تقسيم مضاعف

Division Multiplied

Mustafa Saeed

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It was only when I turned 19 that I learned that there are differences between clans. I had started University and was working in a graphic design office when my colleagues asked me which clan I belonged to. I was annoyed with the question. I was not sure why they asked, but noticed their different way of treating me after they knew which clan I belonged to. Suddenly I was not Mustafa, the young graphic designer and the student; I was now Mustafa who belonged to a particular clan, and it seemed that was the reason I was either liked or disliked.

I grew up outside my country during war in the Northern part of Somalia, which is now Somaliland. I wasn’t allowed into the living room where my parents used to watch VHS tapes sent from home documenting the war. which were sold to Somalis abroad to raise money for the militias. My parents raised me with the idea that we were all equal Somalis. Clans were just names to me, sometimes used in jokes, and sometimes as an insult. I was curious to know what triggered such remarks and why there was a stigma on certain clans.

Although Somaliland was founded in 1991 with a constitution that grants equality to all citizens, the reality is different. Still today the clans that livestock still have superiority, and they receive the best jobs and educational opportunities available in our developing country. The other clans are less advantaged because of who they are as a group, although there are individuals who might manage to make a decent living for themselves.

This project explores the daily lives of people belonging to the discriminated clans, using photography to explore the depth and impact of segregation and discrimination.

Somalia

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"Rag jidiin baa walaaleeya."
Food unites Men.
- Somali Proverb

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Hair braiding in the morning for the first day of Eid Al-Odha is something in common between all Somalis.

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Left: Young men celebrating Eid Al-Odha in Hargeisa.
Right: Photo of local cinema/video spot which still shows the scars of war. It is hard to get electricity or afford TV sets, so people gather and watch Bollywood films and football matches.

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Girls enjoy their time at At 'Seraha' park, where youth and families from the city and other towns go to spend their afternoons on weekends in Borama.

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Right: Women dancing at a "females only” wedding ceremony.
Left: Wedding gifts for the family.

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Left: A memorial statue for the young people who died in the February 20, 1982 youth riot. The Somali government arrested many teachers and intellectuals. Students gathered in protest and threw stones, and many were gunned down.
Right: Young men and women sing the Somaliland National Anthem.

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Men read newspapers outside a telecommunications company office in downtown Hargeisa, where newspapers are sold. Young men looking for available jobs come to read. Somaliland has a high unemployment rate.

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"Three are the weakest men: the one who doesn't sew for himself, the one who doesn’t make decisions for himself, and the one who doesn’t make savings for himself."
- Somali Proverb

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Left: Barbershop in Burao. Barbering is one of the popular occupations practiced by the Gabooye clan.

Right: A farm in Arabsiyo.

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Left: Girl designing Henna.
Right: A market woman sells Uunsi, a type of incense made of frankincense, cardamom, sugar. Usually women who sell this are from the Gabooye clan.

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Left: Blacksmithing is one of the popular occupations practiced by the Gabooye clan.

Right: Electrician fixing TV receiver.

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An old man resting at the Livestock market.

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A man counts the sales of the sheep at the livestock market, which is a vanishing occupation among the Gabooye clan.

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When Yassin's family found out he was going to marry Samira, Gabooye woman, his older brother beat him and put him into jail to try to thwart his decision. On release from jail, he again asked his family to accept his decision; his older brother then stripped him of his clothes and kicked him out of the house. When they heard of his marriage, Yassin's family organized a fake funeral for him. It has been four years since he seen his family.

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A young man draws his initials at the beach in Berbera.

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“If passing is not by encouragement but by birth, his guts say he has been demoted.”
- Yahye Yebash

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A 6th-grade social science textbook includes a lesson about the reform of Somaliland back in 1991, but no detailed incidents or events on the issue are in the curriculum books.

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Barkhad Jama Hirsi speaks on a panel on “Clannism and its obstacles on Education.” Barkhad is an ex-advisor on minorities and social issues to the President of Somaliland. He resigned at the beginning of 2015. He felt his position was only symbolic and that the government was not doing anything to improve the situation.

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Artists perform at WADANI event. WADANI is one of the official opposition parties in Somaliland. It is the only opposition party calling for equality and promising to give more space for minority clans.

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Left: “Ahmed Iman Warsame” the King of the Gabooye clan, gives a speech at WADANI welcoming ceremony for another clan joining the opposition party.

Right: Portrait of King Ahmed Iman Warsame, King of the Gabooye clan.

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The elders and clan leaders of Gabooye in Burao pose with the executive director of Adam Academy, an organization that works in developing and empowering minorities in Somaliland at an event organized by the National Electoral Commission for the voting card registration. “We have no clear representation in politics, we should elect from our own people, and we should support our leaders,” said one of the elders.

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Left: A petition from a representative of the Somaliland protectorate to Secretary General of the United Nations outlining the treaties between United Kingdom and some Somali Tribes. These agreements greatly impacted the clan system in Somaliland today.
Right: Muse Haji Ismail Galal & Jirde Aw Ali, my grandfather, a retired police officer for the Somaliland protectorate, pose outside the Buckingham palace in London.

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An elder speaks at a closed meeting moderated by members of Parliament for the discussions between the government and minority clans in Somaliland about their rights and involvement in politics.

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Left: A young girl in the Madina region, one of the areas inhabited by the Gabooye clans in Burao.
Right: children playing at Daami, one of the areas inhabited by the Gabooye clan in Hargeisa.

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Left: A sign on the stairs of a primary school by community in Daami area in Hargeisa.
Right: Students at a community-run primary school in Daami area called Hargeisa, where they learn the Quran and Arabic.

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"Knowledge is Power” is written on a wall in a primary school at Kililka area in Hargeisa.

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“They have been blamed while they never hurt anyone. They had their own will, but never had blood on their hands. They decided to migrate, moving undetected. They might change nationality as well. They might choose revenge but never swore on it.” – Yahye Yebash

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Guests at a wedding party taking photos of the bride and groom's entrance.

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A tent serving as a house in an IDP camp in Kililka Area, Hargeisa.

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“Geed walba in gubtaa wa hoos taallaa."
Each tree has enough grass underneath to burn it down
- Somali proverb.

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Mustafa Saeed

Somalia, 26

Mustafa Saeed is an Artist, his work explores different mediums including Documentary photography, graphics and sound. Mustafa's work marries poetic symbolism with sociopolitical critique to explore issues of war, conflict and environment. Based in Hargeisa and participated in different local and international exhibitions.

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