From the book: "Warriors: Life and Death Among Somalis" by Gerald Hanley
“A Somali always felt himself to be twice as good as any white man, or
any other kind of man at all, and still does, even when he is wrong.
“Of all the desiccated, bitter, cruel, sunbeaten wildernesses which
starve and thirst beyond the edges of Africa’s luscious, jungled centre,
there cannot be one more Christless than the one which begins at the
northern foot of Mount Kenya and stretches to the foothills of Abyssinia,
and from there to the dried-out glittering tip of Cape Gardafui where the
hot karif winds blow in from where the long sharks race under the thin
blue skin of the ocean. You can never think of those wildernesses without
thinking of daggers and spears, rolling fierce eyes under mops of dusty
black crinkly hair, of mad stubborn camels, rocks too hot to touch, and
blood feuds whose origins cannot be remembered, only honoured in the
stabbing. But of all the races of Africa there cannot be one better to
live among than the most difficult, the proudest, the bravest, the
vainest, the most merciless, the friendliest; the Somalis.
”never saw a Somali who showed any fear of death, which, impressive though it sounds, carries within it the chill of pitilessness and ferocity as well. If you have no fear of death you have none for anybody else’s either, but that fearlessness has always been essential to the Somalis who have had to try and survive hunger, disease and thirst while prepared to fight and die against their enemies, their fellow Somalis for pleasure in the blood feud, or the Ethiopians".
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