Ismail Raage: Disability is not inability

Ismail Raage receiving his graduation certificate from Simad University yesterday.

Mogadishu (UM) – UM is very proud to congratulate Ismail Raage who graduated yesterday from Simad University with his bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance. Ismail inspired the Somali people with his determination to succeed in his studies while living with physical disability. The Somali people were moved by images of Ismail crawling to collect his graduation certificate and his meeting with the Minister of Finance Dr. Abdirahman Beileh today only highlights how his success has truly touched all in Somalia society. Dr. Beileh must work hard to provide employment for this qualified young man within his Ministry or the Central Bank of Somalia which is responsible for national Finance and Banking. Both institutions need young, able and qualified people like Ismail Raage and his type.

Disability is no obstacle to progress in any endeavour. All humans are challenged in some way and whether physical or mental, all challenges can be overcome through determination and self-belief. Ismail Raage demonstrated both as well as academic ability that won him praise from his teachers and the Rector of Simad University.

Somali society is very compassionate but there is still a great amount of discrimination against disabled people. Too often words like “Curyaan” and “Naafo” are used casually in conversations, often in front of disabled people. This is Un-Islamic and weakens the fabric of society. There are many disabled activists but there must be policy action and activism on the part of the Government, private sector and Somali citizens to promote understanding of, justice towards and opportunities for disabled Somalis.

Given Somalia’s destructive history of civil war, there are more disabled people than just Ismail Raage and most are not as lucky as he is to have had the opportunity to learn or the publicity to celebrate his academic success. This is something that requires the attention and action of the entire Somali people.