IS THE INTER-MARRYING OF 100 YOUNGESTERS THE SALVATION THAT THE GABOOYE COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN YEARNING FOR?
The issue of how best to help the Gabooye community to overcome centuries-old widespread bigotry and discrimination, for no fault of their own, is the talk of the town lately. This is a long over due conversation that the Somali society needs to have an must have.
The Gabooye clan is an innocent and integral part of the Somali society has endured centuries old mistreatment, abuses and social ridicule that has no place in a modern 21 century society.
Though it is not a new phenomenon, this issue gained it’s own sorta-of-infamy after the Somali Regional president has gathered the elders of the Gabooye community and proposed the intermarrying of 100 youngester from the Gaboye and other Somali clans as a solution.
First of all, this is a good symbolic gesture and symbols do matter. But honestly, it doesn’t address the unique cultural and socio-economic challenges that are facing the Gaboye community. However symbols help in advancing a cause, they don’t address an issue as complicated as this. It is policy and understanding that finally does the heavy lifting in the end.
After all, if there where some magic wand to deal with societal ills of these kind, somebody have waved it longtime ago.
The challenges facing the community are complicated and intricate ones that needs nuance and depth than mere symbolic gestures. It will be only prudent to not simplify these complex social issues or not engage in a game of ‘kicking empty cans down the street’.
What is also important to remember amidst all this debate is that if we have to raise the hope and aspirations of the community, it has to be for something big and transformational that should correct these historic grievances rather than cosmetic solutions that won’t address the root cause of the problem to begin with and all the ways it had manifested it self upto this day.
In that regard, the important question that need to be at the heart of the process to evaluate a certain actions or policy proposals about how best to help the community is, how well are these actions or policies poised to have a more lasting and positive impact.
But here is the good news on all of this, there are commense steps that can be taken to help this community overcome centuries of discrimination, segregation and cultural scapegoating.
One such good place to start is, political and socio-economic empowerment.
Though these political and socio-economic challenges such as poverty and lack political participation are not exclusive to this specific community or that as they share these unfortunate realities with the rest of the Somali society, these challenges are compounded for the Gabooye community.
However, the obvious place to start in addressing these complex socio-cultural issues, is to embark on a set of social research programs that tries to understand the root causes of these problems scienficially and come up with creative ways to change the perceptions and attitudes that have morphed into these disastrous cultural fixations.
The other fundamental thing that is a key to breaking this cycle is to empower this community in terms of political and economic opportunities that will have longer and more lasting impact for generations to come.
So, if someone is truely genuine about remedying these historic injustices, political participation, economic empowerment policies that gives priority to members of the Gaboye community in terms, of both public and private sector jobs, skills training, scholarships, micro-finance, government contracts and other programs that are geared towards access to healthcare as well policies and progrms that will improve the overall livelihoods of the Gaboye community.