Why Isn’t #Pray4Somalia Trending? A Somali Canadian Youth Reflects on the Mogadishu AttackWritten by Asha Mohamed
Somali Canadian students across Canada, in Ottawa, Hamilton, Scarborough, Toronto, and Calgary, have been coming together to mourn the victims of the Mogadishu terrorist attack and to raise funds to support those directly impacted, particularly through LaunchGood’s crowdfunding page to support Aamin Ambulance which is helping people on the ground.
As the Somali community holds fundraisers in cities like Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary this weekend to raise funds for the victims and their families, others are asking why their fellow Muslims and Canadians seem silent despite the magnitude of this terrorist attack.
Unfortunately, stereotypes about Somalis may be skewing Canadians’ , including Muslim Canadians, understanding of just how unusual and horrific this terrorist attack was as bombs went off at a major intersection that is also a hub for business and community in the bustling city of Mogadishu….it is like if a bomb went off and took out Rideau Mall, if you are from Ottawa, or the Eaton Centre, if you are from Toronto…
Somalia recently rallied to avert a famine and was also just admitted to the UN World Tourism Organization-yes, Somalia is a destination for tourists.
The true target of this terrorist attack was hope.
The Somali Students Association at York University organized a vigil this week where a poster was on display highlighting negative words associated with Somali folks, vigil participants were given space to reclaim their narrative by writing positive affirmations beside the negative stereotypes.
Ottawa-based Somali Canadian college student Asha Mohamed shared her thoughts with Muslim Link about the recent tragedy and the leadership she hopes to see from her fellow Somalis in the coming days.
In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful
Dear brothers and sisters, my fellow young people. As you may know, last Saturday on the 14th of October, Somalia was hit with the deadliest bomb attack to ever happen to the country. The blast struck two areas in the heart of the country, the city of Mogadishu. At least 300+ people have been killed and more than 300 people have been injured.
The death toll has been rising as the government officials claim there are more bodies being found every day. It has been reported that victims and family members are gathering, still looking for their loved ones.
What I don’t understand is why this horrific tragedy hasn’t gotten any wide spread media attention? Why haven’t enough people talked about this?
Why isn’t #Pray4Somalia trending?
These are just some of the questions I ask myself and I’m sure many other people feel the same way.
Had this occurred in the UK or USA or even here in Canada, we all know this type of situation would have been handled very differently.
For starters, it would have gotten way more media attention.
There would be a flood of donations coming from people all over the world and people would still be talking about it three months from now.
As a Somali Canadian who loves her country and her family, this has affected me deeply.
I personally feel heartbroken and I can’t imagine what the families back home are feeling.
Since this terrorist attack is the worst in Somali history, we have a responsibility for the future of our country.
We cannot wait for politicians to do something; we as a community should come together and improve our country ourselves.
I urge you to do something, anything.
We all need to contribute and we all can do something to change Somalia….to help it become what we want to see.
Being a young person growing up in a developed country, I strongly believe anybody can be the leaders of TODAY and TOMORROW.
Leadership for me is not a process but a choice based on how well you are able to influence others.
Leadership doesn’t have to be something big, it could be something small.
You could be a leader within your family and among friends, encouraging them to come forward to make small contributions that ultimately will lead to bigger and better solutions for our homeland.
Islamic Relief Canada is also accepting donations for the Mogadishu attack relief effort online here.
Check out Muslim Link’s Events Listing to see if there is a vigil or fundraiser for Mogadishu in a city near you.
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