A Graduation in Somalia is More Than a Graduation

For the majority of students around the world (mainly in the developed world), they go to university, finish it, and proceed to the next stage of their life. That’s how predictable their life is. But the case of Somalia is totally different, esp. those students who happened to be students between 2006 and 2013. Abdirashid Ibrahim Hassan is one example of those students who paid the price for something he himself cannot even explain as of today.
In 2013, during a semester break, Abdirashid became a victim of a blast in Mogadishu after a bomb planted in their car exploded. At the time, I was the secretary of his faculty and also one of his Semester I teachers. He’s a brilliant student, the kind of student every teacher wants to have in his/her class.

At the time of the explosion, he was driving with a family member, and the family member lost his life at the scene. Fortunately, Abdirashid didn’t lose his life. We visited him at the hospital the next day, and the memory of that day alone at the hospital makes me cry even today.😭 One of my best students got one of his legs amputated. It was another black day; everyone, incl. his family was hopeful because of him. But, since we’re Muslims, we believe in Qadr (Allah has decreed everything that happens in the universe according to His prior knowledge and the dictates of His wisdom).

Abdirashid_resuming_classes
Abdirashid resuming classes

What happened next is what made me a proud teacher because I’ve seen the heroic decision of one of the most inspirational students I ever had.
While being at the hospital, Abdirashid asked us to bring his lecturers and classmates to the hospital to take his lessons. We helped him as much as we could and his classmates used to visit him daily to give him revisions. But everyone was helping him just to keep his morals high because he loved to learn (although, deep in our hearts, we thought his time at the university was finished), but we didn’t know that he’s considering to continue and finish the university.

To the surprise of everyone, when the time has come for the exam week, Abdirashid decided to sit for the exam. No. One. Could. Believe. It. In addition to that, Abdirashid was ready just like any other student, but he used to come to the university only during the exam weeks. He did his Semester II exams with wheelchairs. Surprisingly, he passed all his classes and was ready for the next class.

Before he started Semester III, Abdirashid was taken to Turkey for operations. A walking Abdirashid came back from Turkey with prosthetic legs. A well-organized ceremony, organized by his classmates and attended by the faculty management and lecturers, followed his arrival to receive him back to the university with joy and celebrations. The rest is history.

Abdirashid_Receiving_His_Certificate_from_SIMAD_University
Abdirashid Receiving His Certificate from SIMAD University

Abdirashid is now that beautiful, tall, and strong student who graduated from SIMAD University in style. He’s now ready to contribute to his country because he knows the real problems that need to be solved.

That’s how much some of our students sacrifice to get educated. Isn’t a graduation ceremony in Somalia more than a graduation ceremony?

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