Category Archives: Tell your story

The extraordinary success story, this story can change your mind

It was no ordinary test for Mubarik Mohamoud. As the first student from the Abaarso School of Science and Technology to be accepted into an American school, Mubarik could create untold opportunities for his schoolmates with a successful transition to Worcester Academy.

FB_IMG_1538555107086

On the other hand, if he stumbled, his peers’ hopes might be dashed.

Jonathan Starr, a former hedge fund manager who started Abaarso eight years ago in the breakaway African republic of Somaliland, chuckles as he recalls his demanding expectations for Mubarik. When he learned that his prize student was worried “the entire future is on his shoulders,” he responded, “Good! He’s been listening.”

Starr, who lives in Westborough with his wife and baby daughter, spent four years in Somaliland building a high school campus out of the unforgiving rubble on the outskirts of the capital city, Hargeisa. He has just published a book, “It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World’s No. 1 Failed State,” about his rash decision to bring a rigorous education to the former region of Somalia, and the remarkable group of teachers and students who brought that vision to reality.

handout_09Starr12_liv[1]

By his early 30s, Starr had amassed significant wealth and achievement as a systems savant for Fidelity Investments and later with his own hedge fund, Cambridge-based Flagg Street Capital. But he still felt a nagging desire to do something meaningful with his life.

While working in finance, he volunteered as a Boys and Girls Club basketball coach. After leading a winning season with an underskilled team from the suburbs, he jumped to another club closer to Boston, where the players were more talented. But they were growing up in dysfunction.

“The kids lived such chaotic lives; we had no shot,” Starr says.

It was a hard-earned lesson: Create a positive, pervasive culture, and success would follow. But how and where?

A movie buff, he was drawn to inspirational classroom films like “Stand and Deliver,” the 1988 story of East Los Angeles math teacher Jaime Escalante. And for some time, he writes in his book, he had harbored an idea “to start a school for really talented kids who have great potential that will otherwise go wasted.’’

He was aware of the challenges of students in Somaliland because he has an aunt who married a man from there. Growing up, he loved playing Somali card games on family vacations with his beloved Uncle Billeh, who worked for the United Nations. In 2008, it all came together.

When Starr first set out to find a location for his project, he had no experience building a school — or even teaching, for that matter. He would become the school’s first headmaster, turning over the reins to his assistant in 2015. What he did have, besides determination, was money: He initially put forth $500,000 and to date he’s funneled nearly twice that into the school.

When he first arrived in Somaliland, almost all of the republic’s schools had been destroyed or run into the ground by the Somali civil war. Covering grades 7-12, Abaarso, named for the town the school is in, now serves 212 students on its walled, multibuilding campus. Acceptance is competitive. The staff has grown to about two dozen teachers who come from various corners of the world. They each wear several hats and earn a nominal salary — about $3,000 for the school year. They do it for one reason, Starr says — pride in a job well done.

And there is much to be proud of. To date, Abaarso has placed more than 80 students in international boarding schools or colleges.

Mubarik graduated from Worcester Academy — Starr’s alma mater — in 2013. This spring, after majoring in electrical engineering and computer science, he’ll graduate from M.I.T. Having specialized in autonomous robotics, he’d like to help engineer driverless cars. It’s an astounding trajectory for a boy who grew up in a world so rural, he mistook the first motor vehicles he saw to be some kind of bizarre domesticated animal.

“I do not feel exceptional,” says Mubarik, “but I do feel lucky.”

For Starr, his belief in the young people of Somaliland was simply a practical matter.

“If you get the kids to see it’s actually worth investing in their future,” he says, “then they’ll do well.”

Because Somaliland is considered an autonomous region of Somalia, the Trump administration’s recent ban on travel from seven mostly Muslim nations — including Somalia — has plunged the Abaarso community into a spiral of uncertainty.

“It definitely makes me nervous,” says Mubarik, speaking on the phone recently during a break in his studies. “But I am hopeful.”

Starr frets that the travel ban could mean Abaarso will have to stop sending its best students to America for college. If he could show Mubarik’s progress to the president and his administration, he says — in fact, the school’s story is scheduled to be featured in an upcoming “60 Minutes” segment — he believes they would recognize the need to make exemptions.

