16. Dezember 2011
Somali women walk past a destroyed building, a result of a four-year insurgency that has killed tens of thousands of people, REUTERS/Feisal Oma (2011)
On Tuesday, December 6th, 2011 Women without Borders/SAVE hosted an evening panel discussion entitled, Somali Women Standing Up to Violent Extremism, featuring two Somali women activists Hanan Ibrahim, MBE, and Samira Abdulle.
The event was moderated by Dr. Edit Schlaffer and held at the Amerika Haus in Vienna in conjunction with the Embassy of the United States of America. Hanan Ibrahim MBE, came to the UK from Somalia, where she founded the Somali Family Support Group at her kitchen table. Later, she was honored with the Queen's award for her community work. She is currently based in Mogadishu, where she focuses on strengthening civil society in times of terrorism, famine, and despair through the work of her on-the-ground organization, African Initiative for African Women (AIWA).
At the SAVE event, Hanan voiced a strong message to the international community that Somalia must not be forgotten. Her country is on the brink of disaster, but she urged that humanity should not fail to support her people, who have been hijacked by ideologies and acts of violent extremism. Hanan is a strong voice of reason in a situation of uncertainty, and exemplifies the strength of civil society in exceptional circumstances.
Hanan was accompanied by Samira Abdule, a Somali woman who lives in Sweden. She was personally affected by violent extremism in 2009, when her husband was targeted and killed by a car bomb. At that point she was two months pregnant with her seventh child, and soon after fled the country with her family. Since then Samira has been committed to speaking up against radical ideologies, and a leader in her Somali community in exile.