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Reasons Why You Feel So Emotional All the Time

6 Psychological Reasons Why You Feel So Emotional All the Time

#1: Unchecked expectations

Shakir Essa 10/17/2020 · 10 min read

Shakir essa
Shakir Essa

Why am I so emotional? has to be one of the most frequently asked questions I hear as a psychologist.

But it’s a tricky question to answer, primarily for two reasons:

  1. Many different factors affect how we feel emotionally. Everything from your genetics and attachment style to what you ate for breakfast and how much sleep you got last night play some role in how you feel emotionally.
  2. There’s no clear standard for how much emotion is “normal.” For example: There’s no rule book that says feeling 6 out of 10 anger is normal, but 8 out of 10 anger is abnormal. Or that feeling angry for a few minutes is normal but feeling it for a few hours is abnormal.

Still, many people do experience higher and more prolonged levels of painful emotion than they need to. And while this excessive emotionality is sometimes due to factors outside their control, frequently that’s not the case.

Often it’s subtle psychological factors that are the real cause of feeling too emotional.

This is good news because, in general, a lot of your psychology is under your control — unlike your genes or what your parents did to you as a child.

What follows is a collection of subtle but powerful psychological causes of excessive emotionality. If you can learn to identify these in your own life, there’s a good chance you can use that knowledge to regulate your emotions more effectively and feel a little more emotionally balanced as a result.

1. Unchecked expectations

Expectations are beliefs about how other people or things in the world should behave or turn out.

There are two major problems with expectations, both of which often lead to heightened levels of emotion:

  1. They’re rarely updated as often as they should be. Suppose you have an expectation of yourself that you do A+ work all the time. While this may have been (sort of) reasonable as a very bright student in a pretty easy school setting when you were 16, it may not be all that reasonable now that you’re a 45-year-old working professional with a mortgage, 4 kids, and sick parents. In other words, your expectation of stellar work all the time is the driving force behind your perfectionism. And your perfectionism is probably driving a lot of excess anxietystress, and self-criticism.
  2. We often use expectations as a defense mechanism. When you believe that something (or someone) should be or act a certain way, it can give a false sense of certainty and control about things that are fundamentally not under your control (and therefore, anxiety-producing). For example: Is your expectation that your children get straight As in school really about your kids’ best interest or is it more about alleviating your anxiety and guilt about not being around your kids enough and this having negative effects on them? The illusion of control and certainty that comes from expectations can make us feel better in the moment. But long term it tends to make us feel worse because it’s a form of denial.

There’s a time and place for expectations. But here’s the thing: If you never check in on your expectations, update them, or investigate what function they’re really serving, they can easily lead to a lot of unnecessary emotional pain and distress.

The trick is to make sure that you are being thoughtful and intentional with your expectations.

Make a time to check in with your expectations for key people and relationships in your life and adjust them to be as realistic and helpful as possible.

2. Worry

When people say they feel so emotional, one of the most common forms is feeling too anxious.

But here’s the thing many people don’t understand about anxiety:

Anxiety doesn’t just happen. It’s created and maintained by the mental habit of worrying.

This distinction between the anxiety you feel and the worry that leads to it is crucial. Because if you want to feel less anxious, the only real solution is to learn to manage your worry habit better.

Ultimately, worry is a form of thinking — a version of negative self-talk, to be more specific. It involves trying to problem-solve things in the future that either A) aren’t really problems, or B) you aren’t capable of solving.

Like all other emotions, anxiety is not something you can influence directly. You can’t decide to be less anxious any more than you can decide to be happier. Emotions don’t work that way.

We can only influence our emotions indirectly, primarily through the way we think.

If you’re constantly worrying about the future, you’re going to constantly feel much more anxious than you need to. On the other hand, if you can reduce your habit of worrying by just 20 or 30%, you’ll take a major chunk out of your excessive feelings of anxiety.

If you often feel too anxious, it’s because you’re worrying too much. The trick is to validate the anxiety and take control of the worry.

3. Rumination

Rumination is the flip-side of worry. When we worry, we engage in unhelpful thinking and problem solving about the future using our imagination. When we ruminate, we think unproductively about the past using our memory.

For example:

  • You get home from work and try to engage with your spouse or play with your kids, but you keep going over and over that nasty comment your manager made to you during a meeting at work.
  • After a fight with your girlfriend, you replay the fight repeatedly and search your memory for all the examples in your past where she’s been just as guilty of the thing she’s criticizing you for.

Like, worry, rumination often feels good or helpful because it feels like you’re doing work and solving problems. But in reality, you can’t control the past any more than you can control the future.

When you get stuck in a habit of rumination, it only fuels your anger and shame in the long run. And as a result, keeps you feeling more emotionally volatile.

Also like worry, rumination tends to be compulsive because — very briefly — it makes us feel good. It gives us a sense of control that temporarily alleviates our anxieties or insecurities.

  • Rather than accepting the fact that your manager doesn’t really like you, you temporarily make yourself feel better by analyzing the situation over and over to try and find out what you could have done or said that would have made things better.
  • Rather than exploring the possibility that maybe your girlfriend was right to criticize you, you distract yourself from your feelings of shame by getting defensive and angry and making her out to be the bad gal.

Now, this doesn’t mean thinking about the past can’t be helpful sometimes. To the contrary, calmly and objectively reflecting back on our past can be enormously helpful and productive.

So how do you know if you’re doing unhelpful rumination or helpful reflection?

The best indicator I’ve found to distinguish helpful reflection from unhelpful rumination is intentionality. When we get stuck in cycles of unhelpful rumination, it’s typically a relatively mindless and reactive process — we just find ourselves rumination. On the other hand, genuine reflection is usually very intentional — it’s initiated deliberately and thoughtfully.

Finally, helpful reflection is always aimed at understanding not feeling.

So ask yourself:

Am I dwelling on the past to genuinely understand something better, or am I doing this to make myself feel better or avoid dealing with some other uncomfortable situation or reality?

4. Waiting for motivation

Most people look at motivation as fuel — when you feel good enough, inspired enough, or motivated enough, it gives you the energy to do things:

  • If you feel energetic enough, you go for a run.
  • If you feel inspired enough, you work on that creative project.
  • If you feel motivated enough, you write a new blog post.

And while there’s certainly some truth to this idea that feeling good helps us take action, when viewed in isolation, it’s actually dangerous.

Feeling good does make it easier to do hard things, but it’s not a requirement for doing hard things.

