“Why especially Somalia?” Or: My Way to There.
“You live in…Somaaaliaa?!? Why???” and “Whaaaat, how come…???” – These are maybe the most common questions I have to answer, when I meet someone new. Yes, especially Somali people are surprised by hearing that a German sister moved BY CHOICE to this country, where most of them fled from!
To answer you these questions, I have to go back to 2009, when everything started…
Once upon a time…
In the beginning of 2009 I was a fresh Muslima (only half year old, alhamduliLlah!). I had a very good friend, who came originally from Mogadishu, capital city of Somalia. She praised her home country so much: how beautiful this city has been (before the war), how fertile the earth, how tasty the fruits (no banana is like theirs!), how beautiful the ocean…and last but not least: how freely you can practice the Deen (religion, way of life) nowadays!
Moreover I could see in multiple videos from the Internet, that beside all that ongoing chaos, there was still a life going on in that country, which I was fascinated of.
Slowly but surely I developed the desire to move to such a country like Somalia. Because in Germany, my own home-country, I got insulted openly and some of the people told me to “go home where you come from!“. Through my Islamic clothes I became a stranger in my own home/city/country!
From all the Islamic countries I could go to, Somalia attracted me most. There you are nothing special as a Muslima, even with a full veil. The life was still a kind of simple, which doesn’t distract you from more important things. It reminded me on the history of the first Muslims, who used to live very simple and honest. At the same time, it still has a kind of mix between Arabian and African-flair, which makes life a very relaxed (and for me suitable) experience.
Not sooo easy…
Out of this fascination, I went together with my Somali friend and her German husband to Dubai, where we wanted to travel further to Somalia. But we were not very well financially prepared, as we did not evaluate what such kind of big shift needed. So I decided to go back and make a better, reasonable plan for this important venture.
Searching for Mr. Perfect
I realized that before I travel to Somalia, I needed to establish a family life. Because if you travel alone, you are an open victim to all. Beside that, together you´ll be stronger to face every difficulty in life. For that, I needed someone who understands my background and who had the same imagination of life.
There were some other chances for me to get married with from different nationalities, but I couln’d imagine that an Arab or other African would choose Somalia as our new home. That’s why my heart and mind sticked on the Somalis.
Since in my town I knew beside my friend only one Somali family, my friend asked her (half-) sister in Denmark, if she could search for me a suitable ”Somali” husband.
It might sound strange to some of you. The Muslims might think: “What? wasn’t she too shy for searching a husband by herself?” But I didn’t have a choice, since I don’t have a Muslim family member who could have helped me with that huge task.
For a Non-Muslim it might even sound more strange! “What? How come, she let other people search a husband for her !?”- They may ask themselves. For your information the Muslim marriage is similar to a “blind date” from the Internet: you or someone close to you keeps the eyes open to find a suitable match for you. If they found one, you and the potential husband may talk to each other, in order to see, if you have a common understanding of the life, character, goals, etc. The only difference is, that a Muslim can only have a ”physical” contact and relationship with the other gender after they married.
However, my friend got the contact number of the Somali Imam in her sisters city. The Imam him self got the information that he will receive a call from Germany. My friend introduced her self to the Imam and asked him, if there was any suitable “match” for me. After few weeks of search he found out, there wasn’t. He found some brothers but non of them was ready to move back to Somalia in the near future, which was my condition!
My friend knew that the Imam himself was living between Europe and Somalia as he already moved some of his children back to there, while he is preparing himself and the rest of his family to move there soon.
Suddenly my friend got the idea to ask that Imam himself, if he would be interested in me. He answered, that he was focusing on finding someone else for me, therefore he needed to get a bit time to rethink in order to change his mindset concerning to this issue. He mentioned that he had already 2 wives and a few children.
Around two days later, he gave us the answer: If I don’t mind about his big family, he would like to get to know me!
In the beginning the idea of the sister was a bit astonishing for me, but I got exited after when I got the answer of the Imam. The good thing with this brother was, that he had all his bigger children already studying in Somalia- so it was like an “insurance” for me, that he really would move there after his study. Moreover, he was educated in worldly things as well in the religion. All of this and more made him really interesting for me.
Closer to my dream…
Finally my husband came all the way to Germany. It didn’t needed much time to feel that we would be suitable for each other. So after a couple of days we got married. That was in the End of 2009 and I never regret my decision, thanks to God (alhamduliLlah)- now I had someone to share my dreams with and make them come true!
Our wedding was simple and easy, but also very multicultural and emotional. Even my beloved parents and my Grandma were present!
One month later I moved to Denmark and got to know the other wife of my husband. Actually I got to know her already before, when she welcomed me on the Phone into her family! We became best friends up to now (yes, we are only two right now)! Beside that, we made some nice trips to England (second home) and Canada (huge Somali Islamic Conference with 6.000 people, where my husband was a main speaker). I felt like conquering the world!
…or not yet?
It was spring-time 2010, when we started to plan our travel to Somalia. But my in-laws were worried: “It is too dangerous in here for a white person, therefore I shouldn’t go there!”
My dream seemed to burst. Tears were falling from my eyes.
This encouraged my husband to give all his effort in order that I´ll be able to travel with him anyway in order to keep his promise as well to make my dream come true and our wish and plan fulfilled. He was not in doubt about that I will fit to there.
Let´s get started!
Despite all of the skeptical messages coming from Somalia, we took finally the decision to travel together.
When my experience to travel to totally new country is not so wide I couldn’t define what to take, what to not take, what’s important and what’s not.
The preparation for the travel was another challenge for me, as I was about to give up from a whole life that I knew since my childhood and choosed to face a knew, unknown one that I had no clue about it.
In this article you got to know my prehistory and my reasons for getting that ”crazy” idea to travel to Somalia. It was out of my wish to be able to practice my religion freely, without being told I should go back to my country! But the world is much bigger than Germany, so I had to take the necessary step to change my surrounding…
If you like this article or want to comment or even share it with the world, you are very welcome 🙂
To be continued (in shaa Allah),
Khalisa from The Germali´s