Though he has returned to Massachusetts to start his own family, Starr still spends several weeks each school year at Abaarso. He continues to work full time, and then some, on behalf of the school, planning, fund-raising, and advocating for its students at American colleges and boarding schools.

Besides Mubarik, four other students from Abaarso’s inaugural year are set to graduate from American universities this spring. One of them, an intensely goal-oriented young woman named Nimo Ismail, is completing her studies at Oberlin College.

“She’s known I want her to be the attorney general of Somaliland for so long,” says Starr.

At least two of the graduating seniors plan to return to Abaarso to join the faculty. For Starr, that’s a milestone he’s been eagerly awaiting.

Mubarik may stay in the United States to work toward his master’s degree, or he might go back to help introduce more Somaliland kids to computers. Either way, Starr wants all the students his school sends overseas to become the future of their homeland.

“Here he can be great,” he says. “There, he can be king.”

You can buy at #Amazon the completed story book

Check this out: It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Success Story That Is Chang… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F1YMKF2/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_tWfTBbW4KJTAM

Advertisements

Breaking news:UAE has accepted somaliland passport

DUBAI– The United Arab Emirates has accepted citizens traveling with Somaliland passport can enter to it’s country and further allowed that the UAE can issue visas with Somaliland travel documents.

First, people who will be allowed to travel to the UAE are those holding Somaliland diplomatic passport in the first place. Second, business people are permitted to go the UAE with Somaliland passport. Third, anyone holding with Somaliland passport can travel to the UAE.

Reports confirm that this has been facilitated by FlyDubai airways which has recently started direct flights to Somaliland. This is an important diplomatic step taken in the right direction. The UAE has banned people traveling with Somali passport cannot enter into her country.

Citizens with Somaliland travel document can go to the following countries:-

1- South Africa

2- Ethiopia

3- Djibouti

4- Belgium

5- United Kingdom

6 – France

7- South Sudan

8- Kenya

Somaliland is a broke away republic that seceded from Somalia in 1991 but it has not been recognized.

Turkey, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya have diplomatic office in Hargeisa.

Muuse biixi oo u hanjabay farmaajo

Muuse biixi oo farmaajo u hanjabay

Ethiopia sidee ku yeelatay 19% Xaqiiqda halkan ka ogow

SAAMIGA 19% WAXA UU KU YIMI SIYAASADDA GANACSI EE ITOOBIYA AY MANDAQADDA KA CIYAARTO EE LOO YAQAAN ‘’BARGAINING CHIP’’ OO WEHESHANEYSA SHAXDA GANACSI EE SOMALILAND AY LA TIMI EE LOO YAQAAN ‘’EQUITY DEAL’’.

Inkasta oo heshiiska saamilayda ah ee maalgalinta dekedda Berbera aannu ahayn mid shalayto curtay – haddana in badani waxa ay su’aal ka keentay sida ay Itoobiya ku heshay saamiga 19% ah ee maalgalinta Berbera. Dadka sida tan u fekerayaa waxa ay ku doodayaan; Itoobiya badda ma leh, $442 milyan ee maalgalinta ahna ma leh, bilowgii heshiiskana qayb kama ay ahayn ee maxaa hadda keenay in hal mar saami intan le’eg ay la sare kacdo?

Isweyddiinta su’aalaha kan labo ammuurood ayaa keenay aniga aragtidayda; tan hore waa in dadka Soomaalida ahi meel wal oo ay joogaan shaki badan ka qabaan Itoobiya. Abwaan, sheekh iyo qof qalin Soomaali wax ugu qaraa wax uu ku yeedhaamo ayaa jira oo aannu caddayn badan na u hayn! Waa in ay Itoobiya qabsan karto Soomaalida oo ay dhulkooda si fudud u la wareegi karto. Arrintani si wal oo siyaasadda, amniga iyo dhaqaalaha mandaqadda loo gu suureeyo ma aha mid suuro-gal noqon karta.