Which makes sense if you really think about it…

  • If someone held a gun to your head and said to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, you could do it… regardless of how you felt initially.
  • If someone said here’s a check for $1,000,000 if you finish that blog post you’ve been meaning to write, you could do it… regardless of whether you were feeling inspired or not.

The point is simple:

We are perfectly capable of doing difficult things despite not feeling like it.

But here’s the most important implication of this idea: Doing important things makes us feel good!

  • Working on a creative project regardless of how you feel will lead to you feeling more inspired.
  • Going to the gym regardless of how you feel will lead to you feeling more energized.

Action leads to motivation at least as often as motivation leads to action.

The problem is, most people don’t really believe this. And so they sit around waiting to do important things until they feel like it.

Unfortunately, this habit of waiting for motivation leads to a lot of chronic shame, sadness, and self-criticism. Because you’re essentially living in a chronic state of procrastination — putting off the things you know you should do and doing something easier instead.

When this habit gets really entrenched, it leads to a state of perpetually low self-esteem and poor self-worth, which makes you keenly vulnerable to difficult emotions and bad moods.

On the other hand, when you stop waiting around for motivation and learn to make your own by taking good action regardless of how you feel, you buffer yourself from the effects of stress and painful emotion.

5. Passive communication

Passive communication is a tendency to ignore your own wants and needs and “go with the flow” of other people’s wishes in order to avoid conflict.

For example:

Your spouse suggests going to a movie for date night. You think to yourself, It’d be nice to go to dinner instead so we can actually talk. But then you think to yourself, No, he always complains about “fancy restaurants” and how expensive they are. Better just do a movie. At which point you find yourself saying, Sure, honey.

Obviously, deferring what you want and doing what someone else wants isn’t a bad thing necessarily. In fact, for any relationship to function healthily we need to be able to sacrifice and compromise sometimes.

But many people have gotten into a habit of always compromising on what they want and always deferring their needs to those of others. And for most significant relationships in our lives, this is just as unhealthy as never compromising.

The reason is, it leads to chronic resentment and anxiety. And when you’re chronically resentful of people and at the same time anxious, it’s very difficult to maintain a balanced, non-reactive emotional life.

When you habitually avoiding external conflict, you’re simply shifting all that conflict inside yourself.

And when you’re full of inner conflict, your emotions are going to feel all over the place and extreme.

If you want to cultivate true emotional peace and stability, you must learn to be assertive. You must learn to express your wants and needs clearly and honestly.

6. Unclear values

Answer this question to yourself honestly:

How much of your time do you spend doing things you genuinely want to do?

If we’re honest with ourselves, I think it’s probably a lower number than we’re comfortable admitting.

Of course, there’s boatloads of privilege wrapped up in that idea: Many people, out of sheer necessity, have to spend nearly all their time doing things they don’t especially want to do.

That being said, it’s a strange phenomenon that so many of us actually have the freedom to spend time doing things we really care about, believe in, and are passionate about, and yet… we don’t. And as a result, we live in this state of constant low-level shame about ourselves.

This perpetual sense of feeling like we’re not spending our time wisely is a huge vulnerability to feeling overly emotional.

Think about it: If you’re already feeling bad about yourself for wasting time, procrastinating, or indulging superficial goals at the expense of genuine ones, even small stressors and setbacks are going to hit you that much harder.

Part of this chronic procrastination is a result of the waiting for motivationproblem described above in #4. But I think there’s actually a deeper reason why we live in this perpetual state of self-disappointment where we’ve got a list of things we should be doing or working on and yet we find ourselves wasting time on things that don’t really matter to us…

We don’t really know what our values are.

I mean, we kind of do. We know the vague outlines of our values and what we want:

  • You know you want to get in shape and be healthy.
  • You know you want to spend more quality time with your family.
  • You know you want to be more creative.
  • You know you want to travel more.
  • Etc.

The problem is, these are all incredibly vague, non-specific ideas. And that lack of specificity makes it extremely hard to actually move forward on any of them and gain the emotional benefits of doing so.

If you think about the most emotionally resilient people you know, I bet most of them have this in common:

They have specific, clear goals and values and make steady progress toward them.

Because when we spend our time and energy doing the things that really matter to us — the things we really value — it’s like a super injection of emotional stability and energy.

But the trick to getting there — the trick to getting over the chronic procrastination hump — is to get really clear about your values. And to make extremely clear, specific plans and systems that will help you move toward these values.

So, don’t be satisfied with vague values. Take the time to really get to know your values in a clear, concrete way.

When you do, you’ll find that you’re able to make much better progress toward them; and as a result, feel more confident and emotionally stable as a result.

All You Need to Know

If you chronically feel more emotional than you think you should, there’s a good chance one or more of these habits may be a significant cause:

  • Unchecked expectations
  • Worry
  • Rumination
  • Waiting for motivation
  • Passive communication
  • Unclear values

shakir

Somaliland: East Africa’s largest conduit for illicit cheetah trafficking to the Gulf

Somaliland: East Africa’s largest conduit for illicit cheetah trafficking to the Gulf
Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime
Somaliland: East Africa’s largest conduit for illicit cheetah trafficking to the Gulf

A cheetah cub receives care from representatives of Somaliland’s Ministry of Environment and Rural Development, in a village near Erigavo, Sanaag, in August 2020. According to reports, the cubs were being held by local farmers who surrendered them to the authorities, as the result of conflict with the mother cheetah near their livestock. (Photo: Twitter / Ministry of Environment and Rural Development)

https://s7.addthis.com/dc/amp-addthis.html?_amp_=2009252320001

A recent spate of cheetahs being seized in Somaliland has shown that the illicit demand for these animals remains strong. Cheetahs are highly prized as exotic pets in the Gulf states, and in supplying this market, traffickers have heavily impacted local cheetah populations in Africa, a situation compounded by the fact that many animals die en route.https://spkt.io/a/1132481?isAmp=1&ampPlayer=MinimalPlayer#amp=1

In late July, two cheetah cubs were rescued from a 25-day ordeal at the hands of wildlife traffickers by the Awdal region police in Borama, a city in Somaliland not far from the Ethiopian border. Members of the local community helped look after the dehydrated and underweight cubs until the rescue team arrived. The cubs were then given care by Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) staff before being transported to a CCF safe house.

Two cubs rescued near Borama, 24 July 2020. The cubs had reportedly been in the hands of traffickers for 25 days before their rescue. (Photo: CCF)

These cubs were part of a series of recent seizures of cheetahs in Somaliland. Through July and August, 20 cheetah cubs were rescued over five missions jointly conducted by the ministry of environment and rural development, the Selel regional administration and the Somaliland police, with support from the CCF and Torrid Analytics. 

