My 20th Anniversary of Writing and My Debut Article

It was 20 years ago this month when I published my first article on Hiiraan Online. It’s my debut article, titled “A nation of Politicians and Bad Internet Sites”. The article dissected the Somali diaspora, and how they used and abused the Internet.

The time was February 2002. Sadly, the article got lost, and I couldn’t retrieve it from anywhere. I also lost other articles and couldn’t get them back. I wish I’d find my debut article to cherish it.

At the time, the Internet was fresh, and rivals used it as a weapon, attacking each other. Opponents employed the Internet’s platforms at the time, such as Paltalk and others. Hence, the article was premised on that observation.

Ever since I’ve been writing about myriad issues. Some local, some national, and others international. And I’ve extensively written about the Somali people’s social and political landscapes. Nevertheless, my articles haven’t ever smeared any political figures or violated their integrity, but shed light on their actions. After all, it’s my conviction not to attack personalities, but I take pride in revealing their actions towards their subjects. 

Digging up dirt and hurling it at the political figures isn’t something I relish. I avoid doing such a thing; it’s not an issue I’m interested in. I wrote articles about Somalia’s last four presidents: Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo (the current president).

Writing about complex issues isn’t an enjoyable thing. It’s pain indeed. When you intend to write something, you need to get ideas, research, and eventually formulate your ideas in a meaningful way. This means you pay efforts, but you don’t get compensated unless you write for a living.

I, for one, don’t write to eke out a living. I just write to disseminate information, lest someone can get informed and engaged. The vast majority of my articles have been published on two Somali big websites: Wardheernews and Hiiraan Online. I’m grateful for their efforts. 

My writings are in line with advocacy journalism. Advocacy journalism combines reporting with a point of view. I present issues and back them up with pieces of evidence. Unlike propaganda, my writings are based on stark realities experienced by varied communities, regardless of their geographical locations or time zones.