- Waji Malihi LyricsBy Shakir Essa
- DNA Evidence Reportedly Proves Ilhan Omar married her brotherIs this the proof that Ilhan Omar married her own brother to bypass US immigration rules? DNA test from ‘congresswoman’s cigarette butt’ purports to show 99.99% match to her second husband Ahmed Elmi By Martin Gould In Washington, D.c. A supposed DNA match between Rep. Ilhan Omar and her second husband Ahmed Elmi allegedly proves that the two are siblings. The match says that Omar’s DNA was taken from a cigarette butt, while Elmi’s purportedly came from a drinking straw. Omar has never before … Continue reading DNA Evidence Reportedly Proves Ilhan Omar married her brother
- How the Universe is Way Bigger Than You THINK?Did you know that our star, the Sun, is just one of hundreds of billions of stars swirling within an enormous cosmic place called the Milky Way Galaxy? Our Milky Way Galaxy is just one of billions of galaxies in the universe. Within it, there are at least 100 billion stars, and on average, each star has at least one planet orbiting it. … Our Sun is one of at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way The Universe is everything we can … Continue reading How the Universe is Way Bigger Than You THINK?
- More than 350,000 suffering from famine conditions in Ethiopia’s Tigray, says UNMore than 350,000 people in Ethiopia’s Tigray region are suffering famine conditions, with millions more at risk, according to an analysis by UN agencies and aid groups that blamed conflict for the worst food crisis in a decade.“There is famine now in Tigray,” the UN aid chief, Mark Lowcock, said on Thursday after the release of the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis.“The number of people in famine conditions … is higher than anywhere in the world, at any moment since a … Continue reading More than 350,000 suffering from famine conditions in Ethiopia’s Tigray, says UN
- What is Signal? The basics of the most secure messaging app.Existing Signal users might be getting more notifications than usual. “Jack is on Signal,” “Cathy is on Signal,” “Miriam is on Signal,” all pings showing phone contacts who are joining the secure messaging app. Those pings reflect the fact that there’s been an influx of new users. Known for its end-to-end encryption and independent structure as a non-profit organization run by a foundation — not a big tech company — Signal has previously been the communication method of choice for activists, people in the … Continue reading What is Signal? The basics of the most secure messaging app.
Ilhan omar connected cash-for-ballots harvesting scheme EXPOSED “Money is the king in everything”; harvester boasts harvesting HUNDREDS of 2020 absentee ballots ILLEGALLY! “Numbers do not LIE…
A ballot-harvesting racket in Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis district — where paid workers illegally gather absentee ballots from elderly Somali immigrants — appears to have been busted by undercover news organization Project Veritas.
One alleged ballot harvester, Liban Mohamed, the brother of Minneapolis city council member Jamal Osman, is shown in a bombshell Snapchat video rifling through piles of ballots strewn across his dashboard.
“Just today we got 300 for Jamal Osman,” says Mohamed, aka KingLiban1, in the video. “I have 300 ballots in my car right now . . .
“Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentee ballots. . . . Look, all these are for Jamal Osman,” he says, displaying the white envelopes.
“Money is the king in this world . . . and a campaign is driven by money.”
The video, posted on July 1, was obtained by Project Veritas and included in a 17-minute video expose released Sunday night.
Under Minnesota law no individual can be the “designated agent” for more than three absentee voters.
The allegations come just five weeks before a presidential election plagued with predictions of voter fraud. Both President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr have warned that the increased use of mail-in ballots, due to COVID-19 concerns about in-person voting, are vulnerable to fraud, especially when unsolicited ballots are mailed to all voters in certain states.
Project Veritas’ investigation in Minneapolis will pour gasoline on the fire, only 48 hours before Trump debates Joe Biden in the first presidential debate Tuesday, addressing topics including election security.
“Our investigation into this ballot harvesting ring demonstrates clearly how these unscrupulous operators exploit the elderly and immigrant communities” said James O’Keefe, founder and CEO of Project Veritas.
The alleged involvement of Ilhan Omar, a controversial member of the Squad, and frequent Trump target, is claimed on camera by two people in Veritas’ investigation, including whistleblower Omar Jamal, a Minneapolis community leader and chair of the city’s Somali Watchdog Group.
He claims Mohamed is “one of” Ilhan Omar’s “many people.”
“It’s an open secret. She will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that,” he told Veritas in an on-camera interview last Tuesday.
“It’s not only her. It’s all this DFL [Democratic-Farmers-Labor] machine [that’s] in . . . the state of Minnesota . . .
“The regulations, if you ignore that and you let corruption and fraud become a daily business and then tough luck, the country will not exist as they [Americans] know it.”
Also implicating Ilhan Omar’s campaign in the scheme is an anonymous Minneapolis-based former political worker, who told Project Veritas that, before Minnesota’s primary elections, August 8, ballot harvesters “took every single ballot” from elderly people in a Minneapolis public housing complex — the Charles Horn Towers.
“Knock on the door and say, ‘your ballots come? Give it to me.’ ”
She alleges Ilhan Omar’s long-serving staffer, campaign deputy district director Ali (Isse) Gainey, was “coordinating everything.”
Gainey, “who is working in Ilhan’s campaign, is the one who is managing the voting place. They bring them. They line them. They put the open ballots in there and then they take them in and say, ‘Here,’ and the people mark [the ballots] . . .
“They have perfected this system,” she said. “They will tell you we are applying for your ballot. They take a picture of your social security and your driver’s license. They have a database. When the ballot comes, they track it. Sometimes, they make fake emails. They track the ballot. Then they come and pick up the ballot, unopened . . .
“They don’t give a s–t about any Somali . . . The DFL wants to win this state at all costs . . . and the victims is the Somali people.”
Trump says elimination of Obamacare would be a ‘win for the USA’
She also alleged that young people and women were paid for their ballots before last month’s Minnesota primary.
“Cash, cash, cash. They were carrying bags of money. . . . When you vote and they mark you off, then you get in the van, they give you the cash.”
Federal laws forbid paying someone to vote or register to vote, or intimidating voters.
Jamal, who has worked with Minnesota’s Ramsey County Sherriff’s Office on deradicalization education, helped Project Veritas investigators unveil what he calls “ongoing election fraud” which victimizes his community. He secretly recorded conversations with alleged ballot harvester Mohamed and a member of the DFL, Minnesota’s version of the Democratic party.
