Many use social media as entertainment; however, Somalidev uses it for something greater. We come across many youth who use their platforms to bring change, advocate, fundraise, or simply share unique experiences outside the West. What sets Mr. Hassan apart is that he highlights the diversity of cultures across east Africa while also analyzing political development.
Let's meet the man behind our favorite Twitter account!
My name is Maxamed Hassan. I'm a 21 year old student studying Finance and Political Economy. I live in Sydney,Australia. The idea behind 'Somaliadev' twitter account is to promote the ongoing development in Somalia. This idea mainly is centered around twitter to reach out to the large Somali twitter users, in doing so I hope to share stories about Somalia and Somalis, especially those back home. I also love interacting with my global followers about issues facing Somalia and Somalis.
What motivated you to create the account?
I created this account because I visited rural Somalia in 2012, and it was completely different from what people told me or what I saw in the media. Having grown up in Australia for most of my life, it was a culture shock going back to Somalia for the first time. The hardest part was not being able to communicate in Somali very well. People will not take you serious if you are not able to speak the language.
What advice can you give Somali diaspora who want to return?
For diaspora who want to go back, go visit your country and see things for yourself. You'll be surprised to find a different country than what you often see in the news. Also, find ways you can contribute to the rebuilding of Somalia. There is so much opportunity in the Somalia! Now is the time to invest!
What does HOPE mean to you?
I grew up as a Somali citizen and throughout my 21 years of life, I have not seen or enjoyed a peaceful Somalia. I have lived all throughout my life, waiting with hope, that one day I will see my beloved country united and peaceful.
Hope to me means something you hang onto when all appears lost. It is a feeling that keeps you going.
Year after year, my dreams of seeing a peaceful Somalia are diminished. Conferences after conferences, the hope of seeing Somalia becoming a country where its citizens will have the basic necessities of life are taken away from me. President after President, the same routine and the same clan-based government always repeats itself in different forms. Now I am tired of waiting. I am tired of hearing former warlords calling themselves Members of the Parliament. I am tired of hearing incompetent and uneducated clan-based politicians controlling the fate of the Somali people. The whole country is being held hostage by these clan elders.
What Role Do Somali Youth Play in the Development of Somalia?
I may be only 21 years old, I may be a citizen of another country, but the love that I have for my people and my homeland surpass age, experience or anything related to that. This mentality of age being the factor in the Somali culture is something we need to leave behind. Do not get me wrong, I love and respect my elders, but they need to step down and let the upcoming generation take over. It is time for the new generation to bring new ideas on how to rebuild our country.
Somali youth make up 70% of the population, yet they lack any leadership or rights to influence Somalia politics.
In the past, youth were treated as integral part of society, and therefore expected to play a greater role in its future. Youth have contributed in the quest for Somalia’s freedom in 1960, through determination and endurance that earned the country’s independence. Since, 1940s, youth noticeable Somali Youth League (SYL) worked tirelessly, and devoted their time and lives to the concept of Somali unity that transcended clan considerations. Today however, youth are invisible not because of inability to excel, but because of their own current society’s lack of acknowledgement of youth’s contribution to the county’s history and vision. In Somalia, children are valued as they are considered an asset or perhaps insurance for family and the society at large. For instance, parents and grandparents do take care of their children and in return children take the role of caregivers for their parents and grandparents as there are no social services to support families. Somali society became very comfortable with the concept that Somali elderly men can foretell the future of the country and can make a sound judgment of what is good for the country. However, society seems to forget that the country’s future depends not only on its elderly, but its young people also. Somalia needs to harness the full potential of its youth- boys and girls whom will be the country’s key to new vitality and hope.
What's Next for Somaliadev?
I hope to someday soon, return to Somalia and permanently move there. I can't afford to see another generation of lost childhoods. When that happens, I hope to share my journey on Somaliadev.
Somaliadev can be found here- Twitter: @Somaliadev