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Somalia:Is There Any Similarity Between Arab Dheere & Siilaanyo!!?

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Sunday August 31, 2014 - 05:49:45 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Somalia:Is There Any Similarity Between Arab Dheere & Siilaanyo!!?

    Waagacusub.net - In 1920, after two decades of bloody warfare, perhaps the longest drawn-out and bloodiest in the annals of African resistance, the Dervishes were finally demolished by the British air warfare.

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Waagacusub.net - In 1920, after two decades of bloody warfare, perhaps the longest drawn-out and bloodiest in the annals of African resistance, the Dervishes were finally demolished by the British air warfare.

That victory was made by the use of aircrafts with unconventional army such as Chemical and Smallpox Biological weapons. As one of the pilots remarked, the airplane was carrying a "un conventional weapons to bomb Dervishes out of their fortified military stations” (1).


The defeat of Dervishes gave the upper hand, politically, militarily, and economically, to the British-friendly clans over those who had been allies of the Dervishes. The later now began to chafe under a perceived domination. What particularly infuriated Dhulbahante (as Dervish commanders were named) was the appointment of a new police commissioner, one "Arab Dhere”, who was systematically, harassed the Dhulbahante, seizing their camel herds, roughing up the men and ravishing the women using his protectorate colonial British armies. The Dervish Commander Ismail Mire composed his lugubrious jeremiad, a philosophical discourse on the vagaries and futilities of human existence and he said:


  • "The Lord divides the bread amongst all his slaves
  • Taking Care of the fishes in the sea and even of the contents of cup.
  • Everyone will receive what has happened prescribed for him.
  • Even though he runs fast or sets out early in the morning climbing high hill
  • No one will gain more than his allotted portion: let that be remembered!?” 


This verse shows how Commander Ismail Mire was a leader and how he was educated in frontier of Islamic religion. His tasks is to make his case persuasively through the obliqueness and ambiguities of Sarbeeb, and in the forty-one line of the poem he embarks to his overweening worldly pride that Corfield owed his death; It didn’t occur to him that young Dervishes could kill him with their rifles.


  • "Oh, men arrogances bring disaster: let that be remembered!

Richard Corfield was commander British occupation forces, and the verse evokes his death at battle of Dul Madobe between British and Dervishes in 1913.


Ismail Mire is well qualified to speak of this incident since he led the Dervish attack. Corfield’s death, with other heavy casualties on the British and British-friendly clan’s side, was attributed to his supreme self-confidence and rash action in engaging the enemy without adequate numbers or resources and in understanding the power of the Dervish forces.


Dervish Ismail Mire, for his master crafts in the field the withering analogies helped him.

By analogy, the poet implies that a similar "downfall” of dark oppressor occurs in the last verses in which in which the poet observes thus:


  • I saw a man such as those described who will not live long to enjoy his wealth;
  • His bags are full of loot taken from men of honors and valour.
  • Watch silently, Muslims, and see how those who prosper lose their souls.


By Haboon Haji Abdi, Graduate Student at East Africa University-Buuhoodle Khatumo State of Somalia

(1)Ref: Language, Rhythm, & Sound: Black Popular Cultures into the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Joseph K. Adjaye, Adrianne R. Andrews


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