Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Backstory

"Our situation was aggravated by our displacement in Africa for many years after fleeing our home country of Somalia because of war conditions. As a result, my son was not able to receive any formal education before we immigrated to the United States."
Abdulahi Yusuf, Somali immigrant to United States

"What people need to understand is that these young teens are coming from a country torn by a civil war with no basic education and suddenly put in these high schools or elementary schools where they have a cultural shock."
"This whole thing should be looked at in the context of a teen who is emotionally attached to his mom and grandparents.  ...The father is working 24 hours a day to take care of family here and other family members in the Horn of Africa."
Talha Nooh, Muslim Community Association San Jose, California

A 15-year-old boy, seen sitting on a stretcher center, who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui is loaded into an ambulan...
A 15-year-old boy, seen sitting on a stretcher center, who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui is loaded into an ambulance at Kahului Airport in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii Sunday afternoon, April 20, 2014. The boy survived the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen, FBI and airline officials said. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport with no identification. "Kid's lucky to be alive," Simon said. (AP Photo/The Maui News, Chris Sugidono)

This is a boy who made the news. Media around the world were alerted that a young boy had managed to survive in the wheel well of a jetliner that flew for over five hours, with him hanging on. Somalia has been in the news for quite a long time; it has well earned its reputation as a failed state. Violent Islam has made a giant footprint in that country, and there are few signs it will be diminishing any time soon. Somalia made the news for the years that its nationals turned to piracy on the high seas.

It made the news when a UN peacekeeping mission UNOSOM I was temporarily suspended to allow a multinational force known as the United Task Force (UNITAF) led by the United States in an operation named Operation Restore Hope led to the chaos and instability that brought the United Nations back with UNOSOM II, which itself led to the episode known as Black Hawk Down.

This is the story of a 15-year-old Somali youth whom incessant war in his home country displaced along with his family. In Muslim societies children become the 'property' of the father in a marital dispute. And so, the boy lived with his father along with his siblings, and moved with his father to the United States in 2010. Over one million Somali refugees live in Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen, neighbouring Somalia.

This family sought their future in the United States; not all refugees who apply are accepted as Abdulahi Yusuf and his children were. The boy was under the impression that his mother was no longer alive. And then he learned that she was living at a refugee camp in Ethiopia for displaced Somalis.

The boy's mother spoke in an interview with Voice of America: "I know he was looking for me, and I am requesting the U.S. government to help me reunite with my kids." Her ex-husband, she said, without her knowledge or consent took their three children to California, and she had received no word of them since 2006. He had told their children their mother was dead.

"Every day he was telling me: 'I miss Somalia, I miss my mom. He just wanted to see his mom", said a teenage friend in California, speaking of his friendship with the shy, religious boy. Members of the Muslim community in California stated that the family is taking advice from the Council on American-Islamic Relations steering them in communication with law enforcement, social workers, the media and medical providers.

CAIR is certain to manipulate the issue in favour of the father whose plan to fly to Hawaii to be reunited with his son, still in  hospital there, leaves him "excited to bring him back home to his 'deeply concerned' family in California." The boy's mother, Ubah Mohamed Abdullahi, will likely only see her children again when they come of age, are independent, and make an effort to reunite with her, should she live so long.

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