The Passing of a Towering Legend “Gariye” (Mohamed Hashi Dhama)

“Wa Kula Nafsin Daa iqatal Al-Mawt”


“You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Gariye was a amalgam of multiple things that are as follows:  Pillar, a backbone, a brain, a moral and ethical  campus, advocate of social justice, towering literary person, literary critic, man of huge wisdom and intellect, freedom fighter, professor, force of moderation and peace, and playwright all packaged in one body.” Suleiman Egeh

Preview: Like the great ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and others, Qariye though passed have left behind massive work, which remains still so important to learn from. In the same token, his voluminous work will remain embedded in our thinking for a very long time to come, and will be always available for community use. Like Aristotle and other Greek philosophers, Gariye’s areas of studies or range was so extensive ranging from science, poetry, linguistics, English language, Somali literature, conflict resolution, social critics, and advocacy for the poor and the voiceless

What is death? This is a complex phenomenon and different religions have different perspectives on it. For us Muslims death is the cessation of the link between our minds and bodies. Death happens when the hidden consciousness ultimately departs the body and goes to the after world. Our body is like a guesthouse and our mind is like a guest, when we die our minds have to abandon the body and get into the body of the next rebirth. One death of one legend is a death too much, and the death of two legends Gariye and Faisal with the span of two weeks is so devastating, and so deafening, these sad deaths that are like no other deaths before. The news that says Gariye has passed away has struck thousands of Somalilanders and others like a nuclear bomb. In the first few hours nobody could believe its credibility. The question many people immediately were asking was, is the news true? Eventually it became clear the news was confirmed and was real. This is when the mourning of the people started. This is when the tears come down like rivers; this is when a mood of doom and gloom just started to shape and immediately began hanging over the people. This is when many people start asking, who will fill the shoes of this just passed giant? Who will take over position he used to play in the game football? Who will ever advocate for the voiceless and the down trodden? Who will take the place of being the moral and ethical campus of the nation? Some were asking who can fill his literary preeminence which in this day and age reached its pinnacle. The day legends pass day is a day of darkness, a day of devastation, a dooms day of doom and gloom. The day the legend was passed was a day of doom and gloom, a day of devastation, a day of mourning and a day of reflection. It is a dark day whereby an irreplaceable unit of the community passed, it’s a day whereby a pillar, a backbone, a brain, a distinguished human, a moral and ethical campus passed. In short it was a day an indispensable and a dashing hero passed.

In the just past 20th century, the world has mourned the passing of many legends who so indispensable, so precious, so preeminent legends who died too early. I can’t put all the passed away legends within the confines of this small essay. I will put into perspective just few of the most towering legends who just died by a natural cause, or the assassin’s bullet. The few passed legends are as follows:

August 27., 1963 was the day the legendary African American civil leader agitator, scholar, writer, critic and newspaper personality, a Harvard University PHD holder W.E.B. Dubois passed away in Accra, Ghana.

June 6, 1968, was the gloomy day Robert F. Kennedy an aspiring presidential candidate in the United States, who just won a crucial California presidential primary was assassinated by unknown killer called Sirhaan.

April 4, 1968 was the day reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated by a a low scale thief called James Earl Ray, a notion rejected by majority of Americans who believe Dr. King was assassinated by a U.S. government conspiracy led by the infamous CIA chief J. Edgar Hover.

January 22, 1963 was the day a beloved president of the United States John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a lone and troubled drifter called Lee Harvey Oswald. The American people have vehemently have highly rejected this perspective.

January 30, 1948 was a day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic. It was a day so devastating, and so difficult for a just newly independent India and the world at large.

Gariye was replaceable force of moderation and peace. He was a selfless person who has made gigantic contributions to his community. Whenever a conflict flares up some where he used to add to his moderating and peace-making perspective to the mix. She was a live-long freedom fighter, voice of democracy and the rule of law, and above all he was a towering voice for the voiceless. Legends never day, just their body disappears, but his voluminous literary work, poems, classical poetry, and superfluous wisdom and intellect will live forever. May Allah bless his soul!

Suileiman Egeh is a freelance writer and a senior science instructor 

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