In one call, Mohamed allegedly explains ballot harvesting: “You request for the ballot. It will be sent to your house. You will fill it out and then send it.”
Omar asks: “So they request for the elderly?”
Mohamed says: “Yes, they request for them.”
Omar: “And it is taken away from them?”
Mohamed: “Yes, it is taken away from them.”
In another call, Mohamed says: “I’m working for Jamal Osman [who is] running for city council in Minneapolis. That’s my young brother.”
Osman, a member of the DFL, won the Ward 6 race for Minneapolis City Council in August.
Another grab from Mohamed’s Snapchat with the time stamp 1:59 am, July 2, shows a man brandishing a wad of about 30 ballots with the words “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT” on the front of envelopes. “Two in the morning, still hustling,” he says.
Project Veritas’ investigation raises serious concerns about the security of mail-in ballots, and intimidation of vulnerable voters.
While FBI Director Christopher Wray told the Senate last week, “we have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election,” troubling examples have arisen in recent months.
In Paterson, New Jersey, two officials were charged with election fraud last month after hundreds of mail-in-ballots were discarded. In Pennsylvania, nine military ballots from the 2016 election, most for Trump, were found in a dumpster, it was revealed last week.
A ‘Supreme’ marriage
There is much to admire about Amy Coney Barrett. But let’s start with her marriage.
In her speech in the Rose Garden Saturday to accept the president’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the 48-year-old mother of seven paid tribute to her husband of 21 years, Jesse Barrett.
“At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners.
“As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work. To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook!
“For 21 years, Jesse has asked me every single morning what he can do for me that day. And though I almost always say, ‘Nothing,’ he still finds ways to take things off my plate.
“And that’s not because he has a lot of free time. He has a busy law practice. It is because he is a superb and generous husband, and I am very fortunate”.
It must be disappointing for leftists that this is not the “Handmaid’s Tale” nightmare they like to paint of faithful Christian marriages, but a respectful partnership, with mutual generosity and love, between a woman who does not deny her femininity and a man who has not sacrificed his masculinity.
Successful marriages are not celebrated enough, and yet they are everything to a healthy society.
ILHAN OMAR’S MINNEAPOLIS DISTRICT — WHERE PAID WORKERS ILLEGALLY GATHER ABSENTEE BALLOTS FROM ELDERLY SOMALI IMMIGRANTSTweet
congresswoman Ilhan Omar married her own BROTHER|somali community leader said
- Wheelchair-bound Abdihakim Osman came forward last month to confirm to DailyMail.com that Ilhan Omar married her own brother
- A woman close to Omar has posted a YouTube video packed with degrading insults about Osman
- Malyun Ali pressed members of her Somali-American clan to go after him
- ‘Why are you not protecting us from this nasty man who is composed only of a head and a stomach,’ she said
- Osman has a ‘big bell, small udder, pillar-like head’, she added, and mocked his disability which was caused by contracting polio as a child in Somalia
- ‘Why don’t you stop this crippled dog?,’ she asked
- Osman has made a complaint to the Minneapolis police
The man who came forward to say on the record that leftist congresswoman Ilhan Omar married her own brother has told DailyMail.com he is now in fear for his life.
A woman close to Omar posted a YouTube video packed with degrading insults about wheelchair-bound Abdihakim Osman and pressed members of her Somali-American clan to go after him.
Abdihakim Osman says he has been threatened since blogger Malyun Ali posted a video on YouTube inciting members of her clan to go after him +20
Abdihakim Osman says he has been threatened since blogger Malyun Ali posted a video on YouTube inciting members of her clan to go after him
Osman has made a complaint to police in Minneapolis and repeatedly demanded that YouTube take down the offending video — which was met with silence from the media giant until DailyMail.com asked why it was still on the site.
It finally removed it on March 10, replacing it with a note saying: ‘This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on harassment and bullying.’
In the video, the woman, Malyun Ali, asked members of Omar’s Majeerteen clan ‘What is wrong with you?
Witten in the Somali language and translated of a special in African languages at the University
‘Why are you not protecting us from this nasty man who is composed only of a head and a stomach,’ she added, insulting his disabled status.
‘You Majeerteen men…why don’t you defend us from this person…this fat ram who gets money taken from the taxes we pay.’
She went on to say Osman has a ‘big bell, small udder, pillar-like head’ and mocked his disability which was caused by contracting polio as a child in Somalia.
‘You Majeerteen men, we despise you,’ she added, talking to her clan members. ‘You are letting this ox seated on the ground harass us.
‘Why don’t you stop this crippled dog?’
Ali did not respond to an email sent by DailyMail.com for comment. Instead she posted the email on her Facebook page under a picture of herself captioned: ‘I cannot be silenced.’
Ilhan Omar and Abdihakim Osman, here during her 2016 election campaign for he Minnesota House of Representatives, had been close friends for years. +20
Osman, 40, came forward last month in a DailyMail.com exclusive to confirm that Omar, a freshman congresswoman from Minnesota, had married her own brother, Ahmed Elmi, to allow him to get student loans in the United States.
Elmi and Omar both went to North Dakota State University.
Osman said Elmi suddenly appeared in the Somali community in Minneapolis in the late 2000s and both Omar and her then-husband Ahmed Hirsi told him that Elmi was her brother.
He said no-one knew they had married until the press uncovered their marriage certificate many years later, which showed they had gone to a Christian minister to perform the service even though they are both Muslim.
Osman was particularly close to Hirsi — the father of Omar’s three children — and occasionally helped out at his hookah bar.
Now though, he says he is living in fear. ‘I am very careful where I go. I have changed all my routines, he told DailyMail.com through an interpreter.
‘I am sure they will do something and make it look random. I am very worried and I am very scared. But I want to make it clear — I’m pre-reporting so when it does happen people will know it is because of this video.’
He said he believes followers of Ali — a popular Somali YouTube personality — will eventually get him.
‘They will retaliate either by setting me up for a crime or something or they will physically harm me,’ he said.
‘YouTube will have to bear the consequences if anything happens to me. I am a disabled man and she is threatening me. It has been shared thousands of times,’ he said before the video was removed.
