One Day I Faced the World...Any Now We are the Best of Friends

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
When I met the world, I loved it. And the world loved me. If that could happen to everyone, maybe we would all understand our human race a little better. So here I am. Love me if you want, but I will love you regardless.

Submitted: June 10, 2010

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Submitted: June 10, 2010

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I bought a computer from a Chinese merchant in Mogadishu about a year ago, an HP Laptop, for about $1.50. I immediately ordered a modem by mail from the USA, bought Somali plug adapters and set up a computer station in my dirt-floored basement. With internet, the world became open to me for the first time, and I set out to explore this new world with my broken English and my Somali ways. I was warmly greeted. I began using a website called Meez which allows you to create a free avatar and talk to people in chat rooms, and this very quickly expanded my understanding of American and world culture. Three things struck me though. How Americans separated themselves by behavior, how diverse they were and how knowledgeable they were about some things I knew nothing of and ignorant of things that had defined my life.

From my experience, Americans of my age, i.e. late Secondary School (High School) separate themselves by behavior. Raised a certain way, or interested in certain activities, Americans with no prior connection will bond together. Football teams will be friends even if some of the players parents do not like one another. Kids that listen to the same music have enough to go on right there to bond. Here I was, all my life making friends from my Clan on the beach and enjoying spending time with people I approved of ethnically, only to learn that this was not the limit of socializing in the broader world. I immediately reached out in every way I could imagine, and quickly bonded with many people from around the world on the internet.

Secondly, I was immediately shocked as to how diverse Americas were. All my life, I've met Somali's, Arabs, East and West Africans and White Africans, but I have never even seen a Hispanic or African American in reality. I was amazed to see all of the different religious, ethnically diverse and political rivaled groups all living together and accepting it as a way of life. I fell in love with the fact that people would not shun me immediately based on the way I walked, talked and thought. I was in love with a culture that sat back and loved itself.

Finally, when I say I am from Somalia, many people in the international world will shrug and say something along the lines of 'Think I might have heard about pirates from there in the news.' I laugh. Too true, but at the same time, I believe with a strong conviction that the connection should go both ways. The world has a lot to offer Somalia, from culture to ideas to pleasure, but Somalia, a unique culture in its own right and the home of a distinct way of life that appears no where else in the world, has a lot to offer the world. We are a rich and strong people, and a mutual interaction will be an essential part of securing an effective and happy future for us.

So you could say the internet opened me up to positives, while letting me get my first real taste of culture shock. Sure, I felt different in Ghana. Sure, I felt different in South Africa and in Yemen. But never before have I been surrounded by people who have so much to offer me and who I have so much to offer. The internet is one of man kind's great creations, one for the better that allows knowledge and through knowledge wisdom across the world, from Somalia to Canada, from Australia to Spain, from China to Guatemala. A new age has come, and I have been among the first of my people to embrace it. Together, we can build a brighter future of peace, understanding and happiness for the world, and it starts with people like you and I in places like this.



© Copyright 2020 Holly Hawiye. All rights reserved.

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