Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Somali Muslims Are Dying of Starvation
By Latheef Farook
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 1, 2011
Muslim world with immense wealth remains
to their conscience leave alone religious obligations?
Somalia in the Horn of Africa is a Muslim country. Somalis are pious and god
fearing people with their own tradition and culture. They are so
religious that most Somalis in the south memorize the Holy Quran, Hafiz,
when they are around 12 or 13. They learn Quranic verses written on huge
trees and their classes are around these trees.
people were poor Somalia is blessed with oil wealth. Thus the vultures – oil
companies, weapons industries, financial oligarchy and the Jewish lobbies-
which rule United States decided to destabilize to loot the oil wealth.
They overthrew President Said Barre in January 1991, armed rival tribes and
triggered a civil war which turned this once peaceful country into a killing
field causing death, devastation and immense sufferings .The anarchy
continued unabated. Today Somalia is divided into lawless autonomous
statelets. US oil companies entered the country are awaiting the opportunity
to loot the oil wealth.
Today Somalis are experiencing the worst ever famine in the worst ever
drought in 60 years. Across Somalia, about 3.7 million people, half the
population, are facing starvation, with an estimated 2.8 million of them in
Andrew Mitchell, the UK's international development
secretary, said: "In Somalia, men, women and children are dying of
starvation. If a concerted effort is not made to save the situation
thousands are bound to die within a month or two. Already tens of thousands
of people have died of starvation during the past few months.
The crisis is not something unexpected. Aid agencies and governments
have known for almost a year that food would run out by now. But it is only
now, when the children begin to die and the cattle have been sold or died
that the global humanitarian machine has moved in, with its TV shows, co-ordinated
appeals and celebrities.
A father of three walked almost a month
to reach a camp in Kenya. On the way all three children died one after the
other due to heat, lack of water and food. He had to bury his own children
and by the time he dragged himself to the camp his wife too died of
Declaring South Somalia as a famine stricken area on 21
July 2011, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon said: Across the Horn of
Africa, people are starving. A catastrophic combination of conflict, high
food prices and drought has left more than 11 million people in desperate
need. The UN has been sounding the alert for months. There is famine in
Somalia. And it is spreading. This is a wake-up call we cannot ignore.
Every day I hear the harrowing reports from our U.N. teams on the ground.
Somali refugees, their cattle and goats dead from thirst, walking for weeks
to find help in
Ethiopia. Children who arrive alone, terrified and malnourished, their
parents dead, in a foreign land.
He added that “from
within Somalia, we hear terrible stories of families who watched helplessly
as their children died, one by one. One woman recently arrived at a U.N.
displacement camp 87 miles southwest of
Mogadishu after a three-week trek. Halima Omar, from the region of Lower
Shabelle,was once considered well-off. Today, after three years of drought,
she barely survives. Four of her six children are dead.
"There is nothing
in the world worse than watching your own child die in front of your eyes
because you cannot feed him," she said of her ordeal. "I am losing hope."
Even for those who reach the camps, there is often no hope. Many are
simply too weak after long journeys across the arid land and die before they
can be nursed back to strength. For people who need medical attention, there
are often no medicines. Imagine the pain of those doctors, who must watch
their patients perish for lack of resources.
As a human family, these
stories shock us. We ask: How is this happening again? After all, the world
has enough food. And yes, economic times are hard. Yet since time
immemorial, amid even the worst austerity, the compassionate impulse to help
our fellow human beings has never wavered.
That is why I reach out
today: to focus global attention on this crisis, to sound the alarm and to
call on the world's people to help Somalia in this moment of greatest need.
To save the lives of the people at risk — the vast majority of them women
and children — we need about $1.6 billion in aid. So far, international
donors have given only half that amount. To turn the tide, to offer hope in
the name of our common humanity, we must mobilize worldwide.
The United States which annually gives billions of dollars of tax payers’
money to Israel, killing machine in the Middle East, gave a pittance of
$28million while European countries are yet to respond. European countries
met in Rome. However nothing substantial came out.
In the oil rich
Gulf, blessed with abundant wealth, where regimes spend billions of dollars
in buying weapons, helping weapons industry in the West to
flourish, only Kuwait has been dispatching plane loads of food and medicine.
Saudi Arabia invested $60 billion on purchasing weapons from West can save
these unfortunate Somalis only by giving a billion dollar. However, so far,
there were no signs of such human kindness. Saudi allocation is
reported to be $ 50 million.
Where are the billionaire princes and
sheikhs who have turned to West to hide their wealth? On the whole the
response of the Muslim world is absolute disgrace. Wealth made them blind to
their religious obligations.
Bitterly criticizing the indifference
British politician Paddy Ashdown said” in todays newspapers – from front to
back – I was hoping to see the media use their power and influence to tell
this story. I hoped to see headlines shouting that millions of women and
children in Somalia, and across the entire Horn of Africa, are struggling
for survival and need the British public to help. But I didn't. Instead, my
eyes were blurred with articles of shaving foam and hacking scandals, as
talk about the dire need for nutritional supplies for children who need
their lives saved slipped into the footnotes.
In fact this is a
manmade disaster .To understand the causes it is necessary to race back the
roots of the problem to colonization and imperialism, political economic and
social policies pursued in post-colonial times which perpetuate recurring
famine and crisis and the crucial role of the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund. Ends
Latheef Farook, a
Sri Lankan ,worked for Ceylon Daily News and Ceylon Observer for
almost a decade before leading a team of journalists to
Dubai in February 1979 where he re launched Gulf News. After living and
working in the Gulf for almost a quarter century he is now based