YouTube only took down Ali’s post after DailyMail.com asked the company, part of the giant Google empire, why it was still on the site
It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi (pictured) are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, positive proof has never been uncovered +20
It has long been rumored that Omar and Elmi (pictured) are siblings, but because of a lack of paperwork in war-torn Somalia, positive proof has never been uncovered
Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community. I would say there were 100-150 people there.’ But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’ Pictured: Omar (left) with Elmi (right) +20
Osman said: ‘When [Hirsi] and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community. I would say there were 100-150 people there.’ But, he said: ‘When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.’ Pictured: Omar (left) with Elmi (right)
‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm. And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized Minneapolis’s large Somali community – while she was still married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi (pictured together) +20
‘Squad’ congresswoman Ilhan Omar told friends years ago that the man who went on to become her second husband was in fact her brother, DailyMail.com can confirm. And now for the first time one of those friends has come forward to reveal exactly how Omar and Ahmed Elmi scandalized Minneapolis’s large Somali community – while she was still married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi (pictured together)
Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their license shows. The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them +20
Elmi and Omar married on February 12, 2009 at a Hennepin County office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis, their license shows. The marriage was conducted by Christian minister Wilecia Harris. When DailyMail.com approached her last year, she would not discuss the ceremony or why a Muslim couple would have asked her to marry them
A company spokeswoman told DailyMail.com: ‘Nothing is more important than protecting the safety of our community.’
Despite the threats he has received, Osman said he does not regret his decision to come forward and tell what he says is the truth about 37-year-old Omar.
‘I decided to out her and to use my name and I am proud and happy that I did.’
Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s second husband was her brother
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Hirsi, Omar’s ex-husband, is a member of a third clan, the Habargidir. He has kept quiet since he and the congresswoman divorced in November, leading to claims he received a six-figure settlement to stay mum. Soon after the agreement was reached he swapped out his old Nissan Maxima for a BMW 528i, which sells for $54,000 new.
Omar is believed to have received a large advance for her memoir This Is What America Looks Like which is due out in May.
The divorce came after DailyMail.com revealed that Omar was having an affair with her chief fundraiser, Tim Mynett. Mynett and his wife Beth Jordan divorced in December.
In his only public comment, Hirsi posted on Facebook last month: ‘Ilhan and I had an amicable divorce. We are focused on being great parents to our children. That is the most important thing to us.’
He said he has not and will not attack his ex-wife or back any of her three primary rivals. ‘I am not supporting or involved in the campaigns of any of Ilhan’s opponents, contrary to what you might hear,’ he wrote.
Facebook photos of Somalian YouTube star Malyun Ali, who said Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to marry 50 men if she wants to +20
Facebook photos of Somalian YouTube star Malyun Ali, who said Rep. Ilhan Omar is free to marry 50 men if she wants to
Ali Feer, who refers to herself as M. M. S (Mama Malyun Suuban), pronounces her nickname like a rapper promoting her album and then adds, “BAM!” +20
Ali Feer, who refers to herself as M. M. S (Mama Malyun Suuban), pronounces her nickname like a rapper promoting her album and then adds, “BAM!”
Abdihakim Osman (pictured with Hirsi) is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to Ahmed Hirsi. But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him +20
Abdihakim Osman (pictured with Hirsi) is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to Ahmed Hirsi. But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, told DailyMail.com +20
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, told DailyMail.com
‘Using our divorce to go after Ilhan isn’t something I will even condone.’
Osman said since his interview he has received support from Hirsi’s clan. ‘I have had Habargidir come up and kiss me in the supermarket. I now go to where the Habargidir go, the same coffee shops and malls.
‘I have even changed my mosque,’ he added.
Ali’s video is the culmination of a long-running feud between her and Osman, who runs a popular Somali-language Facebook blog called Xerta Skekh. ‘They are both people who like to stir things up,’ another Somali leader said.
Osman said his page has been inundated with threatening messages since DailyMail.com published his accusations about Omar. Many, he said, are purporting to be from people with Anglicized names, but he believes they are Somalis with false accounts.
One man, using the name Allan Landman, posted a message saying: ‘Shariah law will allow his accusers to kill him.’
‘That’s ironic,’ said Osman. ‘Ilhan Omar having an affair with a married man is much more against Shariah law than anything I have done.’
He also said Omar supporters have threatened to report him to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority for his anti-gay postings, in a bid to get him kicked out of his home.
Osman, who describes himself as a devout Sunni Muslim — he broke away from the interview to pray at one point — admits he is anti-gay rights because Islam forbids homosexuality. ‘It is haram,’ he said, using the Islamic term for a prohibited activity.
In her video, Ali describes herself as Omar’s aunt, but sources say the
two are not blood relations, merely members of the same clan.
‘But a clan relative is just as close as a real relative,’ one Somali leader told DailyMail.com. ‘She is insulting the men of her own clan, calling them effeminate for not doing anything about what Abdi has said.’
Ilhan Omar’s ex-husband has officially remarried
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Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said +20
Osman is a member of the Dhulbahante clan, many of whom resent the Majeerteen for allegedly lording it over them for too long. ‘The Majeerteen think they’re royalty,’ one Somali leader said
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. +20
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya.
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. +20
Malyun Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya.
YouTube eventually took down Malyun Ali’s video on March 10, nearly three weeks after it was first posted, saying it violated the company’s policy on harassment and bullying +20
YouTube eventually took down Malyun Ali’s video on March 10, nearly three weeks after it was first posted, saying it violated the company’s policy on harassment and bullying
In the video, Ali, speaking in Somali, said: ‘I am addressing the wise Majeerteen elders and the religiously educated men, why are you watching this crushed metal can-like man abuse us?
‘Don’t we have young men? Don’t we have elders? If we fail to be protected by the law, we better be protected by your five fingers,’ she said using a Somali phrase meaning personal strength.
‘Oh, you Majeerteen men in the streets, stop this man from what he is doing. You are camped in the town of Minnea-hopeless from which I moved because of curses. May the curse be on you.
‘Why are you afraid? Are you afraid of being arrested? Are you afraid of prison?’
She also accused Osman of being an alcoholic and a drug addict, both of which would go against the tenets of Islam. ‘I have never had a single drink of alcohol or taken any illegal drugs,’ Osman said.
‘Even when I go to a hookah bar I only smoke the nicotine-free stuff.’
