Monday, January 28, 2008

Beautiful Somalia

Someone who has never seen the beauty of Somali women before may be amazed at their extraordinary features at first sight. Before the collapse of Siyad Barre's regime, little was known to the outside world about Somalia and her wonderful race. Somali women are exceptionally beauty and have come of age with many becoming a household name in foreign lands. The array of beauty products assembled in the shelves of some of the largest shopping malls in the world may deceive a first time onlooker as another emerging model among the black peoples in his home country.

Take the case of Iman, a Somali model who has stunned the world with her cat walk styles in some of the world's best fashion competitions. She appeared in many western movies often playing different characters. Another prominent figure among Somali women is Weris Dirie who shuttles the world as a UN Ambassador in the global fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice common among Somalis and widespread in 28 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Some of her books are available in major bookstores and libraries if one needs a quick read of her biographies. A quick search for Somali women writers on http://www.amazon.com/ and http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ will guide you to your taste and character. You may be amazed by your new discovery.


A woman who has stunned the Muslim world is Ayan Hersi who rose to become a major figure in the Dutch Parliament. As a Dutch Parliamentarian, she caused a furore among Muslims for her staunch attack on Islamic values and believes. Citing irregularities in her initial immigration application, the Dutch Government revoked her citizenship. Due to insecurity, she was offered a job with a thinktank group in the US. But that did not ease her stay in the US. The Dutch Government, overburdened by the accumulation of expenses on her security, stopped providing the budget for her heavy security detail.


There is more than we know about Somali women. Besides their beauty, many continue to dominate world sectors in the field of education, economy, and social aspects. The era when Somali women married Somali cousins, is well over. The exodus from the civil war in Somalia has produced many couples with varrying religious and cultural backgrounds. Somali women have married men of all nationalities conceiving children with different ideals, colors, and religious affiliations.


Somali women, especially those in the Diaspora, have displayed educational integrity the other gender could not aspire despite repeated trials. There're Doctors in the fields of Medicine and Professors in prestigious universities doing commendable jobs aimed at advancing humans needs the world over. These are a group of educated and courageous mothers and sisters whose perseverance saw them attain distinguishing grades in their pursuit of education and surpass their male counterparts with the desire to irradiate a gloomy world in crisis.


But that is only one side of the coin. Beauty without health, nutrition, and assured security means nothing. The millions of Somali women living in abject poverty and lacking security is infact an issue to reckon with. Somalia has never had a female President or Prime Minister making the role of women in government minimal. In a male-dominated world, the enormity of suffering for Somali women must be great.


The rule and collapse of the dictatorial Somali regime hasn't changed the living conditions of Somali women for the better and for now there is a long way for them to reclaim their rightful place in government, social status, and body beauty.

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