Hargeisa Revisited: A Homecoming Reflection


Home, sweet home

As I looked out the airplane window, my eyes shifted between the towering buildings and the scattered trees. This familiar scene has become my ritual, an attempt to observe the strides of progress made. No doubt that Hargeisa is expanding at a rapid pace.

The warmth of the Hargeisa breeze hit me as soon as I disembarked at Egal International Airport. Everything—the sights, sounds and scents—seemed particularly fresh. It was as if I had been away for ages! Although I had previously spent extended periods away from my hometown, including twelve years on separate occasions, this particular return carried a unique significance. My time away had been consumed by intense work in a conflict zone, leaving me yearning for the familiarity and comfort of Hargeisa.

For me, Hargeisa is more than just a city – it is my cherished home. It is where my family resides, where my roots are firmly planted. There truly is no place like home, and every time I return to Hargeisa, I am reminded of just how much this place means to me.

Navigating through the heart of the city.

Living next to Maansoor Hotel means that I have to travel through the city.  So I hailed a taxi and made my way through the busy streets, observing the hustle and bustle of the city. The honking of cars, the chatter of street vendors, and the call of Duhr prayer from the nearby mosque all contributed to the familiar symphony that is Hargeisa.

In recent times, traffic jams have become symbolic of the city. Particularly in downtown areas, the movement of cars is slow, especially during the busy noon hours. This period marks the Hargeisa’s rush hour when civil servants or business people finish their workday and the streets come alive with activity. It’s worth noting that kat (Qaad) chewers also contribute to the vibrant atmosphere during this time. The combination of traffic congestion and the lively buzz of the city’s inhabitants creates a rhythmic pulse that defines Hargeisa’s unique character.

Hargeisa’s Progress and Entrepreneurial Spirit

At every turn, Hargeisa highlights the resilience and spirit of its people. Despite only serving for a relatively short time (around two years, as far as I know), Mayor Moge has spearheaded a transformation in Hargeisa, marked by innovative initiatives such as road renovations, tree planting programs, and enhanced cleanliness standards. It seems Hargeisa has found the kind of leader it has been longing for – her own son!

Under Mayor Moge’s leadership, Hargeisa has become a place where anything is possible. The city is now alive with a renewed sense of purpose and possibility. It is no surprise that people are taking advantage of these opportunities, and  owe a great deal of gratitude to Mayor Moge and his team for their hard work and dedication to making Hargeisa a better place for all.

Surprisingly, Hargeisa amazes me with its thriving business after Waaheen fire in 2022!  Everywhere I looked, there were signs of growth and development – from the bustling markets to the cutting-edge technology companies that were springing up all around the city. Hargeisa people are not content to simply sit back and watch as the world passes them by – they are actively shaping their own destiny and building a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Reuniting with my family

After enduring a long drive through Hargeisa, here I am with my dear mother. It has become a heartfelt tradition for me to never pass by without kiss on the head. She is a strong and resilient figure in my life who means the world to me—more than just a friend or a parent, she is everything!  Interestingly, when I review my call logs, it is evident that she is the one I engage in lengthy conversations with, often stretching well beyond mere hours, particularly after a demanding day at work.

At last, I arrive my home, where my beloved kids and wife await. The sight of their innocent faces fills me with immense relief and reminds me why I work so hard. To them, life is a playground – full of treats and sweets. They greet me eagerly as soon as I walk through the door: “Daddy, what have you brought for us?” This is a question I’ve grown accustomed to. Rarely do I return home empty-handed when it comes to my family. Their anticipation and excitement drive me to always bring something special for them, ensuring their world is decorated with love and joy.

What happens next is a story for another day. Until then, farewell and goodbye!