On 14 September, two cheetah cubs were seized in the Sool region in the south-east: the youngest was only two weeks old. In total, 25 cubs have been reported as seized or rescued in Somaliland so far this year.

A six-month-old cheetah cub, in the care of Somaliland’s Ministry of Environment and Rural Development and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, en route to Hargeisa, 29 July 2020. The cub was one of eight rescued over three missions in Somaliland in late July. (Photo: Cheetah Conservation Fund)

Cheetah trafficking in Somaliland is not a new issue. Since 2010, when reporting became more consistent, there have been 193 rescued or surrendered cheetahs. Nearly a third of these occurred after the country ratified its Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Law in August 2018, which has reportedly led to increased awareness and better coordination between wildlife officials, police and the army.

Many of the cheetahs seized in Somaliland are believed to originate in Ethiopia, which shares an 800km border with the self-declared state. At least 25% of seized cheetahs in Somaliland have been found at or near the Ethiopian border – the two cubs intercepted near Borama in August, for example, were less than 15km from the border. 

As known cheetah populations in Ethiopia total no more than 300 adolescent and adult specimens, it is clear that the trafficking of cubs is taking a significant toll on cheetah populations. Ethiopia and South Sudan, along with Somalia/Somaliland where cheetah populations are unknown, are also the last remaining stronghold of the North East African cheetah subspecies, Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii.

Cheetah cubs are mostly taken from the wild when the mother hides them to go hunting, either opportunistically by nomadic herders or by poachers. A cub can sell for between $200 and $300 in Somaliland, although prices vary greatly: an unhealthy cub can be bought for as little as $80, while a healthy, older cub can cost up to $1,000. The same cheetah can be sold for up to $15,000 in the Gulf states. 

Mortality is high, as most cubs are removed from the wild at only two to eight weeks from birth and are subjected to maltreatment and poor nutrition in the hands of poachers and dealers, compounded with the rigours of the trip across the Gulf of Aden. While difficult to estimate, it is thought that more than 60% of cheetah cubs die before they reach the market to be sold.

Somaliland is vulnerable as a conduit for the illegal wildlife trade not only due to its proximity to the Arabian Peninsula’s wealthy consumer markets for exotic wildlife, but also due to the country’s rampant poverty, weak legal frameworks and a lack of environmental awareness. 

Corruption also drives the cheetah trade. There are instances of illegally obtained cheetah cubs being sold back to smugglers by corrupt officials after a confiscation has been reported. That being said, Somaliland’s cheetah trade has been more extensively researched than other countries and regions of Somalia. Its relative importance as the main cheetah trafficking route into the Middle East might be in part connected to underreporting from other countries.

Across the Gulf of Aden

From Somaliland, cheetahs are transported by boat – hidden in hampers, crates or cardboard boxes – from the northern coastline across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen at an estimated rate of 300 cubs per year. The 140 nautical miles between the ports of Berbera in Somaliland and Aden in Yemen can be covered in just over seven hours at a dhow’s average speed of 20 knots.

Once in Yemen, cheetahs are reportedly transported by boat or road across the Saudi border to animal markets such as Al-Jazan or Al-Khouba, or delivered to Saudi traders, who will then offer them throughout the Gulf states to known buyers on ecommerce and social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, or, more recently, through private chat groups. 

Research carried out by CCF researchers found that at least 2,000 cheetahs had been advertised online between 2010 and 2019. Most were found on Instagram, with sellers offering cheetahs in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait.

Delivery to the UAE, Qatar or Kuwait from Saudi Arabia can be made by road or air. An investigative report published by Le Figaro quoted an employee at the Kuwait airport who stated that:

“It is enough to mention that they are ‘cats’ on the box and to pay certain people I know. It is easy for me because I work there and I know who will take the money. I give them between KWD500 and KWD1000 ($1,600–$3,200 to allow illegal animals (through the country).”

There have also been isolated reports of cheetahs arriving in Oman from Yemen, as well as being transported from Oman into the UAE via the Hatta border crossing.

An illegal status symbol

Cheetahs have long been popular household pets or hunting companions in the Gulf states, where they are viewed as status symbols. This popularity has been boosted in recent years by wealthy or famous individuals posing with their exotic pets on social media

However, few cheetah owners know how to provide the proper care for these animals, with some social media posts advertising cheetahs that have been declawed – an extremely painful process for the animals. 

Many pet cheetahs in the Gulf states do not live beyond the first year, and few live longer than five years, according to information collected by CCF.

CCF veterinarian Dr Asma Bile prepares cubs rescued from traffickers to make the journey to Hargeisa to the CCF safe house. (Photo: CCF)

Trade in wild cheetahs for commercial purposes is illegal in all the Gulf states, either through the states being party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) or through domestic legislation. 

In December 2016, the UAE enacted a law banning the private possession of exotic and dangerous pets, although only one seizure (of four cheetahs) has been made since 2015, suggesting that the ban is seldom enforced. 

In Kuwait, where no cheetahs have been seized in the past five years, the National Assembly approved a draft animal welfare law that penalises illegal trade or possession of predators in December 2015. In Qatar – where discussions continue over a law regulating the trade and ownership of dangerous animals – the ministry of municipality and environment announced the arrest of an Arab national in July 2016 for trading in cheetahs.

Under CITES regulations, however, captive-bred cheetahs can be traded commercially by registered facilities. The CITES trade database reports that 16 “captive-bred” cheetahs were exported into Armenia from Bahrain and the UAE between 2009 and 2015.

However, the probability that cheetahs in the Gulf (both those kept as pets and those exported) are truly bred in captivity or traded in compliance with national laws or CITES regulations is low.

First, only two such registered breeding facilities exist worldwide – both are in South Africa.

Second, cheetahs do not breed well in captivity. Based on information from the International Cheetah Studbook, a voluntary register of captive cheetahs worldwide, the first report of captive-bred cheetahs in the Gulf states was in 1994. Since then, six facilities have reported a total of 304 cheetah births in captivity, with a 31% mortality rate for cubs under six months. 

No births have been reported by these facilities since 2016.

It is therefore more likely that purportedly “captive-bred” cheetahs in the Gulf come from elsewhere, as suggested by the “captive-bred” cheetahs exported from Bahrain to Armenia. There are no known cheetah breeding facilities in Bahrain, suggesting that the cheetahs’ real origins were masked.