Ali is an American citizen, who lived in Minneapolis for several years before relocating to Arizona. More recently she has been living in Kenya. She runs her YouTube page under the pseudonym MMS —Mama Malyun Suuban. Suuban was her mother’s maiden name.
Osman did not claim that Ilhan Omar herself is behind the threats or knew of them in advance.
When allegations that Omar’s husband was also her brother first appeared, the congresswoman said the idea that the spouses were also siblings were ‘baseless, absurd rumors’, accusing journalists of Islamophobia, but has since stayed quiet.
Her spokesman now says she does not discuss her personal life, ignoring the fact that marriage fraud is a federal crime.
In her video attacking Osman, Ali barely addressed that controversy: ‘He said she married one man — let her marry 50. She has her freedom.’
Somaliland’s president has reportedly rejected a conditional offer by a delegation of Chinese “wolf warrior” diplomats to cut ties with Taiwan
Bihi refused to meet with “the oppressive ambassador
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Somaliland’s president has reportedly rejected a conditional offer by a delegation of Chinese “wolf warrior” diplomats to cut ties with Taiwan, and added that he is taking steps to strengthen relations with the country.
On Monday (Aug. 3), news broke that President Muse Bihi Abdi has directed “close confidants” to examine ways of bolstering Somaliland’s relations with Taiwan, including “the possibility of mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland.” On Tuesday, reports surfaced that a Chinese delegation would visit Somaliland on Wednesday (Aug. 5), while China’s ambassador, Qin Jian (覃儉), has reportedly been in the self-ruled state since Saturday (Aug. 1) attempting to arrange a meeting with Bihi.
Researcher and analyst Rashid Abdi on Tuesday posted a tweet in which he wrote that Qin “started putting on the ‘warrior diplomacy’ act and threatening Somaliland,” but that Bihi rebuffed his tactics and hours later ordered his ministry of foreign affairs to begin the process of recognizing Taiwan. Twitter account Somalia News on Wednesday stated local reports indicated that Bihi refused to meet with “the oppressive ambassador.”
On Thursday (Aug. 6), the Somaliland Chronicle cited government sources as saying that Bihi met with the delegation, which included Qin, for several hours. During the meeting, the Chinese side offered a development deal which included road and airport infrastructure projects and the installation of a liaison office in Somaliland on the condition that Bihi sever ties with Taiwan.
Bihi reportedly rejected the Chinese offer and informed them that rather than cut ties with Taiwan, his country is actually “working to strengthen diplomatic ties with Taiwan.” The newspaper on Monday reported the president has ordered an analysis of the TAIPEI Act, which was signed into law in the U.S. in March, and to present him with options and an assessment of “the pros and cons of unilateral recognition of Taiwan.”
What is of particular interest to Bihi is Section 3, Item 2 of the TAIPEI ACT, which states that the U.S. government should consider “increasing its economic, security, and diplomatic engagement with nations that have demonstrably strengthened, enhanced, or upgraded relations with Taiwan.” Bihi’s government may be particularly emboldened after the White House National Security Council (NSC) on July 10 posted a tweet lauding Taiwan for increasing its engagement in East Africa and included a link to a U.S. News & World Report article announcing the establishment of Taiwan-Somaliland ties.
In response to reports of Somaliland considering diplomatic recognition of Taiwan, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) on Monday said the ministry does not comment on reports by the Somaliland media that have not cited their sources. She added that MOFA and its Somaliland counterpart will “continue to consult on establishing future bilateral cooperation plans based on the principle of mutual benefit and reciprocity and to promote the economy and people’s livelihoods.”
When Tsai took office in 2016, she refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus and only acknowledged that the 1992 Taiwan-China talks were a “historical fact.” In response, China has been seeking to punish Taiwan by stealing away diplomatic allies through its debt-trap diplomacy tactics.
Since the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Chinese diplomats have started to lash out at critics and attempt to intimidate their counterparts with a new “wolf warrior” ploy. The term “wolf warrior” refers to a Chinese propaganda film that depicts People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers fighting foreign mercenaries who are led by a character named “Tom Cat.”
Shakir Essa served as manager at somaliland press media and Somali news tv
How Immigrant Twin Brothers Are Beating Trump’s Team on Facebook
endorsement of Joseph R. Biden Jr. was viewed more than four million times.
But another Facebook page, run by twin brothers who immigrated from Mexico, reached substantially more eyes. Their reposting of Mr. Obama’s endorsement, with a simple “BREAKING” text over the video, clocked over 23 million views.
Meet Rafael and Omar Rivero, the co-founders of Occupy Democrats, the social media mavens of the left who are quickly emerging as a counterweight to the dominance of right-wing online sites.
In a presidential race playing out on iPhones and screens more than any in history, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic, these digital entrepreneurs can drive the political conversation online and influence how candidates are seen as much as a campaign’s well-funded digital advisers can.ADVERTISEMENT
The twins, 33, started the Occupy Democrats Facebook page eight years ago and, combined with an accompanying website, they have reached a digital dominance rarely seen among liberals — one that keeps pace with viral news sites and regularly outperforms President Trump’s own page, as well as the Daily Caller, Fox News and other right-wing websites or personalities. What was once a hobby between gigs has grown into a full-fledged, full-time operation with five additional staffers.
Over the past month, nearly half of the 40 top-performing videos on Facebook that mention “Trump” were from Occupy Democrats. They have had a top-10 performing post on Facebook regularly for months. A video they recently posted called “The Liar Tweets Tonight,” sung by a choir of individually recorded voters to the tune of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” was viewed 41 million times, among the most-watched videos on Facebook over the last month.
“Democratic voters are tired of the Democratic Party kind of taking barrages from Republicans on the right on social media and Trump himself, taking that lying down and not fighting back,” Omar Rivero said. “So we fight back with the truth. But we make sure that we punch them in the mouth with the truth.”
Though they claim not to have taken tactics from the right, there are some clear commonalities between the Occupy Democrats posts and some of the right-wing sites that have mastered the art of writing shareable copy that acts like gasoline on a social media outrage fire — amplified by anger-inducing adjectives contextualizing the news, or an all-caps “BREAKING” to introduce a post.ADVERTISEMENT
They also are relentless in their posting on Facebook. On Sunday, a relatively slow news day by the Trump-era pandemic standards, the Facebook page published 80 items, a mix of original, text-heavy memes; cross-posts from Mr. Biden’s social media pages; commentary with links to mainstream news stories and videos; and links to original posts on the Occupy Democrats website.
