It was a night, Friday was the day, 11th of January 2013, and I was alone in my room. I switched on my laptop to update my nightly information about the home country and it´s environ.
I hit Gabiley.net and my eyes caught a dreadful news item that sent an electric shock to my heart. The death of great leader, gigantic personality and dear friend, Mr. Jama Mahamoud Haid is announced. I have no one to share with this calamity but my heart and mind. I recited 11 times the Ikhlas sura and prayed Allah with Fatah to safe-guide Jama´s soul to the best of heavens.
My sincere condolence to his family, other relatives, friends, the government and the people of Djibouti, headed by the President of Djibouti HE Ismail Omer Guelleh and first lady, the sister of the deceased Mrs. Khadra Mahamoud Haid.
It is like this time, we remember how vulnerable we are, how temporary our life is and how our days are counted. Each day gone reduces our life span and each night passed is another one less. Continuously we are stepping, however slow it may seem, towards our grave. WE know not the moment we say goodbye to this world, but certainly we know we shall face that eventuality sooner or later. That is one of the few certainty shared by all humanity regardless of status, creed and colour.
Jama Mahamoud was a sagacious economist and shrewd financier. He governed Djibouti Central Bank for nearly two decades, a tenure second to none in length and quality. The economic growth, wealth creation and financial stability, Djibouti accomplished during his reign, tantamount to Jama´s success story.
With his savoir faire and dedication, Djibouti attracted huge foreign investment from Arabia and afar. In a region of turbulent economy and quivering currency, he stabilized Djibouti Franc avoiding potential inflation. With its skimpy population Djibouti´s budget reached over one billion dollar annually, a figure relatively too lofty for the countries in the region.
Socially Jama was a man of society, with leadership that knew no national frontier. His death is felt throughout the region: Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. He devoted to the wellbeing of all citizens in the region, sticking together with shared conviction to get a great leap forward for regional development. He was truly passionate for regional cooperation.
Jama was a true son of two states but one nation: Djibouti and Somaliland. He spent great effort and time to maintain natural brotherhood between these two states. He never allowed any crack, tear and wear of the times to leave an open wound. This friendship is clearly manifested by the mourning of Somalilanders in every town and village. Planes started to come and go by the hour for two days, picking mourners to attend his interment.
I met men and women of all walks of life in mourning and they all agreed that Jama was a true son of both countries, a devoted Muslim and man of mercy and dignity. He was short in talk but long in deeds. He was selfless nationalist and helping hand to the needy and poor. His charity extended beyond Djibouti. It reached all Somali inhabited regions in the Horn of Africa.
Personally, it was few months ago when I phoned him asking about the Islamic Banking Conference that had been held in Djibouti. His voice was calm, calculated and precise. He gave all I need and invited me to visit Djibouti. Surprisingly he articulated in a friendly tone, that he never expected I would be out of his reach in this long since my appointment. We agreed to meet by the end of January. Alas it never happened. Truly, it is said man proposes and Allah disposes. To me his death is so painful and of great individual loss. I was looking forward to a new, refreshed cooperation between us and within our corresponding positions. I had a good working plan intact. With the minutes I spent with him over the phone, I discerned how bright, sharp and open minded Jama was, and how he ponders for the benefit of Djibouti in every minute of his time. Equally he presumed as own duty to work-out for any project that lends a hand to both countries.
I hope his successor will fill his shoes fully and at ease. I anticipate our corresponding capacities will be shoved to the profit of both our countries, and I look forward to maintain our brotherly two states closer and closer, for we are one people.
Jama did the best he can, and left a history written in gold and diamond. Generations will remember him and his deeds will be reflected in perpetuity. His good performance will go with him to the grave and stay with him to serve his testimony in the Day of Judgment. That is engraved in our Islamic religion. Do good deeds and it will be with you forever.
Let us all, friends and relatives pray Allah to forgive Jama and bestow him the best of heavens: Jantul Fardaws, Ameen. And let us preserve all good deeds he initiated in eternity.
With heart full of sorrow, I share with Djibouti government and people, the loss of this great personality, a son of two states and one people: Djibouti and Somaliland.
Mr. Ahmed Hassan Arwo
Somaliland Presidential Economic Advisor.
Presidential Palace, Hargeysa
Tel: 002522 409 6421