A contentious issue

The issue of the illegal cheetah trade has been on the CITES agenda since 2013, when it commissioned a study that led to decisions and recommendations aimed at reducing demand and encouraging international collaboration. However, the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP), held in August 2019, voted to delete these decisions based on a report from the standing committee to the secretariat

The report concluded that the illegal cheetah trade was limited, based on official seizure reports from nine countries that cited 32 specimens (13 live, 19 parts or products) between 2015 and mid-2018. Based on this, the CoP agreed that matters related to the illegal cheetah trade could be addressed by a Big Cat Task Force, jointly run by CITES and the Convention for Migratory Species, which is currently in the process of being implemented.

However, Kenya and Ethiopia – two cheetah-range countries – argued that the numbers reported by CITES “underestimate the full extent of the trade, since they only include confiscated animals appearing in official records and omit data from many countries, including key primary source countries for trafficked cheetah”. They cited information showing 393 cheetah specimens (274 live animals and 119 parts), including the 32 seized specimens reported to CITES, during the same period.

The countries’ joint statement – submitted to the CITES CoP – went on to add: “Given the perilous state of [East African] cheetah populations that are the source of illegal trade, any ongoing trade in wild cheetah is alarming.”

The recent spate of seizures in Somaliland seems to confirm those fears. The illegal trade in wild cheetahs appears to be continuing apace, with potentially grave consequences for East African cheetah populations. DM

This article appears in the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime’s monthly East and Southern Africa Risk Bulletin. The Global Initiative is a network of more than 500 experts on organised crime drawn from law enforcement, academia, conservation, technology, media, the private sector and development agencies. It publishes research and analysis on emerging criminal threats and works to develop innovative strategies to counter organised crime globally. To receive monthly Risk Bulletin updates, please sign up here.

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Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts

Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts
Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts

Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts harvesting HUNDREDS of 2020 absentee ballots ILLEGALLY! “Numbers do not LIE…

A ballot-harvesting racket in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis district — where paid workers illegally gather absentee ballots from elderly Somali immigrants — appears to have been busted by undercover news organization Project Veritas.

Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts

One alleged ballot harvester, Liban Mohamed, the brother of Minneapolis city council member Jamal Osman, is shown in a bombshell Snapchat video rifling through piles of ballots strewn across his dashboard.

“Just today we got 300 for Jamal Osman,” says Mohamed, aka KingLiban1, in the video. “I have 300 ballots in my car right now . . .

“Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentee ballots. . . . Look, all these are for Jamal Osman,” he says, displaying the white envelopes.

“Money is the king in this world . . . and a campaign is driven by money.”
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The video, posted on July 1, was obtained by Project Veritas and included in a 17-minute video expose released Sunday night.

Under Minnesota law no individual can be the “designated agent” for more than three absentee voters.

The allegations come just five weeks before a presidential election plagued with predictions of voter fraud. Both President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have warned that the increased use of mail-in ballots, due to COVID-19 concerns about in-person voting, are vulnerable to fraud, especially when unsolicited ballots are mailed to all voters in certain states.

Project Veritas’ investigation in Minneapolis will pour gasoline on the fire, only 48 hours before Trump debates Joe Biden in the first presidential debate Tuesday, addressing topics including election security.

“Our investigation into this ballot harvesting ring demonstrates clearly how these unscrupulous operators exploit the elderly and immigrant communities” said James O’Keefe, founder and CEO of Project Veritas.

The alleged involvement of Ilhan Omar, a controversial member of the Squad, and frequent Trump target, is claimed on camera by two people in Veritas’ investigation, including whistleblower Omar Jamal, a Minneapolis community leader and chair of the city’s Somali Watchdog Group.

He claims Mohamed is “one of” Ilhan Omar’s “many people.”

“It’s an open secret. She will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that,” he told Veritas in an on-camera interview last Tuesday.

“It’s not only her. It’s all this DFL [Democratic-Farmers-Labor] machine [that’s] in . . . the state of Minnesota . . .

“The regulations, if you ignore that and you let corruption and fraud become a daily business and then tough luck, the country will not exist as they [Americans] know it.”
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Also implicating Ilhan Omar’s campaign in the scheme is an anonymous Minneapolis-based former political worker, who told Project Veritas that, before Minnesota’s primary elections, August 8, ballot harvesters “took every single ballot” from elderly people in a Minneapolis public housing complex — the Charles Horn Towers.

“Knock on the door and say, ‘your ballots come? Give it to me.’ ”

She alleges Ilhan Omar’s long-serving staffer, campaign deputy district director Ali (Isse) Gainey, was “coordinating everything.”

Gainey, “who is working in Ilhan’s campaign, is the one who is managing the voting place. They bring them. They line them. They put the open ballots in there and then they take them in and say, ‘Here,’ and the people mark [the ballots] . . .

“They have perfected this system,” she said. “They will tell you we are applying for your ballot. They take a picture of your social security and your driver’s license. They have a database. When the ballot comes, they track it. Sometimes, they make fake emails. They track the ballot. Then they come and pick up the ballot, unopened . . .
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“They don’t give a s–t about any Somali . . . The DFL wants to win this state at all costs . . . and the victims is the Somali people.”

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She also alleged that young people and women were paid for their ballots before last month’s Minnesota primary.

“Cash, cash, cash. They were carrying bags of money. . . . When you vote and they mark you off, then you get in the van, they give you the cash.”

Federal laws forbid paying someone to vote or register to vote, or intimidating voters.

Jamal, who has worked with Minnesota’s Ramsey County Sherriff’s Office on deradicalization education, helped Project Veritas investigators unveil what he calls “ongoing election fraud” which victimizes his community. He secretly recorded conversations with alleged ballot harvester Mohamed and a member of the DFL, Minnesota’s version of the Democratic party.

In one call, Mohamed allegedly explains ballot harvesting: “You request for the ballot. It will be sent to your house. You will fill it out and then send it.”

Omar asks: “So they request for the elderly?”

Mohamed says: “Yes, they request for them.”

Omar: “And it is taken away from them?”

Mohamed: “Yes, it is taken away from them.”

In another call, Mohamed says: “I’m working for Jamal Osman [who is] running for city council in Minneapolis. That’s my young brother.”

Osman, a member of the DFL, won the Ward 6 race for Minneapolis City Council in August.

Another grab from Mohamed’s Snapchat with the time stamp 1:59 am, July 2, shows a man brandishing a wad of about 30 ballots with the words “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT” on the front of envelopes. “Two in the morning, still hustling,” he says.

Project Veritas’ investigation raises serious concerns about the security of mail-in ballots, and intimidation of vulnerable voters.

While FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate last week, “we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election,” troubling examples have arisen in recent months.