It has helped them earn 25 million more interactions than Mr. Trump’s page, and 63 million more interactions than Mr. Biden’s over the past 30 days on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned data tool.
Occupy Democrats is a rare bright spot for a party and political wing that once was proudly “the party of tech” but has since ceded nearly every digital stronghold to the right. As Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is moving headlong into a general election with a digital operation that is dwarfed by the Trump campaign, the Occupy team has started to step in.
“I think one of the big mistakes of 2016 was not immediately embracing Hillary as a change agent and as someone to get excited about,” Rafael Rivero said.
Rafael also wanted to prove that, yes, Mr. Biden could indeed go viral.
On the same day Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, Rafael started the “Ridin’ with Biden 2020” page, employing meme tactics, social media copy and video promotion similar to those that power the central Occupy Democrats page.
An Avengers-esque meme of Mr. Biden, Jill Biden, Mr. Obama and Michelle Obama striding across the White House lawn overlaid with the text “When America Was Great” reached 2.2 million viewers.
Soon, the “Ridin’ With Biden” page was outperforming the campaign’s own account, with their own content.
A digital video ad released by the Biden campaign received more than one million views on Facebook, a successful showing for most campaigns. But on “Ridin’ With Biden,” it got 8.6 million views, with little added window dressing than text on the video that read: “Holy cow … this Biden ad is GOOD 🔥🔥🔥.”
When the Occupy page shared the live video of Hillary Clinton endorsing Mr. Biden, the live viewership jumped from 15,000 to 25,000 in a matter of minutes.
Democratic campaign operatives note that these types of booming online communities benefit from being a bit rougher around the edges.
“They’re able to say things that are not quite as polished as what the parties are going to produce or what the Biden campaign is going to produce, or any campaign,” said Kenneth Pennington, a Democratic digital strategist who was Mr. Sanders’ digital director in 2016. “But it’s kind of the unvarnished, unpolished stuff that actually does really well online because people are seeking that kind of authentic sass.”
Mr. Pennington added that these types of pages can help boost a campaign as well, crediting a different Facebook page — The People for Bernie Sanders — as one of the reasons Mr. Sanders catapulted “from a no-shot candidate into an online sensation that raised $230 million in 2016.”
While the social media dominance of Occupy Democrats may surprise some, social media experts note that there has always been a liveliness among liberal groups online, but they just get less attention.
Whitney Phillips, a media studies and communications professor at Syracuse University, said the reported distress on the left about “losing the edge on social media” wasn’t the full picture. “The framing is maybe not fully representing all of the activity and all the vibrancy that’s happening on the left because all the stories get written about what Ben Shapiro is up to,” she said, referring to the popular conservative writer.
The video of former President Barack Obama endorsing former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. was viewed more than 23 million times on Occupy Democrats’ Facebook page.
Occupy Democrats does try to give readers their vegetables, too. A post about Senator Mitch McConnell’s comments on the newest Democratic proposal for a coronavirus relief package, for example, included highlights from the Democratic proposal.ADVERTISEMENThttps://e9a82a00fde94b3b898e9c9acfe89e55.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0
“People clicked to be mad about McConnell, but while they read about that, they learn about what the Democrats are doing,” said Colin Taylor, the editor in chief of Occupy Democrats. “In this kind of outrage-heavy online sphere, it’s kind of hard to get people’s attention with the more wonky stuff.”
The group’s origins date to the movement that informs its name — and a dissatisfaction with it. The Rivero twins found themselves in Zuccotti Park back in 2012, when the Occupy movement had camped out in Lower Manhattan and quickly garnered a national news profile. Both brothers were drawn to the ideals of the movement — economic equality, social justice and addressing climate change — but they saw the Occupy movement’s leaderless ethos as a critical failure, and one that would never allow it to grow.
“I looked around and thought, wow, there’s not a single Occupy congressman,” Omar Rivero said. “In the end, we’re not pulling the levers of power. So I thought, well, you know, maybe we should try to make Occupy a force that not only helps Democrats but also keeps them honest. Similar to what the Tea Party is doing to Republicans.”
Omar turned to his twin brother, who was running his own real-estate rental business in Miami at the time, to put his graphic design background to use and join the effort.
“My mom staged an intervention, literally, with my aunt and uncle,” Rafael said. “They thought, you guys got the scholarships to Swarthmore and Cornell, and you guys are throwing all that away to focus on something called a Facebook page.”
But with Rafael making memes, the page began to grow. Quickly. The two moved to California and lived in a friend’s pool house. When the demand for content grew beyond the twins’ capabilities, they posted hiring ads on Craigslist. Mr. Taylor, a former line cook who blogged on the side, was their first hire, and the pool house soon doubled as the Occupy newsroom, now with multiple writers churning out dozens of posts a day, building both the Facebook page and the website into traffic machines.
They survived the reorientation of the Facebook algorithm after the 2016 election — which pushed down independent, less verified sites in favor of more mainstream news content — by repeatedly boosting and sharing mainstream news articles, introduced with their own spin. Though they had to lay off a few writers in the wake of those Facebook changes, they have kept churning out content.
And, of course, countless memes.
The memes and videos are what generate the most engagement, and Occupy Democrats’ white-and-yellow text on a black background both grabs the eye with its harsh color contrast and conveys a sense of urgency. Distilling the news into a single shareable photo that remains on Facebook has quickly caught on, particularly among older users.
But with this newfound power, the Rivero brothers want to expand and build a broader network with other Democrats.
“We’re not only the largest political network on Facebook, but we’re the largest partisan political network on Facebook,” said Omar. “And I think that the Democrats should take advantage of that.
His latest work is A Life Well-Lived, a selection of photos and stories of people across Nebraska highlighting their stories from the past 70 years. These are photographs and stories of those who might be forgotten in the rush of history.
10 Qualities That Make You Attractive — Regardless Of Your Appearance
2-Don’t get involved in petty nonsense
Hannah and I were coworkers at one of the most famous hotels in New York City. We worked side-by-side, twelve-hours a day, six days a week.
Hannah and I got along well, but neither of us felt an attraction to each other. We didn’t share many interests, so I never thought of her as someone I’d want to date in the early days of our relationship.
But my feelings for her changed.
