Posts tagged DR. RICHARD SENNA











Kenya is going to build a wall. Not just any wall, but a “separation barrier”, to employ the euphemism coined by Israel to describe the towering, snaking structure that now separates it from Palestine’s West Bank.

Kenya’s version will be built along sections of its notoriously porous border with Somalia. A physical rendering in bricks, mortar and barbed wire of a line on the map.

“Construction works will begin soon. We expect to have finished the project before the end of the year,” said Lamu county governor Issa Timamy, as reported in the Daily Nation. Further details on the project are not yet forthcoming, and Lamu county have not responded to requests for comment.

All that is known is that the wall will be erected along the sections of border near the coast, and that its intent will be to keep out illegal immigrants from Somalia as well as dangerous al-Shabaab militants. A threat felt keenly after al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi in 2013.

“This is where immigrants have been arrested trying to cross into the country or having already entered through the border in Lamu. This is a good idea and we support it because we believe it will go a long way to secure this region and indeed, the country as a whole,” said Timamy.

Walls are a comforting proposition. There is something reassuring about shutting the everyone else out and pretending as you go to sleep at night that the world’s problems are not yours; that the bad guys can’t get you.

But how does this theory translate on to the international stage? Can countries really shut themselves off from their neighbours? Can cartographical borders become man-made barriers?

A divided history

The most famous example, of many, is the Great Wall of China, an unparalleled feat of engineering designed to keep the Mongol hordes at bay. Then there was Hadrian’s Wall, a line of bricks across northern England meant to protect the Romans from the Scots. More recently, the Berlin wall divided a city, keeping West German capitalism from diluting East Germany’s communist revolution.

Today, there are still plenty of barriers dividing nations and societies. In Cyprus, one runs along the Green Line that divides the Turkish north from the Greek south. On Malaysia’s northern border with Thailand there’s one to keep out cheap but illegal Thai labour. There’s one in Saudi Arabia, on its Yemeni border, to keep Yemen’s insecurity from spilling over. In the US too, several barriers have been erected to prevent illegal movement across the Mexican border.

Most famous, however, is Israel’s separation barrier – nearly 500 miles long, it alternates between rows of barbed wire and electrified fencing and eight-metre high concrete walls. Israel describes it as “the only thing that can minimise the infiltration of these male and female suicide bombers”; others call it the apartheid wall, an architectural expression of Israel’s subjugation of Palestine.

People escape from the Westgate shopping mall after an attack by al-Shabaab in September 2013.


People escape from the Westgate shopping mall after a deadly attack by al-Shabaab in September 2013. Photograph: Kabir Dhanji/EPA

Does it work?

Either way, the real question that Kenyan officials will be asking is: has it worked? Experts are divided.

“Israelis would say that it’s been effective – noting that in the three years before it was built, suicide bombers killed 293 of their citizens; in the three years after it went up, that number dropped to 64. Since its construction, terrorist attacks have dwindled,” writes Rick Steves in the Huffington Post.

“Palestinians would counter by saying that this decline is not because of the wall, but because Palestine, its president, its security forces, and its people have all realised that violence is a losing strategy. Palestinians assure me that if anyone really wants to get through the wall (which is far from finished), it’s very easy to do,” he adds.

This, however, has come at a cost, and not just in financial terms (on that front: construction was an estimated $2m per kilometre, while maintenance is $260 million per year). By cutting off Israelis from Palestinians so completely, and vice versa, it has had a marked impact on how those societies interact, one which could have troubling long-term implications for peace and stability in the region.

Historically, walls are never a long term fix – and their effectiveness has always been dubious. The Great Wall of China, impressive as it was, became irrelevant when China’s ruling elite, confronted with a peasant rebellion, invited the Mongols in. The Berlin Wall couldn’t isolate East Germans from the lure of a better life, and eventually in was torn down, brick by brick. The border fence separating Mexico and the US is so porous that one documentary-maker repeatedly crossed it illegally – once dressed as Osama bin Laden.

SOMALI MUSIC STAR + POLITICIAN 2011 PROTEST SONG: The song called Dahabshiil a “blood-smelter,” “the enemy of Somalia,”



Saado Ali Warsame (Somali: Saado Cali Warsame, Arabic: سادو علي ورسمه‎) (b. 1950–d. 23 July 2014) was a Somali-American singer-songwriter and politician. She served as a lawmaker in the Federal Parliament of Somalia. A prominent figure in traditional Somali music, her art and legislative work were centered on political and social justice.

In early 2011, Somali music star and future member of Somalia’s parliament, Saado Ali Warsame, released a protest song entitled, “Dhiigshiil ha dhigan” (which translates as “Don’t Deposit with Dahabshiil” or “Don’t send your money through Dahabshiil”). The song called Dahabshiil a “blood-smelter,” “the enemy of Somalia,” and implored Somalis: “do not deposit your money” with Dahabshiil.


Dahabshiil is an international funds transfer company headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Formed in the early 1970s, the firm operates from over 24,000 outlets and employs more than 2,000 people across 144 countries.

Singer and Somali politician Saado Ali Warsame, slain by al-Shabaab gunmen last week, debuted a protest song in 2011 entitled, “Dhiigshiil ha dhigan” (“Don’t Deposit with Dahabshiil” or “Don’t send your money through Dahabshiil“). The song was a rebuke of the remittance company Dahabshiil, and asserted that the money Dahabshiil makes off of Somalis “is destroying our land” and “will kill our children.”  Unlike Warsame’s typically upbeat, jaunty numbers, “Diighshiil ha dhigan” opens with a world-weary, almost mournful tone that gives way to a Reggae sound throughout the rest of the song.