In Paterson, New Jersey, two officials were charged with election fraud last month after hundreds of mail-in-ballots were discarded. In Pennsylvania, nine military ballots from the 2016 election, most for Trump, were found in a dumpster, it was revealed last week.

A ‘Supreme’ marriage

There is much to admire about Amy Coney Barrett. But let’s start with her marriage.

In her speech in the Rose Garden Saturday to accept the president’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the 48-year-old mother of seven paid tribute to her husband of 21 years, Jesse Barrett.

“At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners.

“As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work. To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook!

“For 21 years, Jesse has asked me every single morning what he can do for me that day. And though I almost always say, ‘Nothing,’ he still finds ways to take things off my plate.

“And that’s not because he has a lot of free time. He has a busy law practice. It is because he is a superb and generous husband, and I am very fortunate”.

It must be disappointing for leftists that this is not the “Handmaid’s Tale” nightmare they like to paint of faithful Christian marriages, but a respectful partnership, with mutual generosity and love, between a woman who does not deny her femininity and a man who has not sacrificed his masculinity.

Successful marriages are not celebrated enough, and yet they are everything to a healthy society.

ILHAN OMAR’S MINNEAPOLIS DISTRICT — WHERE PAID WORKERS ILLEGALLY GATHER ABSENTEE BALLOTS FROM ELDERLY SOMALI IMMIGRANTS

Shakir essa
Shakir Essa is a digital video creator

congresswoman Ilhan Omar married her own BROTHER|somali community leader said

  • Wheelchair-bound Abdihakim Osman came forward last month to confirm to DailyMail.com  that Ilhan Omar married her own brother
  • A woman close to Omar has posted a YouTube video packed with degrading insults about Osman  
  • Malyun Ali pressed members of her Somali-American clan to go after him 
  • ‘Why are you not protecting us from this nasty man who is composed only of a head and a stomach,’ she said
  • Osman has a ‘big bell, small udder, pillar-like head’, she added, and mocked his disability which was caused by contracting polio as a child in Somalia
  • ‘Why don’t you stop this crippled dog?,’ she asked
  • Osman has made a complaint to the Minneapolis police

The man who came forward to say on the record that leftist congresswoman Ilhan Omar married her own brother has told DailyMail.com he is now in fear for his life.

Photo: Abdihakiin osman somali community leader in Minnesota

A woman close to Omar posted a YouTube video packed with degrading insults about wheelchair-bound Abdihakim Osman and pressed members of her Somali-American clan to go after him.

Photo: abdihakin osman nur and ilhan omar left, malyun ali is the right

Abdihakim Osman says he has been threatened since blogger Malyun Ali posted a video on YouTube inciting members of her clan to go after him +20
Abdihakim Osman says he has been threatened since blogger Malyun Ali posted a video on YouTube inciting members of her clan to go after him
Osman has made a complaint to police in Minneapolis and repeatedly demanded that YouTube take down the offending video — which was met with silence from the media giant until DailyMail.com asked why it was still on the site.

It finally removed it on March 10, replacing it with a note saying: ‘This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on harassment and bullying.’

In the video, the woman, Malyun Ali, asked members of Omar’s Majeerteen clan ‘What is wrong with you?

Witten in the Somali language and translated of a special in African languages at the University

‘Why are you not protecting us from this nasty man who is composed only of a head and a stomach,’ she added, insulting his disabled status.

‘You Majeerteen men…why don’t you defend us from this person…this fat ram who gets money taken from the taxes we pay.’

She went on to say Osman has a ‘big bell, small udder, pillar-like head’ and mocked his disability which was caused by contracting polio as a child in Somalia.

‘You Majeerteen men, we despise you,’ she added, talking to her clan members. ‘You are letting this ox seated on the ground harass us.

‘Why don’t you stop this crippled dog?’

Ali did not respond to an email sent by DailyMail.com for comment. Instead she posted the email on her Facebook page under a picture of herself captioned: ‘I cannot be silenced.’

Ilhan Omar and Abdihakim Osman, here during her 2016 election campaign for he Minnesota House of Representatives, had been close friends for years. +20

Ilhan Omar and Abdihakim Osman, here during her 2016 election campaign for he Minnesota House of Representatives, had been close friends for years. +20


Osman, 40, came forward last month in a DailyMail.com exclusive to confirm that Omar, a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota, had married her own brother, Ahmed Elmi, to allow him to get student loans in the United States.

Elmi and Omar both went to North Dakota State University.

Osman said Elmi suddenly appeared in the Somali community in Minneapolis in the late 2000s and both Omar and her then-husband Ahmed Hirsi told him that Elmi was her brother.

He said no-one knew they had married until the press uncovered their marriage certificate many years later, which showed they had gone to a Christian minister to perform the service even though they are both Muslim.

Osman was particularly close to Hirsi — the father of Omar’s three children — and occasionally helped out at his hookah bar.

Now though, he says he is living in fear. ‘I am very careful where I go. I have changed all my routines, he told DailyMail.com through an interpreter.

‘I am sure they will do something and make it look random. I am very worried and I am very scared. But I want to make it clear — I’m pre-reporting so when it does happen people will know it is because of this video.’

He said he believes followers of Ali — a popular Somali YouTube personality — will eventually get him.

‘They will retaliate either by setting me up for a crime or something or they will physically harm me,’ he said.

‘YouTube will have to bear the consequences if anything happens to me. I am a disabled man and she is threatening me. It has been shared thousands of times,’ he said before the video was removed.

YouTube only took down Ali’s post after DailyMail.com asked the company, part of the giant Google empire, why it was still on the site

It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi (pictured) are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, positive proof has never been uncovered +20
It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi (pictured) are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, positive proof has never been uncovered
Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community. I would say there were 100-150 people there.’ But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’ Pictured: Omar (left) with Elmi (right) +20
Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community. I would say there were 100-150 people there.’ But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’ Pictured: Omar (left) with Elmi (right)
‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm. And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized Minneapolis’s large Somali community – while she was still married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi (pictured together) +20
‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm. And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized Minneapolis’s large Somali community – while she was still married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi (pictured together)
Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their license shows. The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them +20
Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their license shows. The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them
A company spokeswoman told DailyMail.com: ‘Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of our community.’

Despite the threats he has received, Osman said he does not regret his decision to come forward and tell what he says is the truth about 37-year-old Omar.

‘I decided to out her and to use my name and I am proud and happy that I did.’

Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said.