Yeelkeed, in badan oo Soomaali ah odhaahda tan dhegta ayaa loo gu riday. Sida ay tahay in loo ga masaxaana ma aha si fudud – oo wadaad iyo waran leh hawshaa qayb weyn ayey ka qaateen. Sidoo kale dawladaha Carabta – gaar ahaan Masar ayaa aad u ga hawl gashay tan iyo 1964 ilaa iyo maanta – aakhirkiina maskaxda Soomaalida xoolo dhaqatada ah aad ayey ugu duxday oo waa ay ku xarkaktay.

Arrinta labaad waa in Somaliland aaney si sax ah u soo bandhigin marnaba heshiiska ay DP World la gashay nuqulkiisa saxda ah. In aad loo ga shaki qabo in laaluush iyo musuq badani ku jiray habka heshiiska loo bixiyey ka dib markii ay aad ugu tartameen shariikadaha Balore oo Faransiis ah iyo DP World oo Imaaraadka la ga leeyahay oo labaduba aad u daneynayey maalgashiga Berbera.

Ammuurtan danbe waa mid maangal ah oo aniga qudhaydu aan aad u la qabo dadka sida weyn u ga biyo diiddan in heshiiska saxda ah la soo bandhigi kari waayo. Inkasta oo ay xukuumadda Somaliland ee Kulmiye ku andacooneyso in heshiisku aannu qarsoodi ku ahayn xafiisyada sharciga ee caalamka.

Isla markaana la gu heshiisyey heshiiska ganacsiga iyo maalgashiga ee sharciga Ingiriiska (The International Governing Law of Business Transactions World Wide) ee loo yaqaan ‘’English Law’’. Sababta se keentay in aan Somaliland loo soo bandhigini ay tahay cadowga Somaliland oo aad u faro badan awgii.

Yeelkeed, aan u galno sababta keentay in Itoobiya ay hesho saami 19% ah oo in badan oo waddankooda jeceli ay ka murugaysan yihiin – la na anfariirsan yihiin waxa xigi kara.

Itoobiya waa dal bilaa bad ah, dhaqaalihiisu aad u kobcayo, dadkiisuna ay aad u tiro badan yihiin. Waa dal aad wax u dhoofiya, leh maraakiib badan oo uu wax ku daabusho, suuqa adduunyadana meel weyn ku leh. Jabuuti waxa ay maalgashiga ku heshay waa in ay la jaar tahay Itoobiya. Somaliland iyana waa la mid oo xiisaha gaarka ahi waa tirada dad ee Itoobiya ee u baahan wax ay la soo degaan iyo xoogga waxsoosaar ee ay dhoofiso.

Sidaa oo ay tahay, haddana Itoobiya oo bilaa bad ahi go’doon kuma jirto. Waxa ay la jaar tahay Kenya oo bad leh masaafo ahaan na u jirta 1,821.9 km. Inkasta oo aaney wakhtiga kan heshiis ahayn waxa ay la jaar tahay Eritrea oo bad leh, masaafo ahaan na u jirta 878.8 km. Waxa ay la jaar tahay Sudan oo bad leh, masaafo ahaan na u jirta 1,842.2 km. Waxa ay la jaar tahay Soomaaliya oo bado badan leh, masaafo ahaan na u jirta 1,676.2 km. Ugu danbeyn, waxa ay la jaar tahay Somaliland oo ay masaafo ahaan baddeeda u jirto 916.0 km.

Itoobiya waxa ay haysataa bado ku xeersan oo dhammaantood dalal faqri ahi leeyihiin. Marka la ga reebo Eritrea oo ay wakhtigan is hayaan – inkasta oo ay xilli walba heshiin karaan – dhammaan dalalka kale mid aan Itoobiya kala hadal in uu la diyaar yahay baddiisa in ay wax kala soo degto kana dhoofiso ma jiro. Wakhtigan Jabuuti oo ah tan ugu dhaw, ayey Itoobiya kala soo degtaa, kana dhoofisaa 96%. Jabuuti, waxa ay cashuurta 45% ka dhintay Itoobiya 2017. Cashuur dhimistani waxa ay ku soo begantay markii ay ogaatay in Berberi culays tahay.

