one day you are at University and the next without warning you have
to flee from your room with only the clothes you stand in. Having
to run city by city through the South Somalia unable to get to your
family, unable to turn back.
Hashim Duale was born on 15 April 1967 in Mogadishu the capital city
of Somalia. He was the seventh child in a large family. Hashim went
to University to study agriculture as his aim was to be able to help
the Somali people learn how to farm their land more efficiently.
was in his early 20s when the war started. In the safety of the college
campus he listened to the reports on the radio not feeling as if his
life was under threat. The war moved very quickly and similar to the
pictures that we saw recently on the television during the Iraqi war
- the looting began until the college was stripped of its resources.
students were forced to choose between joining guerilla war factions
and pick up a gun and shoot who they were told to shoot or to be killed.
Many of them chose to flee rather than pick up a gun. Hashim ran with
some friends trying to find a place of safety. He was unable to get
back to his family as the war had already took over the area in which
and some friends managed to get to a departure point where the captain
of cargo ships were selling places on an already crowded cargo ship
to flee over to Kenya for $15. If you could not pay the asking price
there was no place for you.
The Kenyan authorities refused the asylum seekers entry for three
days and people were kept on the boat for three days while the government
made up their minds.
after help from an Italian Professor Emmanuelle Natalicchio managed
to get to Italy where he finished his studies. The Italian government
had colonised Somalia many years ago and allowed Hashim to study
in Italy until he finished his course. His visa then expired and
he had to move on again.
loves his job as a development worker in Leicester
years ago Hashim came to the UK and spent some time in London before
moving to Leicester. He is now married and has two young children.
He works as a Somali Development Worker and is based at the Eastern
Leicester Primary Care Trust.
Hashim aims to facilitate the integration of the Somali community
here in Leicester. He is involved in many projects and is the host
for BBC Radio Leicester
Hashim has introduced our Voices producer Helen Cockle to many people
in the Somali Community and is a key figure in building bridges
between all the various communities in Leicester.
The involvement of Hashim Duale has given the Leicester Voices a
valued endorsement and contributes significantly to the work of
The BBC Leicester Voices project focuses on the Somali community.
is Voices? Capturing the
stories, concerns and aspirations of those unheard voices across the UK. Find out more here.