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They pushed me on my wheelchair every day before going to school

Omar Hajji Mohamed lost tow of his children to the truck bombing. Photo: Goobjoog News

They used to help me push my wheel chair as I headed to work every day before they went to school. They were school going. I used to support my family with confidence, and with the help of Allah.

Omar Haji Mohamed, a father of eight is a trader in Mogadishu’s KM 5 Junction, the scene of the tragic truck bombing in Mogadishu that left over 400 injured and hundreds of others maimed; still hospitalized both home and abroad.

A handicapped man himself, most of Mohamed’s children too are handicapped but two-a boy and a girl were able bodied. They would help push their father’s wheel chair to work every morning before heading to school. In the afternoon, as it was routine, they would come to his father’s makeshift kiosk and pick him up for the day as he headed back home.

But one Tuesday sunny afternoon a month ago-October 14, someone cut off that trend; Robbed Mohamed of his two dear children. He would not see them again. His family wouldn’t, neither would his city. Somalia would not see them again.

“On that fateful Saturday they replaced me and I went home. Shortly I heard a huge explosion from the side of Zoope area. My two children are nowhere. It is believed they perished,” Mohamed told Goobjoog News.

A man determined to raise his family and hold true to the adage-disability is not inability, Mohamed works hard to support his family and secure a better future for them. “I used to work hard with confidence and with the support of Allah.”

Rescue teams carry one of the victims recovered from the scene of explosion Oct 14. Photo: Reuters

But the cruelty of a fellow human being forced Mohamed like so many other Mogadishu residents to bury their children at ages so tender as the boy and girl who disappeared without a trace. Such tragedy befell several other families. Families of school children heading back home too never saw them again.


My brother had a promising career ahead. He had expectations of being a full time cameraman with Voice of America. But he died. The truck bomb at Zope killed him.

Hassan Abdi Bakar recalls the day his brother’s dreams and aspirations went with the wind. Ali Nur Siad had been working as a freelancer for VOA as a cameraman. With his colleague Abdulkadir Abdulle aka OK, Siad was fast learning the ropes and standards for the American broadcaster. OK is recuperating in Turkey where he was airlifted to alongside 34 others.

He had just submitted a finished assignment. We had lunch at a restaurant and we both departed for our work. Then a bomb went off and the first person I called was him. His phone was not going through. I knew he may not have survived.

He used to have a passion for photojournalism and I had seen several of his recordings he used to send to VOA.

He had reached his goal by working with VOA on a temporary basis. He had just got a pledge to be employed on full time basis.

Siad was on assignment with his colleague and friend OK when a massive explosion ribbed through Zope Junction on that Saturday afternoon. He died young. His dreams of building a career as a cameraman for VOA and supporting his family went up in smoke.

He was a father of two-a boy and a girl.




More:October 14