Last year two distinctly divergent views emerged when Somalia established a permanent government ending 12 years of a chaotic transition period. Journalist Mohamud Uluso warned that “the future forebodes more pessimism and treachery than optimism and trustworthiness”, and yet, at the same time UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon heralded the new-found unity and pledged his support to a peaceful, democratic, stable and prosperous Somalia, stating: “we committed to a new Somali-owned and led partnership, which will work towards a compact between the Somali authorities and the international community inspired by the principles outlined in the New Deal, agreed in Busan in November 2011.” Differing interpretations on the New Deal’s effect on Somalia were central to informing these conflicting opinions.
We cannot choose who we love. True. Yet, we choose trust, stability, warmth, mutuality and respect. Not many would choose war. Or would we?
Last week I attended a discussion at The Frontline Club, a London club set up to honor those who died on the front in pursuit of journalism. It was a discussion between Jake Wood and Charles Glass. Jake spoke about the battle he faced upon his return from Afganistan and Iraq when diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Charles Glass, whose latest book Deserter explores the widely untold stories of the British and American deserters in the Second World War.
Jake’s story, his personality, his shaking hands, the way he crumbled his speaking notes in his hands and the way he spoke openly about his condition captured the audience and me.