September 11th, 20 years later.

Today, exactly 20 years ago, Twin Towers – among other targeted government installations in the US – were either completely destroyed or seriously damaged, using hijacked planes, turned into flying bombs. Al Qaeda, the outlawed extremist organization; a terror group as designated by many, under the leadership of Usama Bin Laden, it’s Saudi-born founder, hosted by Taliban regime and hiding in Afghanistan was blamed on this deadly attack. The world since then drastically and irreversibly changed and hence the war on terror intensified in many fronts.

As a result, Taliban rule in Afghanistan was toppled and the country was literally destroyed in the process. Western-leaning new administration, headed by Hamid Karzai, was installed.

Still a student at Amoud University, I vividly remember this day as I learnt the breaking news from the BBC Somali Service, just minutes after I finished my classes at Al-Aqsa Primary School, where, as a part-time teacher, I taught English and Science. In the evening, all our eyes were glued to TV channels, chiefly Al Jazeera, BBC and CNN in Khadar Hassan Caateeye’s center in “Doqonka”, downtown Borama. TV sets were not available in private houses for satellite dishes were by then amenities and privileges available to a handful of well-off families. I remember that night, political analysts, likening reaction of the US as that of a wounded lion “الاسد الجريح”. When retired home late at night, still eager to learn the implications of this attack, I recall listening to BBC Arabic daily program  “حصاد اليوم”, all night examining intensity, scope and time of the would-be reaction from the states.

20 years fast forward, today, as 20th memorial anniversary of that attack is underway, it’s strikingly worth to note, that Taliban is back. Not only back but is effectively in control of Afghanistan. Allied forces spearheaded by the US left that country weeks ago so rapidly and so unexpectedly.

As the famous saying goes, “The illiterates of the 21st century are not those who can’t read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

In today’s vastly changing geopolitical dispensation, to remain relevant, one should relearn that mass killings of thousands of unarmed and innocent civilians, anywhere in the world, will not do good in this world and hereafter. Equally, aggressive, and self-centered regimes should unlearn the norm of installing puppet administrations overseas, often forcefully and against the will of the local people. This has consistently and repeatedly failed everywhere anytime since immemorial. All should learn negotiation table is the way forward and what many finally returned to and accepted, sadly only after so many innocent lives were lost so needlessly and so unnecessarily!

By: Abdirahman Adan Mohamoud