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s second husband was her brother
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Hirsi, Omar’s ex-husband, is a member of a third clan, the Habargidir. He has kept quiet since he and the congresswoman divorced in November, leading to claims he received a six-figure settlement to stay mum. Soon after the agreement was reached he swapped out his old Nissan Maxima for a BMW 528i, which sells for $54,000 new.

Omar is believed to have received a large advance for her memoir This Is What America Looks Like which is due out in May.

The divorce came after DailyMail.com revealed that Omar was having an affair with her chief fundraiser, Tim Mynett. Mynett and his wife Beth Jordan divorced in December.

In his only public comment, Hirsi posted on Facebook last month: ‘Ilhan and I had an amicable divorce. We are focused on being great parents to our children. That is the most important thing to us.’

He said he has not and will not attack his ex-wife or back any of her three primary rivals. ‘I am not supporting or involved in the campaigns of any of Ilhan’s opponents, contrary to what you might hear,’ he wrote.

Facebook photos of Somalian YouTube star Malyun Ali, who said Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to marry 50 men if she wants to +20
Facebook photos of Somalian YouTube star Malyun Ali, who said Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to marry 50 men if she wants to
Ali Feer, who refers to herself as M. M. S (Mama Malyun Suuban), pronounces her nickname like a rapper promoting her album and then adds, “BAM!” +20
Ali Feer, who refers to herself as M. M. S (Mama Malyun Suuban), pronounces her nickname like a rapper promoting her album and then adds, “BAM!”
Abdihakim Osman (pictured with Hirsi) is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to Ahmed Hirsi. But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him +20
Abdihakim Osman (pictured with Hirsi) is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to Ahmed Hirsi. But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, told DailyMail.com +20
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, told DailyMail.com
‘Using our divorce to go after Ilhan isn’t something I will even condone.’

Osman said since his interview he has received support from Hirsi’s clan. ‘I have had Habargidir come up and kiss me in the supermarket. I now go to where the Habargidir go, the same coffee shops and malls.

‘I have even changed my mosque,’ he added.

Ali’s video is the culmination of a long-running feud between her and Osman, who runs a popular Somali-language Facebook blog called Xerta Skekh. ‘They are both people who like to stir things up,’ another Somali leader said.

Osman said his page has been inundated with threatening messages since DailyMail.com published his accusations about Omar. Many, he said, are purporting to be from people with Anglicized names, but he believes they are Somalis with false accounts.

One man, using the name Allan Landman, posted a message saying: ‘Shariah law will allow his accusers to kill him.’

‘That’s ironic,’ said Osman. ‘Ilhan Omar having an affair with a married man is much more against Shariah law than anything I have done.’

He also said Omar supporters have threatened to report him to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority for his anti-gay postings, in a bid to get him kicked out of his home.

Osman, who describes himself as a devout Sunni Muslim — he broke away from the interview to pray at one point — admits he is anti-gay rights because Islam forbids homosexuality. ‘It is haram,’ he said, using the Islamic term for a prohibited activity.

In her video, Ali describes herself as Omar’s aunt, but sources say the

two are not blood relations, merely members of the same clan.

‘But a clan relative is just as close as a real relative,’ one Somali leader told DailyMail.com. ‘She is insulting the men of her own clan, calling them effeminate for not doing anything about what Abdi has said.’

Ilhan Omar’s ex-husband has officially remarried
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Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said +20
Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. +20
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya.
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. +20
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya.
YouTube eventually took down Malyun Ali’s video on March 10, nearly three weeks after it was first posted, saying it violated the company’s policy on harassment and bullying +20
YouTube eventually took down Malyun Ali’s video on March 10, nearly three weeks after it was first posted, saying it violated the company’s policy on harassment and bullying
In the video, Ali, speaking in Somali, said: ‘I am addressing the wise Majeerteen elders and the religiously educated men, why are you watching this crushed metal can-like man abuse us?

‘Don’t we have young men? Don’t we have elders? If we fail to be protected by the law, we better be protected by your five fingers,’ she said using a Somali phrase meaning personal strength.

‘Oh, you Majeerteen men in the streets, stop this man from what he is doing. You are camped in the town of Minnea-hopeless from which I moved because of curses. May the curse be on you.

‘Why are you afraid? Are you afraid of being arrested? Are you afraid of prison?’

She also accused Osman of being an alcoholic and a drug addict, both of which would go against the tenets of Islam. ‘I have never had a single drink of alcohol or taken any illegal drugs,’ Osman said.

‘Even when I go to a hookah bar I only smoke the nicotine-free stuff.’

Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. She runs her YouTube page under the pseudonym MMS —Mama Malyun Suuban. Suuban was her mother’s maiden name.

Osman did not claim that Ilhan Omar herself is behind the threats or knew of them in advance.

When allegations that Omar’s husband was also her brother first appeared, the congresswoman said the idea that the spouses were also siblings were ‘baseless, absurd rumors’, accusing journalists of Islamophobia, but has since stayed quiet.

Her spokesman now says she does not discuss her personal life, ignoring the fact that marriage fraud is a federal crime.

In her video attacking Osman, Ali barely addressed that controversy: ‘He said she married one man — let her marry 50. She has her freedom.’

Get in touch with the shakir essa posts, videos, news article’s, Shakir Essa is a somali journalist, news broadcaster, author and political analyser. He is the presenter of both africa times news (sub saharan africa) and digital media creator(infographics video). shakir is a senior contributor at the africa times news (afrika-times.com),

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Somaliland’s president has reportedly rejected a conditional offer by a delegation of Chinese “wolf warrior” diplomats to cut ties with Taiwan

Bihi refused to meet with “the oppressive ambassador

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Somaliland’s president has reportedly rejected a conditional offer by a delegation of Chinese “wolf warrior” diplomats to cut ties with Taiwan, and added that he is taking steps to strengthen relations with the country.

On Monday (Aug. 3), news broke that President Muse Bihi Abdi has directed “close confidants” to examine ways of bolstering Somaliland’s relations with Taiwan, including “the possibility of mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland.” On Tuesday, reports surfaced that a Chinese delegation would visit Somaliland on Wednesday (Aug. 5), while China’s ambassador, Qin Jian (覃儉), has reportedly been in the self-ruled state since Saturday (Aug. 1) attempting to arrange a meeting with Bihi.

Researcher and analyst Rashid Abdi on Tuesday posted a tweet in which he wrote that Qin “started putting on the ‘warrior diplomacy’ act and threatening Somaliland,” but that Bihi rebuffed his tactics and hours later ordered his ministry of foreign affairs to begin the process of recognizing Taiwan. Twitter account Somalia News on Wednesday stated local reports indicated that Bihi refused to meet with “the oppressive ambassador.”

