Read, Think, React. Welcome To Gorfayn!

Logo for Gorfayn
Logo for Gorfayn

|Essay

The maritime dispute case between Kenya and Somalia and its future implications for the two countries’ relations, the importance of the finalization of the constitution, the legality of the rendition of a Somali citizen to a foreign country and that illusive citizenship law, the lack of working Somali currency in many parts of the country, the increasingly protracted and repeated droughts, the slacking democratization process of the country, the unregulated construction boom, the lack of parks and green spaces in the big cities and so many other equally momentous issues all seem too complex, and at times too overwhelming to comprehend. This is where Gorfayn comes in.

Do you know that in the thick of the Corona Virus pandemic a young Somali engineer has managed to manufacture a working ventilator? Mohamed Adawe tells me that after he had seen the suffering of his people, he felt “a sense of duty to help”. He manufactured more than 100 ventilators and gave them to more than 25 main hospitals where Covid victims were being treated. Given the seriousness of the virus and the lack of ventilators at the time, Mohamed’s story should have been a top story and he a hero; but no, Mohamed did not get the funding he needed to produce more nor the media coverage he deserved. This is where Gorfayn comes in.

Although Gorfayn will not be a news site that reports the minutiae of everyday occurrences, it will prioritize important stories such as Mohamed’s. Gorfayn will focus on political and policy analysis and will champion what is known as explanatory journalism. Doing away with the snobbish jargon plaguing elsewhere, Gorfayn will aim to make complex issues accessible and understandable.

Gorfayn’s sole goal is to contribute to the foundation of a healthy democracy for Somalia by helping create an informed and critically thinking citizenry, that no matter how bitter the news seems to be, reaches rational conclusions.

This is particularly vital in Somalia where the public discourse is hijacked by partisan and tribal narratives. The phenomenon that the more information we get the more we pick the information that confirms and reinforces our biases thus getting comfortable in our tribal echo chambers is particularly true in Somalia.

On the surface, changing this seems a daunting task but it is fortunately not. See, behind all the partisan noise and the countless political parties, Somalis do not have centuries-old conflicting ideologies that are difficult to reconcile; we are all socially conservative and politically libertarian, therefore mere honest analysis and in-depth discussions on the issues of the day, conducted in good faith, will do mountains of good for Somalia because as the prophetic aphorism goes, bad faith changes everything.

To reach this lofty ideal, Gorfayn will publish a weekly summary of the news aimed to keep those overwhelmed and discouraged by the plethora of misinformation abreast. We all have our favorite news sites, Facebook pages, and Twitter journalists that we turn to when we need to get the latest information, but these sources merely report the news and rarely analyze what they are reporting because such is the era of the attention economy that we find ourselves in. To compete, it is not their fault that these sources feel the need to move on to the next story to generate more clicks and likes for their content. At Gorfayn, however, we will discuss and analyze the issues to explain why they matter and why we should care.

We will also publish a monthly comprehensive piece that aims to delve into a single important issue. We will pick and choose the matter we would like to focus on and will take our time to produce informative work that enhances the readers’ understanding of the world they live in.

Finally, we will have a section for opinion pieces written by external thinkers. We will encourage broad-minded discussions where all voices are heard equally. This is particularly important today as different ideas are seldom tolerated forcing writers and thinkers to keep their opinions to themselves or to their echo chambers and as a result depriving society of their expertise.

Gorfayn will welcome voices from the ruling, the opposition, and the politically homeless alike because, at Gorfayn, all are welcome. If you have a legitimate point to make, we have an open platform for you. Please read, think, and only then React.

Sakariye Cismaan
Sakariye Cismaan
Sakariye Cismaan is an author, researcher, and journalist. He has bachelor’s degree from the University of Westminster in London and master’s from SOAS, University of London. He is the founder and the current editor-in-chief of Gorfayn.

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