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I met the late Dr Mohamed Aden Sheikh in August 2010 in Helsinki. He at the time told me of his illness and its nature. As sick as he was, he actively participated in the conference on Somalia which we attended. At a more personal note together we reminisced about the old days, friends and the sad plight of the Somali people.

As sad as his death is, I ask all decent Somalis to join me in celebrating his achievements, his life.

As his close friend for 40 years, I came to know Dr. Mohamed Aden very closely and intimately. He was a decent human being who cared about others and in most cases more than he cared about himself. His mantra was always “what about the others”. I remember many instances when he helped people in difficulties or in difficult situations.

He was a modest person. And while he could wear like his peers if he so wished the 1000.00$ silk suits, he dressed humbly like a shabby professor.

The late Dr. Mohamed was known as Mr clean. He was never corrupt in contrast to some of his contemporaries who looted the treasury with impunity. In fact, he never built or owned a house of his own.

Dr. Mohamed Aden advocated for justice for all Somalis. For example, he stood for the rights of the people in North-West region (currently Somaliland) and continued to speak against the injustices meted out to the people of that region.

For his strong stand against the atrocities that were being committed at the time, the late Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh paid the high price of long periods of incarceration in the 1980s. This adversely affected his heath as he was denied access to medical treatment.

The late Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh was a man of principle. He never wavered from his own beliefs and principles, never compromising on what he believed in. For example, he was one of those very few people who strongly advised against and objected to the rupture of relations with the Soviet bloc in 1977 and after the Ogaden war. For this he paid the price of being relieved of all Government positions followed by imprisonment which again affected his health.

While in Government in the early 1970s, his achievements were stellar. As Minister of Higher Education and Culture, the late Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh played a pivotal role in the selection of the current script for the Somali language.

He established the Academy of Somali Studies which brought together and for the first time Somali poets, plight rights, historians, academicians and other others.

The first ever Somali- Somali dictionary and the collections of poetry of famous poets were published under his auspices.  He laid down the plans for reorganizing the National Museum and creation of a National Library.

He sponsored the first Somali Studies Meeting on Somali soil as well the first Pan African Film Festival.

And equally important, He fought very hard against vested interests to establish a truly Somali National University which flourished later as a credible institution.

It was my pleasure and duty to work with Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh during those years.

Dr. Mohamed is not only a loss to his immediate family and friends. The Somali nation lost one of its best sons, a visionary, true patriot and a humble decent human being. For me, his loss is greater as he was my friend, confidant and role model.

My heartfelt condolences to Chi Chi his wife, Idil, Kaha , Koshin, Abdulkader Aden (Jengeli) the rest of the AW Mohamoud family as well as his long time friend Petro Petrucci and the Somali people.

Xasharo@gmail.com Amb. Ahmed Abdi Hashi (Hashara)

October 3rd 2010

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  1. May Allah reward you good for the good news of our beloved Dr. Mohamed Adam Sheekh. We only ask Allah to gve the nation ‘a good replacement’ for the loss of good nationals like this brother.
    I similarly pass my condolence to his immediate family as I was a good friend of his brother, Abdirisak Adam Sheekh for 20. انا لله وانا اليه راجعون