On Thursday (Aug. 6), the Somaliland Chronicle cited government sources as saying that Bihi met with the delegation, which included Qin, for several hours. During the meeting, the Chinese side offered a development deal which included road and airport infrastructure projects and the installation of a liaison office in Somaliland on the condition that Bihi sever ties with Taiwan.

Bihi reportedly rejected the Chinese offer and informed them that rather than cut ties with Taiwan, his country is actually “working to strengthen diplomatic ties with Taiwan.” The newspaper on Monday reported the president has ordered an analysis of the TAIPEI Act, which was signed into law in the U.S. in March, and to present him with options and an assessment of “the pros and cons of unilateral recognition of Taiwan.”

What is of particular interest to Bihi is Section 3, Item 2 of the TAIPEI ACT, which states that the U.S. government should consider “increasing its economic, security, and diplomatic engagement with nations that have demonstrably strengthened, enhanced, or upgraded relations with Taiwan.” Bihi’s government may be particularly emboldened after the White House National Security Council (NSC) on July 10 posted a tweet lauding Taiwan for increasing its engagement in East Africa and included a link to a U.S. News & World Report article announcing the establishment of Taiwan-Somaliland ties.

In response to reports of Somaliland considering diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) on Monday said the ministry does not comment on reports by the Somaliland media that have not cited their sources. She added that MOFA and its Somaliland counterpart will “continue to consult on establishing future bilateral cooperation plans based on the principle of mutual benefit and reciprocity and to promote the economy and people’s livelihoods.”

When Tsai took office in 2016, she refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus and only acknowledged that the 1992 Taiwan-China talks were a “historical fact.” In response, China has been seeking to punish Taiwan by stealing away diplomatic allies through its debt-trap diplomacy tactics.

Since the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chinese diplomats have started to lash out at critics and attempt to intimidate their counterparts with a new “wolf warrior” ploy. The term “wolf warrior” refers to a Chinese propaganda film that depicts People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers fighting foreign mercenaries who are led by a character named “Tom Cat.”

Shakir Essa served as manager at somaliland press media and Somali news tv

Shakir Essa served as manager at somaliland press media and Somali news tv

A new film set in Djibouti City presents a searing class critique of Somali girlhood.

In the popular imagination, Somali women are viewed as passive, oppressed subjects, the hapless victims of their patriarchal culture and religion. Where they are visible, it is often through the iconography of the veil and female circumcision.

A new film set in Djibouti City presents a searing class critique of Somali girlhood.

Lula Ali Ismaïl’s Dhalinyaro (Youth)—the first full-length feature film by a Djiboutian woman—is a radical departure from this corpus in depicting Somali girlhood in its full depth and complexity. Most importantly, it does this through depicting the mundane events of everyday life in Djibouti City. There are no wars here, or pirates, or terrorists, no young women escaping fathers, husbands, or the blade of a female elder, no white saviors ready for the rescue. What we see in Dhalinyaro is a coming of age story that shows Somali girls as they are.

The film’s storyline revolves around the final qualification examination for Djiboutian secondary students to enter university, the baccalaureate. The three main characters, Deka, Hibo, and Asma, are classmates at the Lycée de Djibouti but hail from markedly different class backgrounds. The Lycée space becomes one where the different segments of Djibouti’s population interact and form friendships, bonding over the shared ritual of studying for the baccalaureate. Yet, it is the question of higher education that renders class divides most explicit. For wealthy Hibo, who arrives at the Lycée each day in a chauffeured private car, there is no question that she will continue her education in Paris. Deka, who is securely middle class, is less certain, but with the funds saved up by her mother over a number of years, the idea of going to France for university is within the realm of the possible. Asma has no such choices available to her; poverty dictates that she must stay in Djibouti, unless she is among the few top students to receive a scholarship to study abroad.

The palpable burden of class difference saturates the film. One shot silently juxtaposes a well-dressed man at a cafe with a young boy on the street as he hands his shoes to the child to polish while drinking coffee. In another shot, women in wide-brimmed sun hats sweep the city streets at dusk to the sounds of ciyaar Soomaali, a traditional Somali folk dance. It is palpable in Asma’s hesitation to attend Hibo’s birthday party at the luxury Djibouti Palace Kempinski, and in the fuul bean stew her family eats at mealtimes, like the poor neighborhood children that come to Deka’s home for bread. When Hibo gets into an altercation with a group of schoolgirls outside of the Lycée, she disparages them as the “stupid Balabois”—residents of the impoverished Balbala suburb. An angered Asma, who tells her that she is “one of them,” accuses Hibo of believing that her wealth gives her more rights. Over the course of the film, Hibo’s character arc moves from a sheltered and careless rich girl to a more understanding and self-sufficient individual, a transformation made possible by honest friendships across difference.

The stunning cinematography with long shots of the sea and glimpses of the Port of Djibouti subtly signals the confluence and contradictions of global wealth and local poverty. This infrastructure of state capitalism—and, at the end of the film, the national radio broadcasting examination results—are the only glimpses of the state or politics in Dhalinyaro. Djibouti is among the most enduring dictatorships in Africa, ruled by an extended family since its independence from France in 1977. Its ruler, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, is famously a patron of the arts and culture, and Lula Ali Ismaïl has described the support she received for the film from both the private sector and a government eager to develop the country’s nascent film industry. While one can wonder about the possible implications of this government hand for artistic freedom, Ismaïl’s decision not to engage formal politics explicitly is another subversive act of representation, given that the region is mired in images of political dysfunction. Ismaïl’s political critique is muted and indirect, but no less searing. It takes the form of a city-wide power outage that forces the “haves” to turn on their private generators and the “have-nots” to light lanterns; it is in the figure of the elderly veteran telling Deka the forgotten stories of Djiboutian soldiers who fought for France during the Second World War; it is, at the metalevel, what the film itself embodies in its very existence, in its very refusal to conform.

What Dhalinyaro foregrounds is female sociality and intimacy as it unravels the complex layers of contemporary Djiboutian life. The film has a decidedly female gaze, decentering maleness to the extent that most of the male characters in the film remain marginal and unnamed. Instead, it is the inner worlds of Somali women that are fleshed out in full, and with the immense care and tenderness of a Somali woman behind the camera. When Hibo has a miscarriage in a bathroom stall at school, it is the conservatively-dressed Asma who immediately removes her abaya to cover her friend’s blood-stained clothing, stating that “girls look out for each other.” They openly discuss sexuality and their relationships, the lively female banter reminiscent of the Somali riwaayad (play) and theater tradition that has pushed the envelope on notions of female morality and modesty in Somali society since the 1960s. Markers of Somali womanhood are interspersed throughout the film: the breezy dirac shiid worn as loungewear at home, the fragrant uunsi smoke used to perfume one’s household, clothing and hair, the huruud face masks made of turmeric to keep one’s skin soft.

