A group of Somali young people in St. Paul (and a large audience in MPR's UBS Forum), participated in a global BBC discussion on the future of Somalia today.
Here's the audio of the broadcast:
Our panelists in St. Paul:
* Mukhtar Osman: An engineer with MNDOT.
* Hoodo Hassan: A student studying psychology and English literature at the University of Minnesota.
* Zuhur Ahmed: A pre-med student at Concordia University. She also hosts the radio program Somali Community Link on KFAI.
* Ruqia Mohamed: A student at the University of Minnesota majoring in political science and global studies.
After the international broadcast, we continued the discussion off-air. Here it is:
I listened to the broadcast on MPR this morning and found it to be most informative. I admire the young Somalis who took part for their insightful comments and their forward-looking vision and solutions. This generation of Somalis is hopeful and encouraging. They recognize that in order for Somalia to become a peaceful, productive and safe place, the people living there must give up the old tribal prejudices and find a way to govern themselves. Maybe a democracy like the US has is not the right thing for them, but the Shira law's harsh methods are only going to keep the country in the dark ages. I also doubt that these young people can go back to Somalia now and make a difference. They are going to be able to do more by staying in their new homelands and helping others see that not all people from that country are bad or gangsters or terrorists. Their parents' generation might not adapt to a new non-tribal way of thinking. That is why the young people are the hope for moving forward. It may take another 20 years to make change. Keep in mind that the Israelis and Palestinians have been at odds since 1948. They haven't learned to get along yet. I hope Somalia can do better.