The 13-minute music video itself, apparently produced by Xildhiban Publications, shows scenes of armed Somali men and the victims of their violence spliced with scenes of Warsame performing and a graphic of a Kalashnikov firing across two blood-soaked words, “Dahabshiil” and “Dhiigshiil.” In Somali, “shiil” means “to smelt,” fry, or melt; “dahab” means “gold;” and “dhiig” means blood. The play on words suggests that rather than being a “gold-smelting” financial company, Dahabshiil is a actually blood-smelter.

Dubious money services business

Ahmed Yassin, a Somali in Canada, provided Money Jihad with a translation of the lyrics for “Dhiigshiil ha dhigan”:

They call him “Melting Blood” to manipulate the public,
He has lot of money to make sure Mogadishu will never be at peace,
He is the enemy of Somalia,
Somalis, do not deposit your money to his banks.
He is real tribalism; he is destroying our land,
The money he is making from us will kill our children,
Somalis, do not deposit your money to his banks.

Clearly, the lyrics pull no punches.  After the song first came out, the website Microkhan reviewed it here, editorializing that “If I was an executive at Dahabshiil, I would be very nervous right about now.” Additional descriptions of the song appear here and here.

Here is a written version of the (Latin alphabet) Somali lyrics according to Youtube video descriptions. Money Jihad is copying them here for the record because statements that put Dahabshiil in a negative light have a tendency to vanish or be suppressed in Internet searches.

“Dhiigshiil ha dhigan”

Candho iyo dhugatoow qabaa,
dhukaanbaa ku raagayoo,
dhilmaayaa daashatoo,
Cagaarshoow baa ku dhacay.
indha caseeyaa ku dhacay.
Ha dhigan Dhiigshiil ha dhigan
Dhiigshiil waxaa loo dhahaa,
Xaaraan buu ku dhisanyoo,
wuxuu dhagrayaa bulshada,
midnimaduu dhantaalayaa!!
Ha dhigan ,Dhiigshiil ha dhigan
Ibliisbaa dhaansadoo,
kolkuu dhergeybuu ka daray,
wuxuu kibirkii u dhalay,
inuu dhex fariisto qurun.


UPDATE—FEB. 21, 2015:

In October 2012, Dahabshiil commenced defamation proceedings in The Netherlands against Dahir Alasow (a Somali asylum seeker living in The Netherlands) in respect of various articles written by Mr Alasow and published on his websites including Sunatimes, Waagacusub and ASOJ. These articles alleged that Dahabshiil was, inter alia, involved in the financing of terrorism and other serious crimes, allegations which were categorically denied by Dahabshiil.

On 16 December 2014, the ’s-Hertogenbosch Court of Appeal of The Netherlands, following an extensive examination of the evidence, ruled that the articles were untrue and defamatory of Dahabshiil. Mr Alasow was ordered to remove various articles containing the defamatory allegations from his websites, publish a notice of rectification and pay Dahabshiil’s legal costs. The court’s decision can be found here:

Somali super star singer

Saado Ali Warsame, a well-known singer and member of parliament in Somali, was assassinated Wednesday on the streets of Mogadishu near the Ambassador Hotel. The jihadist organization Al-Shabaab claimed responsibilityfor the murder.

The BBC reports that “a spokesman for the Islamist al-Shabab group, Abdulaziz Abu Musab, told the BBC that she was targeted for her politics.”

Warsame herself believed that a bounty was offered for her killing by Dahabshiil, a UAE-based money transfer business that operates primarily in Somalia. In 2013, the news website Suna Times reported that Warsame had “accused Dahabshiil of putting a two million dollar bounty for her death, shortly after she released a song called Dahabshiil ha dhigan (‘Don’t Deposit with Dahabshiil’).” Money Jihad has been one of the only other English-language websites to cover those allegations.  Dahabshiil’s attorneys have previously denied the allegations in correspondence with Money Jihad.

Warsame’s album warned fans about Dahabshiil’s ‘linkage to tribalism and extremism,’ and satirized the company’s name, which means “goldsmith” by calling it Dhiigshiil, which means “bloodsmith.” Dahabshiil makes regular payments to al-Shabaab.

A dual U.S. citizen, Warsame’s family should demand a full investigation by federal authorities, and the family should consider legal action against the perpetrators.

Despite all the warning signs, prominent charities and spokesmen such as Olympics medalist Mo Farah have insisted that Barclays bank continue offering remittance services in conjunction with Dahabshiil. Those advocates for partnership with Dahabshiil should review this tragic case of Ms. Warsame.

Speaking at her funeral, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said, “We will never stop to hunt the criminals and we will punish them.” Let’s hope that is the case. Another East African musician, Nimo Djama, has also sung out against Dahabshiil’s role in terrorist financing. Officials in the UK and U.S. need to wake up about the threat of Dahabshiil before this happens again.



Un film Alain Delon rare.

Thomas Vlassenroot, jeune Luxembourgeois, a combattu en Kabylie dans la Légion étrangère française pendant la guerre d’Algérie. En 1961, après le putsch des généraux et alors que l’OAS tentait de conserver l’Algérie à la France, Thomas a déserté et s’est réfugié à Alger chez son amie Maria. Son lieutenant, passé à l’OAS, lui propose de participer à une opération de commando : il s’agit d’enlever une avocate, Dominique Servet, venue défendre deux révolutionnaires algériens. En paiement, Thomas recevra assez d’argent pour rentrer au Luxembourg. L’enlèvement est mené à bien, avec l’aide d’un pied noir, Amério. Dominique est incarcérée en compagnie d’un autre prisonnier, Félicien, sous la garde d’Amério et de Thomas. Celui-ci, apitoyé par la jeune femme, l’aide à s’échapper après avoir abattu Amério…