" When I grew up in Somalia education was free. Schools were built everywhere and in high school we students helped with the construction of new schools during the weekend. When I started working I was a civil servant at first, but then I was given the opportunity to study at university and become a TV producer. I left the country a few months before the civil war broke out in 1991 because all journalists were targeted. It was very painful to leave my home country, but it was a forced option.
I came to Finland in June of 1990. In the winter one of the workers at the reception centre told us we needed to try the sauna, but I told him we have enough heat stored in ourselves for the next thirty years. But I tried at a later time, and I loved it. When I am in Finland I can’t live without the sauna.
The last seven or eight years I have been mainly in Somalia. I returned to Mogadishu in 2009 and became an MP in the transitional parliament. From June 2011 to November 2012 I was also Minister of Water, Energy, Oil and Minerals.
When I returned it was hard to recognize my city. In my memory Mogadishu was clean with nice streets and buildings. When I got back there were no real roads, just bushes and trees, and no buildings, just rubble. It was full of guns, for the slightest thing people were using arms.
I found a young generation that had got no education. At the moment I am working for IOM’s MIDA FINNSOM-project at the Somali National University in Mogadishu, particularly at the Faculty of Education and Social Science, trying to develop the teaching quality and the capacity building.
Now I am making the link, trying to be the bonding bridge between the two educational systems of Finland and Somalia. For the Somali diaspora, and for every diaspora, the goal should be to transfer their experience, knowledge and skills to their home country and share with their fellow people."