A bunch of us were planning an after-work get together. The crowd wanted to go bar hopping downtown. The few people who objected, including me, eventually gave in to the pressure.
Hannah proved the exception. She surprised everyone by saying she’d go to the old-folks jazz bar down the street, alone if it came to that. A few in the group gave disapproving looks, but I loved that she defied the crowd and didn’t care what people thought. Her fearless individuality made her more appealing. We became good friends and even dated years later.
Our romance didn’t last, but that early experience triggered a realization that attractiveness encompassed more than just physical beauty. A pretty face or sculpted body might turn heads, but how you act and carry yourself attracts people long after an initial burst of infatuation.
Not everyone will find these behaviors attractive. But I’ve discovered over the decades that people who exhibit these qualities find themselves admired, respected, and often desired.
1. Be willing to do your own thing even when it’s not popular.
It wasn’t that Hannah defied the clique’s leadership to go to a jazz bar that interested me. No, it was that she did so even though it made her unpopular — and she did it with fearless confidence. She resisted peer pressure and didn’t care how it made her look.
Sure, sometimes you need to compromise or give in to maintain group cohesion. Stubbornness is not an attractive quality. But pursuing your interests and expressing your individuality dials up your allure, especially when you do so in the face of disapproval.
2. Don’t get involved in petty nonsense.
If you watch group politics from afar, you often see puzzling behavior. The group seems to argue and fret over the most meaningless crap. It’s human nature, I guess, and we all succumb to it from time to time. As an observer, it’s almost comical.
But if you’ve ever been in a relationship with someone who gabs about and stresses over trivial nonsense, you know how unattractive it becomes.
The attractive one recognizes pettiness and avoids it; they stay above the fray and involve themselves only to make peace when relations begin to redline. They’re the ones you count on to remain temperate when everyone else runs hot.
3. Remember the finer details.
Remembering a birthday doesn’t make you attractive; everyone expects that of you. To stand out, be the person who makes it a habit of remembering odd interests and obscure details.
The attractive person does more than just remember; they’ll read that story on Greek mythology and then send you a quick note.
“Hey, I remember you telling me you’re a Greek mythology buff. I found this article and thought it might interest you.”
When you remember tiny details about someone’s life and thoughtfully use that information, it demonstrates to them that they matter to you.
4. Defend the unwanted.
When I was in eighth grade, we moved to a new school district. I made no friends during my first year. Bullies saw me as a low-risk target— anyone could pick on me without fear of retribution or objection by others.
There was one exception, an older girl who became my first crush. When present, she would shame the bully until he stopped. Perhaps it’s just my experience, but since then, I’ve found this to be one of the most attractive qualities. Be the brave soul who stands up for others. Double points if you’re the first in the crowd to do it.
5. Be comfortable being alone.
A teenager or twenty-something may not find this attractive, but I think most anyone over forty would because it says something important about a person.
A partner comfortable being alone probably won’t hang on you once you start dating. They’ll give you the distance to do your own thing and express your individuality. They’ll likely enjoy personal pursuits, which adds to their intrigue.
A person who cannot spend time alone probably has issues we’d like to avoid in a mate. So, yeah, maybe it’s not that we older folks find this trait attractive. Perhaps it just removes a source of un-attractiveness.
6. Recognize and validate the good in others.
Compliments can be highly attractive or disgustingly unattractive. Have you ever known someone who dishes out praise just to manipulate you or control a situation? That kind of behavior — even by a physical beauty — can render anyone ugly.
But complimenting someone when it’s warranted, sincere, specific, and devoid of personal gain makes you charming.
Avoid generic compliments like You have lovely eyes. Compliment someone based on something they do or maintain some control over. If you can validate someone’s skill, taste, or preferences, you’ll score a more significant impact. Make your praise ultra-specific; it helps point out that you’ve noticed the effort they’ve put in to better themselves or accomplish something.
I like the way you silenced that guy who tried to trap you in a contradiction — a great use of reverse-questioning. I can see you worked hard to master that technique.
7. Let your actions advertise your greatness.
Our culture allows for self-promotion. In business, it’s a necessary component, but boasting about your awesomeness rarely attracts romantic partners or friends. Mostly, it just irritates the heck out of us.
Those who don’t speak of their accomplishments and good deeds exude a quiet self-assuredness. You get the feeling that it’s enough for them to know they performed a kind act or accomplished something impressive; they don’t need external validation to feel good about themselves.
Do great things, but avoid boasting about your deeds. The braggart repels, but the humble one attracts.
8. Embrace your quirkiness.
Is there something weird about you that you hide from the world? Perhaps you like to dress up in neon colors, but you’re afraid of what people might think. Or maybe you love half-sour pickles with spicy deli mustard — the most underrated food combination ever.
Years ago, before internet dating, I’d go to a Barnes and Noble Cafe and read. Every so often, I’d meet someone. My eye always landed on the confident but weird one. She had a stack of books on dancing alien monsters before it became cool. Sometimes she dressed in business suits but read comic books.
Allowing your quirky traits to reveal themselves in public makes you attractive, not to everyone, but to some people. And even if it doesn’t, it at least makes you interesting.
9. Don’t hide your darkness.
Remember Hannah from earlier? She struggled with body issues stemming from a pressure-filled childhood. Her parents used to say, “Why couldn’t you be more beautiful, just like your sister?”
It wasn’t something she disclosed to everyone, but when we got to know each other well, she shared her history and struggles. When you let someone peak under the covers of your outer-shell, you put your trust in that person. You make yourself vulnerable.
Those of us self-aware enough to know we struggle with our own flaws will find that courage and honesty attractive. Sure, the perfect people out there will express their disgust. But it’s not your flaws that bother them; it’s their fear of letting others see through their facade. They lack the courage and resent that you possess it.
10. Hold something back.
Ever meet someone who vomits every thought that passes through their mind? They’re like a novel that reveals the ending on the first page. Where there’s no mystery, there’s often no interest.
For introverts, leaving a bit of mystery comes naturally to us. We’re often quiet, leaving something to the imagination.
When there’s a gap between what we know about you and what we want to learn, it makes us curious. If we’re curious enough, we become intrigued. And if you satisfy that intrigue to our satisfaction, it makes you attractive.
Be careful. Too much mystery can make you appear aloof and detached. A small amount makes you fascinating. It’s a delicate balance. Reveal enough to let people in, but hold back enough to make them want more.
