Several weeks ago we had the privilege of exchanging emails with Somali journalism hero Dahir Alasow and he agreed to do a Q & A interview for the public. Mr. Alasow is the president of the Association of Somali Journalists and the founder of Waagacusub and Suna Times, two news programs that helped dismantle the Al-Shabaab group in Somalia through exposing the militant network’s schemes.
1. When did you enter journalism and how did you get started?
I always had the passion of the profession. I started in 1993 in Mogadishu with articles about social issues
2. Where are you primarily based today?
I currently reside in the Netherlands where our organization Association of Somali Journalists (ASOJ) is registered.
3. Who would you like to see as Somalia’s next president or prime minister?
I would like to see tribalism and corruption free leaders in the helm. Personally, I don’t like tribalism. I’d recommend that the president or the Prime minister be someone with knowledge and ability, Specifically I’d support a female president or female PM since men failed us.
4. What do you believe about oil exploration in Somalia?
I think oil produced in Somalia could contribute to the peace, because poverty is the main reason of the conflict.
5. Do you support federalism?
Federalism could not be embraced hastily, it is a good solution but majority of the Somali population don?t understand it very well. I think the public should be taught what the federalism is all about.
6. What is the most important part of the new constitution to you?
According to what I believe, the new constitution can’t work. The reason is, there are contradictory clauses; on the other hand those who drafted the constitution don?t have the constitution writing expertise, because the terminology used shows that the team drafted lacks the necessary experience
7. Do you believe Somalia can become a normal nation again?
Yes I do, and I believe that things are now on the right track. It seems that the people and government of Turkey played an important role on how best Somalia can regain its nationhood.
8. What do you think about Somaliland and separatism?
I ask myself always Who is Somaliland? Somaliland is the northern region of Somalia, but administratively it is in the hands of one clan that hail from the central regions of Somaliland. There is no democracy there. One party and coalition are oppressing the majority, especially clans from Sool, Sanag, and Ayn. They were forced to establish a new administrative zone by the name Khaatumo State.
Similarly clans in Awdal, Salal, and Gabiley established Awdal State. Therefore, its possible to see those in central regions to establish their own state. Somaliland’s hope of recognition is fading away.