By: Farhan Abdi Suleiman (Oday)
Somalilandsun – In any chapter of life there is going to be an ending. Life that exists on this world is regarded as a no immortal life and most people will expect death in sometime of their life, we all have the direction that some day we will test death and judge for good or bad we did in the past.
Iam writing this article for mourning the four anniversary of the death memorial of Ali Mohamed Gulaid, alias Ali Marshal. While there are no guarantees in life, Ali Gulaid died in a car accident near Berbera, Somaliland, on Thursday 6th of August 2009. This misfortune was devotedly felt by the people of Somaliland and was mourned as such all over the world. And this month is the month which will mark one of our saddest and ugliest turning points in our lives. Each of us will remember that moment; the bad news comes and every one sheds with tears in his eyes.
He was truly an example of sacrifice, and his absence will leave a void that will not be easily filled. A man who left us with hope, inspiration, kind heart and decent soul. And the fact that he had passed away does not mean he departed from our lives. The passage of time has not healed our hearts and as life and memory last, we will remember you and you will remain deep in our living memories for the rest of our lives. Today, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ali Gulaid and my Allah grand him the leisure of Janatul Fardows, Ameen.
Ali’s remarkable life and work are summarised best in his own foundation website. His profile explained as “Ali Muhammad Gulaid aka Ali Marshal was born in Hargeisa in 1945. Ali graduated from Sheikh Secondary School with accolades 1967. As a young man Ali got his first job with the Port Authority of Berbera as an accountant. It is ironic that Ali leased a Chevy truck that he owned to the company that was building the road between Hargeisa and Barbera in the 1970s- the very road that claimed his life prematurely.
Ali left Somaliland for Saudi Arabia to fulfill his solemn duty along with his beloved mother to the Hajj in 1973. He continued his journey to Abu Dubai where he worked in a construction company as an accountant.Ali left for the United States 1976. He finished his studies at Marquette University with a degree in accounting. Ali moved to California got a job offer from Santa Clara County as a junior auditor. During his tenure with Santa Clara County he obtained his CPA (Certified Public Accounting) and later became senior auditor. In this capacity he directed a team of auditors in covering auditing standards, attestation engagement standards, accounting and review services standards, audit risk alerts and other vital auditing-related guidance issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Ali assumed a more challenging and rewarding position at the African Development Bank in Ivory Coast in 1991 as a Principal Finance Officer. He oversaw projects in African nations that are funded by the African Development Bank. During his tenure in the African Development Bank Ali gained profound experience in not only marshaling projects from inception to finish, but also in nation building. He experienced how economy and politics are so intertwined in African nations and centralization of government power, corruption, nepotism and injustice hinder economic developments. Ali moved back to the California in 2000, where he worked at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) as accountant and Budget Analyst”.
Every society has enlightened and far-sighted people who have contributed a great portion of enhancement and development to their communities that history marks, these individuals are considered as a good typical example whose steps will be followed by the next generations as a true role models and Ali is not exceptional.
Ali was one of the few people dedicated in all his life improving and covering the loopholes of his Somaliland society, “a man educated to the peak, employed comfortably who gave up the leisure and easy life of California for the dry, dusty, and moreover disorderly, where rule of law is yet to be established. He did that for he wanted to have his mark on the development of his beloved motherland. He believed rightly he can contribute more not only to his countrymen, but to the whole humanity in taking part of Somaliland nation building”. Said Ahmed Arwo a friend to Ali.
Apart from his long Somaliland Diaspora prop up he also spent a huge amount of support his country financially and materially to safeguard its existence. He always gave invaluable advices to the former government led by former president Dahir Riyale Kahin in terms of good governance, budget analysis, transparency and accountability, his critical written articles paying attention to many people who were concerned about the financial management and fiscal responsibility existed in the country at that time.
After he issued numerous interesting truthful reports and articles, Riyale’s government deterred him for arresting if he would not stop his important commentaries and this has not prevented him from his fair writings. Ahmed Arwo to afriend Ali expressed him “a man who doesn´t know the meaning of fear, a man who doesn´t know the meaning of defeat, quit or surrender”.
Ali was a founding member of Kulmiye Party of Somaliland, an Executive Committee Member and became one of the iron pillars that party ever had. Ali was an honest visionary politician who wanted to lead both his people and his country in effective governance politically and economically. He will always be remembered for his diligent, goodness and fairness in the party.
Ali was not only confined in the political sphere but also renowned for his extended hands to the vulnerable people in the society. He was undeniable backbone for KULMIYE party who had long term strategic visions and carrying out capabilities. He was the man who suggested many effective ideas and platforms admired by the people such as buying an ambulance owned by the party in case of a medical emergency among the party members and their supporters. He has also the idea of building a conference hall in the party compound and today it is called Ali Marshaal Hall.
Ali had evolved a close friendship with the youth, sharing with his time and sitting with them by encouraging them, he will be remembered for his youth closeness according to the other politicians and educators in the party. He will also be remembered for his advocacy to media, journalists and freedom of expression.
Finally, Ali has left us with unrealized dreams which the youth behind him are expected of making them true and his dreams can only come true if we take advantage of his testamentary footsteps. Ali Gulaid’s life and work is an unforgettable model, sure to leave a lasting plod on how history is understood and how a decent and honourable life should be lived. I share with you a mourning poem translated by Rhoda Rageh;
They have announced the death of Ali Marshal
About an overturned vehicle. Oh my sleeplessness
A shield and a protection was that departed hero
A close and valued alley who never would nudge
He was the leading anchor in public debates
He was a shady tree surrounded with nobility
An excellent orator in public forums. Guard and
Guiding knowledge for Silanyo’s shoulder
He was a man of freedom however way I look
Darkness have descended Oh Herzi upon our goals
Death is inevitable yet am I feeling…… what?
For all the enemy of Somaliland is it an open field
Fault and evil perpetrators is all that left behind
Oh Allah make Jannah his abode as I wait for victory
And Make our country free for this is a place of prayer
Perseverance is the way to success Oh!
Dear my government, media and youth what will be rewarded by Ali Gulaid? Let us speak his profile and advancements he has made during the short time he was involved in the politics to the public to commemorate his four death memorial.
Farhan Abdi Suleiman (Oday) is a Social Worker and Youth activist in Hargeisa. He holds a BA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Hargeisa and also postgraduate Diploma in Peace building & Conflict Management at Eastern Mennonite University under the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in University of Hargeisa.
Phone: 252 – 2 -4401132