by A. Shakib
A young man who went back to his country in order to improve their lives.
|Like busy worker ants, the people of Galmoos were enjoying the perfect day. The sky was blue with no cloud in sight in any direction since afternoon. It was not hot or cold, with the perfect breeze blowing eastward. It was not a strange day to the people of Galmoos, because today was the same as yesterday, the day before, and the day before that. But Ali Yusuf was staring at clear sky, looking for something he could not put his fingers on. Ali stopped picking the corn and concentrated on the sky hoping to find whatever was eluding him. He knew something was different today, but before he could continue observation, his father ordered him to continue picking the corn.
“We don’t have time for sightseeing my son, the winter is upon so we can’t waste any time,” Hussein told his son.
“Yes papa,” Ali addressed him back.
Galmoos are true nomadic tribes that live fifty kilometer outside of the city of Kismaayo. They are good farmers and a peace loving tribe. With that said, they rarely interact with other tribes that roam the nearby cities or towns. They love what they do and the quality of their products speaks for itself. Their technological advancement is far behind the standard living of the Somali people, even though, the Somali people are not that far from the Galmoos. The Galmoos people trace their lineage back to nomadic tribes in Yemen who many years ago migrated into Somali.
Ali always wished something new would happen in his life, because the way things were going, he would be a farmer just like his father was and the father before him. It did not occur to him to disobey his father, at least he never knew anyone that did; besides, his father was huge man, six feet three and weighing two hundred ten pounds, with big hands and bigger feet. A characteristic he did not inherited from his father. As a matter of fact, the straight black hair, the broad nose and the hazelnut shaped eyes were all from his mother. The only characteristic they shared was the dark tanned skin acquired from the long working hours in the fields.
Ali kept glancing up every now and then, until he saw a reflection in the sky. His father was watching him all along, and he too noticed the reflection. A three passenger seated plane came out of the high altitude circling downward, revealing itself to the people of Galmoos. It circled once more over the fields before landing on the paved road that cut through the center of town. It was kicking up orange dust, which was the color of the land, as it slowed itself down. Ali watched the marvelous craft for the first time, recording vivid images within his mind. The only things with engines that Ali knew were the cars that came through the town in the morning.
“Father is that an airplane?” Ali asked.
“Yes it is,” his father answered. Ali’s father stopped what he was doing, and stared with scrutinizing eyes.
“What is it doing here papa?”
“I don’t know son, but I am going to find out.” He put the bag that was hanging around his waist on the ground and ordered few men to follow him. “You stay here and keep working.” Khaleef, Omar, and Farah all belonged to the town council, men that were on the same position as his father. They were respected men among the people of Galmoos, the first to investigate any sign of trouble. From this distance, two figures came out of the plane and began taking many things out of the plane.
After couple of minutes, the council and the men that got off the plane seemed to come to agreeable terms. The council began carrying the luggage and boxes away from the plane. Ali’s father ordered him to come and help the two strangers. Ali accepted the request with a big smile and ran to join his father. He was happy as it was his first time seeing a real plane in his life; although his mother used tell him stories about airplanes. Now, being close enough to be able to touch one was mind blowing. Ali acknowledged one of the men was different and probably was the pilot of the plane, but the other man looked similar to him or any other Galmoos men. He was as tall as his father with broad shoulders. He was not as wide as his father, but he had small well defined body with strong features. He had strong hands, hazel green eyes, a thin and bony nose and skin that had seen better days.
It was obvious to the new comer that Ali had never seen a plane before, probaly never even seen a picture of one. Smiling, the man said, “This is roobladhac, I bet you haven’t seen one this beautiful before,” the man said with smile.
“I never seen a plane before,” Ali said as he patted his hand over the smooth surface of the wings.
“No kidding,” said the stranger as he offered his hand, “Remind me to give you a ride, soon.”
Ali replied as they shook their hands, “I would love that…” Ali paused and thought about what his father would say after he heard this. But still he liked the idea of riding one or at least going inside a plane. “Does this plane belong to you?”
“You can say that,” said the man as put his knee on the ground, so he could be the same height as the boy. He then smiled again and asked, “My name is Hassan, what is yours?”
“I am Ali Yusuf Osman.”
After hearing the boy’s name, Hassan took a picture of an old house out of his pocket and requested from Ali if he could show him where it is?
“Sure follow me,” Ali replied while grabbing the two remaining suitcases which surprised Hassan a little. For a twelve year old boy, Ali was strong for his size and age. Hassan was little bit embarrassed because all of his belonging were carried for him by the people he just met. Back home, he would have paid an extra tip for this kind of service, but these people would not know what that was. He insisted on taking one suitcase from the boy and followed him to the house.
As Hassan followed Ali to his destination, Hassan could not help but notice the difference between the houses in this town and the house he was heading. They looked just like how his father described them; mud brick walls, wooden windows, and short ceilings that situated under palm leave thatched roofs. There were about thirty or more of those houses scattered all over Galmoos. Women and children were coming out of their houses, trying to figure out what disturbed their natural routine. The house Ali was leading the way to was standing by itself with the closest neighbor being barn house, hen house, and a rounded fence that was the size of football field. There were two trees, mango and date palm growing on each side of the house.
When they walked through the door, they become aware of the scattered goods all over the hall, denying them both access into the house. Hassan had no choice but to move them around a little. Ali was still holding the suite case waiting for instruction where to place the it. “Thank you Ali,” Hassan told the boy and pointed where the others where, “you can just put it here.” Abruptly, Ali waved the goodbye and ran out of the house.
Hassan always wanted to do something different maybe unique and unconventional unlike other people he grew up with. He wanted to go places and make contributions the world, but overall the places, he wanted to go back to his home country, Somalia, a place that needed his help as much as he needed it.