The craving we call attraction both seeds and grows relationships, but it’s more than physical. Six-pack abs may disappear. Pounds may come and go. And wrinkles, once they start, they keep coming.
Enduring attraction comes from how we conduct and carry ourselves and how we care for others.
Author: Shakir Essa
Mark Zuckerberg says social networks should not be fact-checking political speech
Mark Zuckerberg says social networks should not be fact-checking political speech
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC he does not think social networks should be fact-checking what politicians post.
- “Political speech is one of the most sensitive parts in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians say,” Zuckerberg said in an interview.
- The company, however, does have lines that no one, including politicians, is allowed to cross, Zuckerberg said.
WATCH NOWVIDEO04:54Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not fact-check politicians
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told CNBC he does not think social networks should be fact-checking what politicians post.
Zuckerberg’s comment came after “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin asked him for thoughts on Twitter’s decision to start fact-checking the tweets of President Donald Trump.https://7e0d11e2cf97f727b2a9574df22190ad.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
Twitter’s move came on Tuesday after Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots would be “substantially fraudulent.” Earlier Tuesday, Twitter declined to censor or warn users after Trump tweeted baseless claims that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough should be investigated for the death of his former staffer.
“I don’t think that Facebook or internet platforms in general should be arbiters of truth,” Zuckerberg told Sorkin in an interview that aired Thursday morning. “Political speech is one of the most sensitive parts in a democracy, and people should be able to see what politicians say.”
Although Facebook does use independent fact-checkers who review content on its social networks, the point of the fact-checkers is to “really catch the worst of the worst stuff,” Zuckerberg said.
“The point of that program isn’t to try to parse words on is something slightly true or false,” he said. “In terms of political speech, again, I think you want to give broad deference to the political process and political speech.”
Facebook announced in October that it would allow politicians to run ads on the social network, even if they include misinformation. null
The company, however, does have lines that no one, including politicians, is allowed to cross, Zuckerberg said. No one is allowed to use Facebook to cause violence or harm themselves, or to post misinformation that could lead to voter suppression, Zuckerberg said.
“There are clear lines that map to specific harms and damage that can be done where we take down the content,” he said. “But overall, including compared to some of the other companies, we try to be more on the side of giving people a voice and free expression
Author: Shakir Essa
Facebook SEO and algorithms how it works
Facebook reportedly had evidence that its algorithms were dividing people, but top executives killed or weakened proposed solutions
But Zuckerberg and Facebook’s policy chief, Joel Kaplan, repeatedly nixed proposed solutions because they feared appearing biased against conservatives or simply lost interest in solving the problem, The Journal reported.
One report concluded that Facebook’s algorithms “exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” according to The Journal.
Facebook’s internal research found that it encouraged polarization, but Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives rejected ideas aimed at fixing the problem, The Wall Street Journal reports
Facebook had evidence that its algorithms encourage polarization and “exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” but top executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg killed or weakened proposed solutions, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The effort to better understand Facebook’s effect on users’ behavior was a response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and its internal researchers determined that, contrary to the company’s mission of connecting the world, its products were having the opposite effect, according to the newspaper.
One 2016 report found that “64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools,” with most people joining at the suggestion of Facebook’s “Groups You Should Join” and “Discover” algorithms. “Our recommendation systems grow the problem,” the researchers said, according to The Journal.
The Journal reported that Facebook teams pitched multiple fixes, including limiting the spread of information from groups’ most hyperactive and hyperpartisan users, suggesting a wider variety of groups than users might normally encounter, and creating subgroups for heated debates to prevent them from derailing entire groups.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0
But these proposals were often dismissed or significantly diluted by Zuckerberg and Facebook’s policy chief, Joel Kaplan, according to the newspaper, which reported that Zuckerberg eventually lost interest in trying to address the polarization problem and was concerned about the potential to limit user growth.
In response to the pitch about limiting the spread of hyperactive users’ posts, Zuckerberg agreed to a diluted version and asked the team to not bring something like that to him again, The Journal said.
The company’s researchers also determined that because of a larger presence of far-right accounts and pages publishing content on Facebook, any changes — including apolitical tweaks, like reducing clickbait — would have disproportionately affected conservatives.
That worried Kaplan, who previously halted a project called “Common Ground” that aimed to encourage healthier political discourse on the platform.null
Ultimately, many of the efforts weren’t incorporated into Facebook’s products, with managers telling employees in September 2018 that the company was pivoting “away from societal good to individual value,” according to The Journal.
“We’ve learned a lot since 2016 and are not the same company today,” a Facebook spokeswoman told the paper. “We’ve built a robust integrity team, strengthened our policies and practices to limit harmful content, and used research to understand our platform’s impact on society so we continue to improve.”
Facebook has repeatedly been scrutinized by critics who say the company hasn’t done enough to limit the spread of harmful content on its platform. That topic has come into sharper focus as coronavirus-related misinformation has run rampant on social media and as the 2020 presidential election approaches.
Author: Shakir Essa
A new film set in Djibouti City presents a searing class critique of Somali girlhood.
In the popular imagination, Somali women are viewed as passive, oppressed subjects, the hapless victims of their patriarchal culture and religion. Where they are visible, it is often through the iconography of the veil and female circumcision.
Lula Ali Ismaïl’s Dhalinyaro (Youth)—the first full-length feature film by a Djiboutian woman—is a radical departure from this corpus in depicting Somali girlhood in its full depth and complexity. Most importantly, it does this through depicting the mundane events of everyday life in Djibouti City. There are no wars here, or pirates, or terrorists, no young women escaping fathers, husbands, or the blade of a female elder, no white saviors ready for the rescue. What we see in Dhalinyaro is a coming of age story that shows Somali girls as they are.
The film’s storyline revolves around the final qualification examination for Djiboutian secondary students to enter university, the baccalaureate. The three main characters, Deka, Hibo, and Asma, are classmates at the Lycée de Djibouti but hail from markedly different class backgrounds. The Lycée space becomes one where the different segments of Djibouti’s population interact and form friendships, bonding over the shared ritual of studying for the baccalaureate. Yet, it is the question of higher education that renders class divides most explicit. For wealthy Hibo, who arrives at the Lycée each day in a chauffeured private car, there is no question that she will continue her education in Paris. Deka, who is securely middle class, is less certain, but with the funds saved up by her mother over a number of years, the idea of going to France for university is within the realm of the possible. Asma has no such choices available to her; poverty dictates that she must stay in Djibouti, unless she is among the few top students to receive a scholarship to study abroad.
