Wednesday, November 2, 2011


My morning meeting was cancelled this morning, so I came to a coffee shop to kill time and relax before my work day starts. What that ended up turning into was a 45 minute foray online into all articles I could find related to the famine in the Horn of Africa--specifically the situation right now in Somalia. As I sit here with my warm cup of coffee typing on my Mac computer in a heated coffee shop with the smells of fresh pastries wafting around me, I can't help but be a bit uncomfortable at the thought of justice and the accident of geography so I get to have everything while others are dying.

This article broke my heart this morning. I read stuff like this all the time, but I pray that my heart will continually break, and that the man in the story (at least read the first page) finds comfort through the loss of his 3 year old daughter, Kadija. If it was my daughter, I would want people to mourn with me and hear my story.

We are incapacitated by the need. Sometimes I put my blinders on and live my life intentionally hearing only good things, and sometimes I need the perspective of darkness and pain to again smash me in the face so I again remember that a death of a child from starvation in Somalia is just as tragic as a similar death would be in Seattle, even if the former happens all the time and is 'old news' to me.

So what does justice look like for me today? I will be fasting, and giving the money I would have spent on food to UNICEF or Islamic Relief; 2 groups that seem to be able to get around the Shabab (al Queda like group that is blocking aid from reaching anyone, and killing lots of Somalians) and actually help people get some food in their bellies. I will think of Kadija and I will mourn her death, I will pray, and I will feel a little bit of hunger so I can understand a bit more about her pain. And I will share her story here on my blog. Maybe someday I will be a lawyer, and can help in a larger way to execute justice on behalf of hurting people.

It is not much. I feel small and insignificant. But that is what this blog is about. Small drops in a large bucket.

"It is important to remember that however plagued Somalia is, however routine conflict, drought and disease have become, however many Somalis have already needlessly died, Somalis are not somehow wired differently from the rest of us. They are not numb to suffering. They are not grief-proof. I’ll never forget the expression on Mr. Kufow’s face as he stumbled out of Benadir Hospital into the penetrating sunshine with his lifeless little girl in his arms. He may not have been weeping openly. But he looked as if he could barely breathe."

This post does not have a happy ending, because Kadija did not have one either.

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