At the heart of Dhalinyaro is the tension between visibility and invisibility in the desire for a particular kind of freedom. In an early scene, Deka, Hibo, and Asma quietly talk at their desks as their teacher—played by Lula Ali Ismaïl herself—explains the upcoming deadlines for students seeking to go abroad for university. “Think of the freedom!” Deka whispers to her friends, “no one holding you to account, no one looking at you and saying ‘you’re the daughter of so and so.’” These moments of recognition occur most often in their encounters with men. As the girls sit by the waterfront and jokingly evaluate the appearances of young men passing by, a man pauses and greets Hibo, telling her to say hello to her father for him. “There’s no getting away!” an exasperated Hibo tells her friends. In another scene, the searching glance of a male waiter at a restaurant where Deka is having an intimate dinner with the older married man she is seeing is enough to unsettle her and abruptly end the date. Yet, it is the same surveilling gaze—this time by women—that precipitates the end to the predatory relationship, after Deka’s mother hears about it. The communal nature of the Somali social world, while frustrating any notion of individual anonymity, fosters a sense of interdependence and female solidarity that uplifts the girls in times of need, as their friendship illustrates. Ultimately, Deka chooses this world by staying in Djibouti for university.

Ethnicity is conspicuously absent from the film. Djibouti, while dominated politically, culturally and demographically by Somalis, is a multi-ethnic country comprised of the Somali and Afar, as well as smaller communities of Arabs, Ethiopians and Europeans. That diversity is represented in the casting, with the three lead actresses themselves belonging to Djibouti’s different ethnic groups: one is Afar, one is Somali, and one is Arab Somali. Yet each plays a Somali character, in a Djibouti where only Somali people and culture appear to exist. However, there is some ambiguity to Hibo’s background that is not discernible to the non-Somali speaker and flattened by the limited subtitles. In the scene where Hibo is confronted on the schoolyard, a voice in the background, which does not make it into the subtitles, can be heard saying “the little Arab girl is being attacked!” in Somali. Her father, in other scenes, speaks one or two words of Arabic, albeit words that have entered the Somali lexicon. Asma and Deka’s households are completely immersed in their Somaliness, with illustrative scenes including Asma’s sisters playing jag on the veranda as their mother gives them advice using Somali proverbs, and Deka’s single mother listening to gabay poetry composed by a heartbroken Cilmi Boodhari. Hibo’s family, on the other hand, only speaks Somali at home when talking to their maid; they converse in French exclusively between themselves, listen to European classical music during formal dinners, and go to France for education. There is an unexamined politics of language and ethnicity yearning to be explored.

Dhalinyaro is a remarkable feat, particularly for a first full-length film by a self-taught filmmaker hailing from a country with a film industry still in its infancy. Though initially released in 2018, it has recently seen a surge in popularity when it was made available for free streaming as part of this year’s Cinewax Online African Film Festival, breaking OAFF streaming records. It is a beautiful film—a love letter to Somali girls—that deserves to be seen widely.

Marriage proposals, dresses, feasts and dances – the story of two weddings in Somali, with traditions old and new.

When it comes to weddings, Somalia has many approaches. Some couples stick with tradition while others go for more modern marriage ceremonies.

This film tells the story of two weddings, one in a small desert village and the other in a busy city, while highlighting everyday life in different parts of the country. It also contrasts traditional ways of life with modern ideas that come from younger Somalis and social media.

In the remote rural village of Toon, herder Jamalli Muhammad Ahmed can only marry a local woman called  Hoda after first getting permission from her family. In a tradition going back generations, they all gather in the shade of a large tree to decide whether they are a suitable match. Only then can Jamalli and Hoda start planning their lives together.

Somalia Two Weddings - AJW
Jamalli and Hoda’s wedding followed traditional Somali customs [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Abdullatif Deeq Omar in Hargeisa city, however, first met his future wife Najma on Facebook. They eloped but eventually returned to their families who accepted their marriage plans.

Somalia Two Weddings - AJW
Abdullatif and Najma’s ceremony was in the city of Hargeisa [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

Both weddings have the same pressures: buying outfits, inviting guests, finding a venue and arranging feasts – but each tells a unique story of family, community and tradition.

In Somali culture, many people also believe that getting married in the run-up to Ramadan ensures additional blessings on the couple, making the happy occasion even more special.

 

  1. Continue reading Marriage proposals, dresses, feasts and dances – the story of two weddings in Somali, with traditions old and new.

Ethiopia admits shooting down Kenya aid aircraft in Somalia The plane had been carrying humanitarian and medical supplies to help the country

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Ethiopia admits shooting down Kenya aid aircraft in Somalia The plane had been carrying humanitarian and medical supplies to help the country fight the spread of coronavirus.
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09 May 2020 GMT+3 Ethiopia on Saturday admitted it was behind the shooting down of a privately owned Kenyan plane in Somalia earlier this week, resulting in the deaths of all six people on board. The plane was shot down on Monday by Ethiopian troops protecting a camp in the town of Bardale in southwestern Somalia, the Ethiopian army said in a statement to the African Union (AU). More: Six killed as plane carrying coronavirus aid crashes in Somalia Anger in Mogadishu after police kill civilian in COVID-19 curfew Somali state minister dies from coronavirus The aircraft had been carrying humanitarian and medical supplies to help the country fight the spread of coronavirus when it went down in Bardale, about 300km (180 miles) northwest of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. The Ethiopian soldiers mistakenly believed the plane was on a “potential suicide mission” because they had not been informed about the “unusual flight” and the aircraft was flying low, the statement said. “Because of lack of communication and awareness, the aircraft was shot down,” the military said. “The incident … will require mutual collaborative investigation team from Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya to further understand the truth.” Kenya expressed shock over the incident earlier this week, saying the plane’s mission had been to aid Somalia in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
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Soldiers from Ethiopia and Kenya are among those deployed to Somalia as part of an AU peacekeeping mission to fight the armed group al-Shabab. The shooting down of the plane comes amid strained ties between Kenya and Somalia. Last month, Kenya accused Somali troops of an “unwarranted attack” across its border near Mandera, a northern outpost town, describing the incident as a provocation. Somalia, meanwhile, has long accused its larger neighbour of meddling in its internal affairs, something Kenya has denied.