Hello and welcome to the online home of New Dalka, your Somali current affairs and culture monthly. We hope that you will continue reading and that you will even consider sending in contributions or writing to the Editor with your feedback. Below is the front page op-ed from the most recent issue (October 2017).

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The events of the last month have certainly given us moments to stop and ponder. The attack on 14 October 2017 in Mogadishu has certainly left its scars, physical, emotional, psychological. Just as the families of victims and the wider population mourned, another attack—an explosion from a truck bomb—struck two weeks to the day, on 28 October.

As the grieving continues, questions are being asked: about the security of the city and the country more widely and what the next steps should be. In this issue, Mohamed Ali Arkow writes, optimistically, that the ‘gloomy political cloud’ which hovers over Somalia will soon come to pass. But for this to happen, a radical break is needed which will demand courage, steadfastness and perseverance.

As ever, there is space for hope and optimism. A ‘Data Bulletin’ (p5) seeks to reassess the conventional wisdom of Somalia as one of the world’s most corrupt countries, by focusing on other areas of the UN’s Sustainable Goals particularly in relation to other African countries.

Looking across the continent, optimists will find other cause of positivity too. This month saw the first televised presidential debate ever held in Somali politics, in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Challenges, setbacks, fears all allow us to stop and ponder.

Recently a guest on the flagship BBC Radio 4 programme, Edna Adan Ismail—the courageous activist and midwife—looked back on a lifetime of service, over fifty years as a clinician. She proudly recalls her achievements, not forgetting some of the challenges she faced in her youth on her path to success. Perhaps fifty years from now, there will be those who can look back at these days in history and be impressed by how much things have changed. Here’s to hoping.

This op-ed was sent in by Diric Asluub.

To read Issue IV, click here.