Waxa kale oo Jabuuti u dhammaystiran gabi ahaan adeeggii dekedi ay lahayd iyo agabkii adeegga fulinayey (waddo baabuur iyo jid tareen). Suuqa ay Somaliland dekeddeeda Berberi ku hirdameysaa waa kaa walaalayaal. Marka ay noqoto dhanka amniga Jabuuti waa dal amniga dhulkiisa ay dammaanad qaadeen Faransiis, waxa kale oo kaalmeeyey Maraykan, Jarmal, Jabaaniis, Sucuudi iyo Shiinaha oo hadda ku soo wajahan – kana dhisanaya saldhiggii abid ugu weynaa ee dunida saddexaad la ga dhiso. Ma jiro dal Somaliland amnigiisa dammaanad qaaday – ku darso oo la ma na aqoonsana!

Xaal marka uu sidaa yahay – Somaliland maxaa la gudboon, ileen in dhaqaalaheennu uu koro, nolosha dadkeennu hagaagto, adduunyada masaalax ku yeelanno oo aynnu mandaqadda wax ka qabsanno waa u la ga ma maarmaan eh? Sidee se ay ku suuro-gali kartaa in aad Itoobiya oo haysata intaas oo dekedood, Jabuutina ay 45% cashuur dhaaf ah u sameysay markii DP World ay Berbera timi – in aad ku qanciso in ay dekeddaada timaaddo oo ay xajmi weyn oo dhaqaale ahaan ku anfaca ay kala soo degto?

Saw ma aha in aad turub siyaasadeed oo xirfad badan aad ciyaarto? Mise waa in aad kuududsataa oo aad Allahaa sugtaa adiga oo gamcaha iyo lugaha isku seetaynaya? Si aaney sida tani u dhicin Somaliland feker ayey la timi waana kan saamiga 19% ahi ku yimi si ay u la tartanto dhammaan dekedaha hungurigu ka hayo in ay Itoobiya saamigeeda ugu weyn ay dekedaheeda kala soo degto kana dhoofisato. Somaliland, waxa ay arrintan darteed u ga tanaasushay 5% saamigeedii hore ee ahaa 35% halka ay DP World iyana u ga tanaasushay 14% saamigeedii hore ee ahaa 65%.

Ciyaarta ay Somaliland ciyaartay waxa la yidhaa ‘’Equity Deal’’ waana in saamigaasi noqdo dabinka Itoobiya la gu soo xero galin karo. Itoobiya qudheedu ma ay yareysan ee Somaliland iyaba waxa ay u isticmaashay waxa loo yaqaan ‘’Bargaining Chip’’ oo ah maxaad ii haysaan ee aan ku doorsadaa dekedahaa kale?

Haddii ay Somaliland fekeri lahayd – maanta fekerka ay fekertay waa mid sax ah oo dani keentay ah. Cid wal oo sidaa yeeshayna anigu in aan ku ammaano ma ogiye kuma aan dhaliileen. Dhanka kale saamiga 19% ahi qiimo weyn ugu ma fadhiyo Somaliland – waayo weligeed dadkeedu ma ay dheefsan adeegga dekedda ka soo baxa ee 19% iyo 51% la ga kala siiyey Itoobiya iyo DP World. Cashuurta dhoofinta iyo alaab kala soo degista dekeddu waa halkeedii – waxana 100% iska leh Somaliland.

Waxa aan filnaa waa dekedda oo la ballaadhiyo, jidka oo la dhiso, Berbera oo kobocda oo qayrkeed hiigsata iyo Somaliland oo si weyn u macaashta qaddiyaddeeda siyaasiga ahina mac iyo muc u yeelato caalamka intiisa kale. Dadkayga waxa aan ka codsanayaa in aaney noqon war-xumo tashiil keliya e, ay noqdaan kuwa ku farxa waxa u soo kordha. Dadkaygu waa ay ka baqaan isbeddelka iyo waxa cusub – laakiin guusha waxa curiyaa waa hal-abuur wax cusub iyo ku dhac la la yimaaddo. Jimce Wanaagsan.

Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud

Daawo: Sheikh dirir oo karbaashey, ciidanka Somaliland iyo Puntland, iyo sidoo kale salaadiinta