The day I lost my friend
Abdulkadir Adde Ibrahim
- 1 Article
- Age 29
There are some experiences that no matter how much time passes, we simply cannot get out of our minds. It can be especially difficult to forget when that experience involves losing someone we care about. Someone like a friend that we love, trust, and share interests and laughs with. A friend with whom we could go months without speaking to, but so easily pick up where we left off. I’ve heard that when we lose someone, writing down our feelings about what happened allows us to process our grief and begin to feel peace.
My friend, Mohamed, was a visionary and a decent, hardworking young man in his twenties. He was responsible for a large portion of family business and was the backbone of the business. He was not only a businessman, but he was also educated and passionate about pursuing higher degrees. He graduated from SIMAD University four months before he was murdered and had plans to pursue his masters. He was also a husband and father of a little girl and another baby his wife was pregnant with. I met Mohamed six years before his death. Our relationship started as acquaintances and over time he became my best friend.
On the morning of July 8th, 2017, I went to work as usual and prepared my morning brief for work. At the same time, Mohamed was preparing to participate in the burial procession of an elderly woman who was his neighbor. The burial was due to happen a few kilometers away from Mogadishu. Eight of his close relatives and friends were passengers of Mohamed’s small private car. As I headed to the morning briefing, I received a phone call from a mutual friend of ours. The friend appeared to be hysterical and told me he heard that something bad happened a few minutes earlier to Mohamed as he was on his way to the funeral procession. I panicked and rushed to reach him on his phone. Someone, who seemed to be on another phone with someone else at the same time, answered my phone call. I could hear him shouting “Mohamed D is dead, Mohamed Y is dead, Adeer is dead, Abdijabbar is dead!” I knew everyone he named, including my beloved friend Mohamed.
Still in shock, I didn’t want to believe that Mohamed was dead. I remained hopeful that the man on the phone was mistaken and that somehow Mohamed was still alive. I ran from the office and began calling everyone I knew that was connected to him. One person said that there were injured people being admitted to Madina Hospital and I decided to go and check who was amongst those hurt. When I arrived at the hospital, I recognized a man in the distance, laying on the floor. I knew immediately who he was and that he was one of the passengers in Mohamed’s car.
“Where is everyone else? Where is Mohamed?” I asked him. Distressed and saddened, he replied, “I think I am the only one alive. But I’m sure Mohamed died at the scene. They hit him in the head.”
Still in disbelief, some friends and I continued searching for Mohamed. We headed towards the scene of the incident but before we arrived, we passed by a truck carrying the bodies of all the deceased. I was informed that the truck was the one that was initially carrying the body of Mohamed’s elderly neighbor, but it was now carrying the victims’ bodies to Madina Hospital. Five people had been brutally murdered with Mohamed including his brother, first cousin and uncle. It was what it can be described as an ambush and execution.
The bodies were delivered to the hospital to process the burial. How can I forget the moment I looked at Mohamed’s body and saw the wounds from the blows to his head and stomach? It was in this moment that I realized the undeniable death of my friend! My friend who will never talk to or even look at me again. I couldn’t hold back my tears and that was the most painful moment I ever had. However, that moment does not compare to how sad I felt when I saw his wife crying, begging to know why he was murdered. It was a different day for everyone at the scene, a day I can’t get out of my mind. I helped get Mohamed’s body off the truck and placed it in a room. We prayed Janaza on the five bodies and buried them in a row.
Among the deceased were Abdijabbar, Abdiaziz, Mohamed Y, and Shafi’i. Abdijabbar was Mohamed’s brother and a recent graduate from secondary school who the family was planning to send to India for further education. Abdiaziz was Mohamed’s uncle whose head was shaved and was wearing Qamis. I was told that he just got back from Hajj and was a father of two children. Mohamed Y was a cousin of Mohamed and was working with the family. Shafi’i was another relative of Mohamed who had just got married a few months earlier. On our way back from the burial, we visited the family and spoke with a mother who just lost two of her children and a father who lost two children, a brother and his nephew. We made dua on them for Allah to restore their strength and hope.
According to one of the two survivors, the day started off normal and quickly escalated. He said, “The eight of us were in the car, driving behind the other cars leading the way and our minds were with the funeral. Three guys with AK47s suddenly came out of nowhere and started shooting at us. They kept shooting until they believed that no one in the car can be alive. Everyone in the car was hit and it’s miracle that I am still alive.” The reason they were attacked is still unknown and no one was captured and held responsible for the tragedy.
Mohamed was not only a friend and classmate to me but also a brother. The last time I saw my friend was the day before he was killed. I stopped by his office on my way home back from work, which was something I had done many times. I remember how busy he was that afternoon and I left his office without saying goodbye, assuming that I would see him again the next day. I had no idea that moment was going to be my last time seeing him alive. I pray every day for my dear friend Mohamed and everyone who lost their lives that day to rest in peace.