TFG Leaders Abroad: Who Is Watching the House?

In the late 1970s, I was an independent student in Cairo preparing for the General Certificate Examination (GCE). I had a great deal of discretionary time and was fortunate enough to have landed a job with the Somali Airlines office in Egypt.

One day, the prominent Somali radio broadcaster Yassin Haji Ismail, came to our office along with another man. I asked Mr. Ismail where he was headed. He told me that he and his colleague were the nucleus of a Somali delegation going to Belgrade, Yugoslavia, to attend a conference. I curiously asked him when such a gathering was supposed to commence. “Actually, the conference ended yesterday but we are going there any way,” replied Mr. Ismail. I was baffled by his nonchalant answer but kept quiet because, by this time, I had a fair idea what these government delegations were all about. I saw many government ministers going through Cairo at the time and doing anything but diligently representing their country. I knew of some ministers who were especially fond of belly dancers as well as Cairo’s burgeoning night life.


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