Islam is the real positive change that you need to change for being a better person or a perfect human being, you can change yourself if you read QURAN, IF YOU DO THAT !! you will change this UMMAH, say I am not A Sunni or Shia, BUT I am just a MUSLIM. Be a walking QURAN among human-being AND GUIDE THEM TO THE RIGHT PATH.
Life in chains: the plight of Somalia's mentally ill
in a tin shack by the roadside, Abdullahi is isolated, barely washed
and poorly fed. For the last 17 years he has been chained up by his own
family in Hargeisa, Somaliland.
by Jamal Osman Thursday, October 10, 2013
film credits: Director/producer - Teresa Smith: Picture editor -
Agnieszka Ligget: Camerman - Ahmed Farah: Field producer - Yassin Jama
spends most of his days watching the world moving before him - placing
his chest on a cemented floor, his elbows supporting his hands under his
all those years he's been there, Abdullahi watched children who were
born during his chained-life become adults. The whole neighbourhood is
built up. The sun rises and sets over him. His best companions are
family-owned goats, who are free to move around.
Somalia, thousands of people who are mentally ill like Abdullahi face a
similar fate. According to the UN, one in three Somalis suffers from
some form of mental illness.
We can't trust him. For me the biggest worry is that he could go missing or be killed by the children.Yusuf Jama
of war, poverty and unemployment are some of the reasons. There aren't
enough doctors and nurses to treat such patients. Aid organisations are
all over the country but there is very little interest in this sector.
childhood was just like any other Somali boy growing up. He attended
school and started working as a builder in his teens. He was dreaming of
becoming a businessman until his life was put on hold at the age of 26.
used to love school," Abdullahi's mother, Nimo Yusuf, told me. "He
loved and respected his parents. He'd call us 'Mummy and Daddy'. He
still does, even now. He never swore or cursed."
remembers vividly the day he fell ill. She said: "One morning he left
for work and came home in the evening saying he felt unwell. Then I
recalled that people used to say that evil spirits could do this. And I
thought they have done it to him. Since that day he's never been the
is the family's breadwinner. She leaves in the morning to sell fruit
and vegetables at the local market and comes back in the evening with
some food for the family.
very poor family tried to treat him – not through medical doctors but
through traditional healers, known as Cilaaj. It is the most popular
treatment for the mentally ill in Somalia.
was once taken to Sheikh Boon's Cilaaj in Hargeisa. This centre is
moderate compared to others that use electrocution, beatings and other
forms of practices as part of the treatment. Some patients die. It's a
thriving industry, yet unregulated.
Abdullahi, if we unchain you, what do you think about that? Are you going to come with us?Maryan Hassan
sheikh claims that many of his clients are from the diaspora community.
Some travel to see him but also he regularly holds sessions through
former maths teacher, he prescribes verses from the Quran for patients.
They go into a room nearby where a group of men read the Quran loudly
through cardboard tubes. Patients sniff foul smelling herbs to force the
evil spirit or Jinn out of the patient's body.
we realise Jinn is inside the body of the patient we read the Quran
until it runs away from the body of the patient," said, Sheikh Boon.
it didn't work on Abdullahi. He is still in his tin hut in all
weathers. There is no protection whether it's hot, rainy or windy. His
father Yusuf Jama, who is 83 years old, looks after him for most of the
chained up all the time," Mr Jama told me. "We alternate the leg that
will be chained: first, this leg and then the other. Also we have to
tighten the screw because he can break the lock.
"We can't trust him. For me the biggest worry is that he could go missing or be killed by the children."
from the neighbourhood shout "the mad man" as they pass by Abdullahi.
Sometimes they throw rocks at him. His father is, at least, protecting
him from these children. Abdullahi's brothers are around occasionally.
He asked his younger brother Abdulkarim if he could borrow his mobile phone so he could listen to music and the songBulshayahay ma nabadbaacame on.
is about a man who is returning to his country after being in exile. It
brought tears to Abdullahi's eyes especially these lines (translated
We have been apart for a while
I have longed for you like dry scalp craves for oil
Greetings O, people, greetings!
It was as if he was craving to be given the chance to come back into society.
told Maryan Hassan, who is one of 20 psychiatric nurses in the whole
country, about Abdullahi's desperate situation. She works atMacruuf Relief Organisation, a private mental health clinic.
agreed to assess Abdullahi and if possible offer him a free place for
three months. We took her to Abdullahi's little hut. After greeting the
family and asking about Abdullahi, she told him the good news.
"Abdullahi, if we unchain you, what do you think about that? Are you going to come with us?" she asked.
"Yes, I'm going to come with you," replied, Abdullahi.
Cutting the rusty chain took a long time but his brothers eventually managed to release him.
arrival, he was quickly washed, given clean clothes, his nails cut and
his head shaved. With kindness and a proper medical examination,
Abdullahi looked different. He was given medication to treat psychosis.
we were leaving, Maryan told Abdullahi: "Now you are a free man. When
you wake up in the morning you have to brush your teeth, go to the
toilet, you'll watch TV and take your medicine. Things have changed for
was lucky, but there are hundreds of thousands of mentally ill Somalis
who are in desperate need of help. Abdullahi will be in the clinic for
at least three months. We hope to see him well.