The palpable burden of class difference saturates the film. One shot silently juxtaposes a well-dressed man at a cafe with a young boy on the street as he hands his shoes to the child to polish while drinking coffee. In another shot, women in wide-brimmed sun hats sweep the city streets at dusk to the sounds of ciyaar Soomaali, a traditional Somali folk dance. It is palpable in Asma’s hesitation to attend Hibo’s birthday party at the luxury Djibouti Palace Kempinski, and in the fuul bean stew her family eats at mealtimes, like the poor neighborhood children that come to Deka’s home for bread. When Hibo gets into an altercation with a group of schoolgirls outside of the Lycée, she disparages them as the “stupid Balabois”—residents of the impoverished Balbala suburb. An angered Asma, who tells her that she is “one of them,” accuses Hibo of believing that her wealth gives her more rights. Over the course of the film, Hibo’s character arc moves from a sheltered and careless rich girl to a more understanding and self-sufficient individual, a transformation made possible by honest friendships across difference.
The stunning cinematography with long shots of the sea and glimpses of the Port of Djibouti subtly signals the confluence and contradictions of global wealth and local poverty. This infrastructure of state capitalism—and, at the end of the film, the national radio broadcasting examination results—are the only glimpses of the state or politics in Dhalinyaro. Djibouti is among the most enduring dictatorships in Africa, ruled by an extended family since its independence from France in 1977. Its ruler, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, is famously a patron of the arts and culture, and Lula Ali Ismaïl has described the support she received for the film from both the private sector and a government eager to develop the country’s nascent film industry. While one can wonder about the possible implications of this government hand for artistic freedom, Ismaïl’s decision not to engage formal politics explicitly is another subversive act of representation, given that the region is mired in images of political dysfunction. Ismaïl’s political critique is muted and indirect, but no less searing. It takes the form of a city-wide power outage that forces the “haves” to turn on their private generators and the “have-nots” to light lanterns; it is in the figure of the elderly veteran telling Deka the forgotten stories of Djiboutian soldiers who fought for France during the Second World War; it is, at the metalevel, what the film itself embodies in its very existence, in its very refusal to conform.
What Dhalinyaro foregrounds is female sociality and intimacy as it unravels the complex layers of contemporary Djiboutian life. The film has a decidedly female gaze, decentering maleness to the extent that most of the male characters in the film remain marginal and unnamed. Instead, it is the inner worlds of Somali women that are fleshed out in full, and with the immense care and tenderness of a Somali woman behind the camera. When Hibo has a miscarriage in a bathroom stall at school, it is the conservatively-dressed Asma who immediately removes her abaya to cover her friend’s blood-stained clothing, stating that “girls look out for each other.” They openly discuss sexuality and their relationships, the lively female banter reminiscent of the Somali riwaayad (play) and theater tradition that has pushed the envelope on notions of female morality and modesty in Somali society since the 1960s. Markers of Somali womanhood are interspersed throughout the film: the breezy dirac shiid worn as loungewear at home, the fragrant uunsi smoke used to perfume one’s household, clothing and hair, the huruud face masks made of turmeric to keep one’s skin soft.
At the heart of Dhalinyaro is the tension between visibility and invisibility in the desire for a particular kind of freedom. In an early scene, Deka, Hibo, and Asma quietly talk at their desks as their teacher—played by Lula Ali Ismaïl herself—explains the upcoming deadlines for students seeking to go abroad for university. “Think of the freedom!” Deka whispers to her friends, “no one holding you to account, no one looking at you and saying ‘you’re the daughter of so and so.’” These moments of recognition occur most often in their encounters with men. As the girls sit by the waterfront and jokingly evaluate the appearances of young men passing by, a man pauses and greets Hibo, telling her to say hello to her father for him. “There’s no getting away!” an exasperated Hibo tells her friends. In another scene, the searching glance of a male waiter at a restaurant where Deka is having an intimate dinner with the older married man she is seeing is enough to unsettle her and abruptly end the date. Yet, it is the same surveilling gaze—this time by women—that precipitates the end to the predatory relationship, after Deka’s mother hears about it. The communal nature of the Somali social world, while frustrating any notion of individual anonymity, fosters a sense of interdependence and female solidarity that uplifts the girls in times of need, as their friendship illustrates. Ultimately, Deka chooses this world by staying in Djibouti for university.
Ethnicity is conspicuously absent from the film. Djibouti, while dominated politically, culturally and demographically by Somalis, is a multi-ethnic country comprised of the Somali and Afar, as well as smaller communities of Arabs, Ethiopians and Europeans. That diversity is represented in the casting, with the three lead actresses themselves belonging to Djibouti’s different ethnic groups: one is Afar, one is Somali, and one is Arab Somali. Yet each plays a Somali character, in a Djibouti where only Somali people and culture appear to exist. However, there is some ambiguity to Hibo’s background that is not discernible to the non-Somali speaker and flattened by the limited subtitles. In the scene where Hibo is confronted on the schoolyard, a voice in the background, which does not make it into the subtitles, can be heard saying “the little Arab girl is being attacked!” in Somali. Her father, in other scenes, speaks one or two words of Arabic, albeit words that have entered the Somali lexicon. Asma and Deka’s households are completely immersed in their Somaliness, with illustrative scenes including Asma’s sisters playing jag on the veranda as their mother gives them advice using Somali proverbs, and Deka’s single mother listening to gabay poetry composed by a heartbroken Cilmi Boodhari. Hibo’s family, on the other hand, only speaks Somali at home when talking to their maid; they converse in French exclusively between themselves, listen to European classical music during formal dinners, and go to France for education. There is an unexamined politics of language and ethnicity yearning to be explored.
Dhalinyaro is a remarkable feat, particularly for a first full-length film by a self-taught filmmaker hailing from a country with a film industry still in its infancy. Though initially released in 2018, it has recently seen a surge in popularity when it was made available for free streaming as part of this year’s Cinewax Online African Film Festival, breaking OAFF streaming records. It is a beautiful film—a love letter to Somali girls—that deserves to be seen widely.