My father was a known Islamic scholar in Dhagabur and he used to teach me the religion but as young kid, my mind was set on seeking secular education so I left

“My name is Sheikh Sagal. My father was a known Islamic scholar in Dhagabur and he used to teach me the religion but as young kid, my mind was set on seeking secular education so I left. I wanted to attend university extremely bad as my siblings were in faraway places such as Mogadishu and Garissa, places with opportunities. Shortly after the 1977 war with Ethiopia, I came to Hargeisa with mere 5 Somali shillings.  I had no place to sleep and have been knocking on doors for ages trying to find a place for shelter. I finally saw a massive door and I knocked on it. I thought it was a mosque and a potential place to sleep. Instead I saw a bunch of soldiers – returning soldiers who participated in the 1977 war with Ethiopia. I asked them where the mosque is, they pointed to a building nearby. As I was about to depart, they called me back and gave me shelter for the night. After years of roaming, I discovered, on my own, what my father wanted for me was the best. I went to university in the end but it was an Islamic university. Once I graduated from Madina University in Saudi Arabia, I felt satisfied. Had I gone for secular education, my life would have been completely different.”

(London, United Kingdom)

“Magacaygu waa Sheekh Sagal. Aabahay wuxuu ahaa wadaad aad looga yaqiin degaanka Dhagaxbuur, isagaa diinta ii bari jiray markii aan yaraa. Laakin anigu waxaan jeclaaday cilmiga maadiga ah. Waan ka soo cararay. Walaalahay waxay kala degenaayeen Xamar iyo Gaarisa. Marka maan ahayn mid qalbigiisu joogo. Dagaalkii 1977 ka dib baan Hargaysa imid anigoo sita 5 shilling Soomaali ah. Aqal aan u hoydo ama seexdo ma aanan haysan wakthigaas aan imid Hargeysa, habeenkii oo dhan baan wareegayey. Intaaso aqal baan garaacay. Aakhirkii waxaan arkay albaab weyn oo la xiraayo markaas. Masaajid baan moodayey, waan garaacay. Dheg, waaba askar qaasatan kuwi ka so noqday dagaalkii 1977 ee Itoobiya. Raali ahaada ku iri, xagee ku yaala masaajidku. Meel bey ii tilmaameen. Anigoo soconaya baa mid kale yiri, war so celi so celi. Meel aan seexdo ayey ii siiyeen khayr bey ii ahayd. Marka jid dheer baan so maray. Ugu dambeyn waxaan go’aansaday inaan waxbarasho Islaami ah galo. Waxaan so xasuustay aabbahay. Waxaan ka qalinjabiyey Jaamacadda Madiina ee Sucuudiga ku taala. Waxaan dareemay degenaansho iyo rayn rayn. Hadaan xoogga saari lahaa waxbarashada maadiga ah, nolosheydu mid ka duwan tan maanta ayey noqonlahayd. Alxamdullilah.”

(London, Boqortooyada Ingiriiska)

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