
List of the Committee Members
Hon. Ugas Abdirashid Ugaas Rooble Ugaas Dodi (Honorary member–Canada)
- Ebado Hussein ( Ontario, Canada)
- Mohamed Farah (Alberta, Canada)
- Dr Ali Ibrahim Bahar (Taxes, USA)
- Eng. Rashid Cige Guled (Illinois, USA)
- Dr. Hodan Muse Rabile (Taxes, USA)
- Halimo Hassan Saad (Ontario, Canada)
- Dr Abdirahman Baileh (Tunis, Tunisia)
- Abdul Wahid Sheikhosman Qalinle, JD (Minnesota, USA)
- Hamud Masheeye (Minnesota, USA)
- Dr. Abdullahi Hashi Abiib (Virginia, USA)
- Dr Mohamed Qawdham ( Taxes, USA)
- Professor Hussein Ahmed Warsame (Alberta, Canada)
- Prof. Mohamed Farah Good ( Wardi)( Massachusetts, USA)
- Ibrahim Haji Muhumed Aye (Minnesota, USA)
- Safia Ismail (Taxes, USA)
- Halimo Jama Hadi (Taxes, USA)
- Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar (Minnesota, USA)
- Mubarak Ahmed Nur (Illinois, USA)
- Bashir Sh Omar Goth ( Abu Dhabi, UAE)
- Yusuf Adan Qalib (Taxes, USA)
- Roda Haji Ahmed Mizan (Taxes, USA)
- Abdi Dahir Aye ( Taxes, USA)
- Lul Ahmed Osman ( Ontario, Canada)
- Abdulkadir Ismail Jama ( Minnesota, USA)
- Abubakar Hamud Jibril ( Minnesota, USA)
- Jama Osman (Ontario, Canada)
- Dr Omar Mohamed ( Georgia,