2019: My Year in Review What I learned from my year of reading books (By: Khadar Yolac)

This year I am writing my first Annual Review, which I have had in mind for the past four years that can give me a chance to take stock of what went good and what could have been done better, while also giving me a moment to appreciate the progress I have made over the past 12 months.
For me this year I did huge achievements and accomplishments that I have never forgotten. I took my Bachelor’s Degree from my university IUA, Khartoum, Sudan and started my Master’s Degree in Project Management and Finance at Jimma University in Ethiopia. Studying in foreign universities gave you the chance to make a lot of new friends who came from all over the world. Friends who are different from your language, culture, creed, race and colour. I remember my friend from Cambodia – Ron Careveen, I had not met anyone from Cambodia before — he told me the percentage of Muslims in Cambodia is 5%. I know life is tough settling into a new country and not speaking Somali and not knowing where the grocery store, restaurants and even tea shops are and being far from the rest of your family and friends. After years of experience in semi-strange country(qurbe-nacas) and feeling home-sick, I prepared for the return to homeward journey. In my last months in Sudan, life become so harsh when the anti-government demonstrations began — I wrote an article for this, you can check for this link https://xorhadal.wordpress.com/2019/10/06/gugii-carbeed-een-goob-joogga-ka-ahaa-suudaan/. I left Khartoum through Ethiopian Airlines flight to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, where I had transit and safely came back to Hargeisa – my hometown.


Haruki Murakami once said that if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. It means if you only read the kind of novel you have always read, you can only think the kind of things you usually think. I read underrated and interesting books in 2019. Though I can’t call myself as an avid reader, I would like to read some of the fascinating and impactful books. The books that I have read in this ending year 2019 – and would recommend others to read. Though these are books you’ll never read for your life like Margites By Homer, Dead Souls 2 By Nikolai Gogol and Alceyn by Khaliil Bin Ahmed AlFarahidi but these are the following ones you can get easily:

  1. Geeljire Iyo Aqoonjire By Ibraahin Mahamoud Ahmed Ali (The son of Mahamoud Ahmed Ali, The father of education)
  2. Tigaaddada Tasawufka By Ahmed Ibraahin Awale
  3. Dharaaro Xusuustood By Mohamed Saed Ges
  4. Mas’uuliyatu Muthaqaf By Ali Shari’ati
  5. Diin Didda Diin By Ali Shari’ati
  6. Mushkilaat Al-dimuqraadiya By Hassan Alcabawi
  7. Stars, Seasons And Weather in Somali Pastoral Traditions By Muse GalaaL
  8. The River and The Source By Margaret A. Angola
  9. A Women’s Pleasure Trip In Somaliland By Frances Swayne
  10. I am Malala The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
  11. Why Nations Failed By Daron Acamoglu and James A. Robinson
  12. Fixing Failed States By Ashraf Gani and Clare Lockhart
  13. Reforming Modernity Taha Abdulrahman By Wael Hall
  14. Mudakaraat Qaari By Mohamed H. Al-Ahmari
  15. Inside Al-Shabaab By Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph
  16. Taliban – Jundullahi Fii Macrikatel Kalad By Fahmi Huweydi

Short stories:

Who Moved My Cheese
The Girl Who Carried A Gun
Jacaylkii Barni Seed and others
I also read numerous research papers and articles that were publicized on Websites, Magazines and Newspapers.


When I came back to Hargeisa, I visited Borama the capital of Awdal. The road was smooth and sometimes rough. We went through several towns along the way including Abaarso, Arabsiyo, Gebileh and Dila. In the Awdal region, one of the most striking aspects of that State was, indeed, how its people lived in total peace and harmony. And how their children were going to school. Gebileh had an engaging feature. Before we entered the city, we saw trees along the main tarmac road. It has a unique action in that every couple should plant a tree when they are getting married. This is a special practice that is good for the environment. One of the elders of the city told me that the earlier mayor (the time of Siyad Barre’s regime), unfortunately, he didn’t mention his name had started this valuable activity. When we reached Borama, we went consecutive to Amoud University. The university building had its foundations laid in 1952, and it was started as a boarding school by Mohamoud Ahmed Ali and his colleagues. Amoud was one of the first schools built in British Somaliland after Sheikh Bashir in Hargeisa and Sheikh in Sahil. The people we met in Borama, both old and young, male and female were hospitable and generous. Also, I visited Ga’an Libah, a Golis Mountains range in Sahil region, it is a historical and beautiful panorama place.

I also visited Jigjiga, where half a million people live and work. When I went to Jigjiga, I settled at my aunt’s home(sister of my father) in Marsin, North-West of Jigjiga. It was my first time that I went to the Capital of Somali State in Ethiopia. Jigjiga is a multicultural and beautiful city where the streets were scrubbed, wiped and cleaned. While I was in Jigjiga, I visited the Jigjiga University and the statue of Somali anti-colonial warrior Sayyid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan in the centre of the town. I also met in Jigjiga the Pan-Somali, poet, historian, revolutionary/spiritual leader and admired person for all Somalis – Haji Ali Shu’a. Haji Ali is full of stories — I really a lot from him.


My writing goals for this year was to start blogging and publishing articles. I published various articles in my blog this ending year. In 2019, I expended a little more time on social media. Particularly, I focused on Twitter and started tweeting repeatedly.

The New Year

Personally, I hate New Years. I want every morning to be a new year for me. Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself. No day set aside for rest. I choose my pauses myself. I would like every hour of my life to be new, though connected to the ones that have passed. This reminds me of Antonio Gramsci on socialism and New Year’s Day. Eventually, I concluded in this poem alliterated by An Egyptian poet Mutanabbi while he was in prison. He says:
Ciidun bi’ayyi xaalin cudda yaa ciidun
Bimaa madaa am bi’amrun fiika tajdiid …