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This profile was last updated on 7/11/03  and contains information from public web pages.

Asha Ahmed Abdalla

Wrong Asha Ahmed Abdalla?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Minister
    TNG
  • Abdalla Deputy Minister
    Labour
  • Minister In the Transitional Government

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Member
    Parliament

Education

  • diplomas , accounting , business management
  • Masters course
    City University of New York
  • La Guardia College
  • BA degree
    Latole University
13 Total References
Web References
Mail and Guardian Online
www.mg.co.za, 11 July 2003 [cached]
Asha Ahmed Abdalla is campaigning for the presidency at the conference. (Photographs: AP)
When Asha Ahmed Abdalla was a teenager in her native country of Somalia, she used to daydream about what it would be like to be Somalia's first lady, and decided to set her sights on achieving that goal.
But Abdalla grew up and her dream evolved.After years of humanitarian and political activity, the 45-year-old mother of three has set her eyes on the ultimate prize: to become Africa's first woman president.
"Women should use their power," she says."I've always loved politics.I love to fight for people's freedom.Also, I like equality, especially women's equality."
These days Abdalla is campaigning for the presidency at the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference, a peace process that has been going on in Kenya for the past year.
...
Abdalla is currently the TNG's Minister of Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration.
She has some stiff competition in her bid to become president.
...
But the energetic and enthusiastic Abdalla - whose campaign slogan is "Give Somalia a Mother's Nurturing!"- is not worried about her heavyweight rivals or the fact that she's the only woman running in a society that has traditionally shunned her sex from the political arena.
"[The decision to run] came from my friends," she says, adding that during her term in office, she acquired the reputation of being tough but fair-minded and law-abiding."If I become president, I will bring law and order back, and things will [go] back to normal."
She has come up with a "12 point agenda" that commits her to taking action on issues including disarmament, rehabilitation, judicial reform, health care, regional governance, economic revival, universal education, employment creation, and, of course, women's empowerment.
Abdalla was born in 1958 in Ergavo, a city on the tip of Somalia stretching into the Gulf of Aden.She spent her early childhood in Yemen and returned to Somalia in the late 1960s.
At about that time Abdalla's uncle was running for Parliament.His young niece, who helped him manage his campaign, was impressed by the flurry of activity, attention and discussions on issues.It was then that her political ambitions were born.
A decade later, while attending Latole University in Mogadishu, the student was caught up with the causes and effects of the Ogaden War, a bloody conflict between Somalia and Ethiopia.She saw her people suffering and got into heated discussions and debates about how to stop the war and help its victims.
It was also during this time Abdalla met her future husband.They married and emigrated to the US.There she led a life packed with educational and humanitarian achievements that included a BSc from La Guardia College in New York; a master's from the City University of New York; and the chairmanship of the Washington-based Somali Relief Agency, which also dealt with Somali refugees' welfare in the US.
In 2000 Abdalla - who by this time also had US citizenship - was persuaded to attend the Arta conference where, because of her pivotal role, she was elected an MP in the TNG and was later given a portfolio.
She hasn't looked back since, even though during the course of her work, she has received several death threats from those angry at her policies.
Abdalla credits her family - particularly her father, who died last year - for who she is today."He taught me to be honest, to be straightforward, to believe what I believe and to work with others for good things. [He taught me] never do what somebody else tells you to do if it's not right."
She urges women to recognise their rights and to fight for them.
Weekend Magazine
www.nationaudio.com, 27 June 2003 [cached]
If Asha Ahmed Abdalla has her way, Africa could soon have its first woman president.
When she first announced her intention to run for the presidency of Somalia last week, many reacted with shock and surprise.
Abdulla, 45, made her ambitions known during the final phase of the on-going Somali peace and reconciliation conference, which has been going on in Eldoret and Nairobi for the past eight months.She wants to run for the office alongside 30 other aspirants - all of them men.
After the initial shock elicited by the announcement, reactions to her candidature were numerous and varied.Many welcomed it as a refreshing conclusion to the often tumultuous talks, arguing that her candidature would enhance the democratic process of the talks, especially in the eyes of IGAD (Inter-Governmental Agency for Development) and the international community.
But there were those who reacted to Abdalla's announcement with scepticism and indifference.Hers was a mere declaration of intent, they declared dismissively, because she stood no chance of winning in a field full of established Somali political heavyweights.
...
But Abdalla is not one to give up even when all the odds seem stacked against her.Not only does she come armed with boundless energy and determination, she also has an impressive list of academic and professional qualifications.
After graduating from Latole University in Mogadishu with a BA degree, she migrated to the United States with her family in late 1970s.She enrolled at La Guardia College for a Bachelor of Science degree course, and later for a Masters course at the City University of New York.She has also received diplomas in accounting, business management and book-keeping from various colleges in the US.
While in the US, Abdalla was involved in famine relief activities to help ease the suffering of the people in her country.For the better part of the 1990s, she chaired the Washington-based Somali Relief Agency which, besides food relief, also dealt with refugee welfare.
It was not until the year 2000 that Abdalla plunged into the rough and tumble of politics.The holder of a dual US-Somali citizenship, she attended the Somali peace conference in Arta, Djibouti, in 2000.Due to her significant role in the peace effort, she was elected to the Somali Transitional National Assembly.When Abdiqassim Salat Hassan was elected president of the transitional national government (TWG) by the Arta conference, he appointed Abdalla deputy minister for Labour, Sports and Social Affairs.A few months later, she was elevated to head the crucial ministry of Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration.
Abdalla outlines a 12-point agenda for securing the unity of Somalia and mobilising the citizens to rebuild the country.
Mahiigaan News Online- Barta Wararka Sugan ee Daafaha Adduunka
www.mahiigaan.com [cached]
"It wouldn't be days," said Asha A. Abdalla, a member of Parliament.
Biyokulule Online
www.biyokulule.com, 11 Mar 2012 [cached]
There are three women running for president, including Asha Ahmed Abdalla, a former minister in the transitional government who has lived most of her life in the
News From Africa - English version - June 15 – July 14, 2003
italy.peacelink.org, 17 April 2003 [cached]
2. Asha Abdalla: Africa's first woman president?
...
When Asha Ahmed Abdalla was a teenager in her native country of Somalia, she used to daydream about what it would be like to be Somalia's first lady, and decided to set her sights on achieving that goal.
But Abdalla grew up, and so did her dream.After a lifetime of humanitarian and political activity, the 45-year-old mother of three has set her eyes on the ultimate prize: to become Africa's first woman president.
"Women should use their power," she says, a warn grin lighting up her youthful features."I've always loved politics.I love to fight for people's freedoms.Also, I like equality, especially women's equality."
These days, Abdalla is campaigning for the presidency at the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference, a peace process that has been going on in Kenya for the past year.
...
Abdalla is currently the TNG's Minister of Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration.
She has some stiff competition in her bid to become president.
...
But the energetic and enthusiastic Abdalla - whose campaign poster says "Give Somalia a Mother's Nurturing!"- is not worried about her heavyweight rivals or the fact that she's the only woman running in a society that has traditionally shunned her sex from the political arena.
"[The decision to run] came from my friends," she says, adding that during her term in office, she acquired the reputation of being tough but fair-minded and law-abiding."If I become president, I will bring law and order back, and things will come back to normal."
She has come up with a "Twelve Point Agenda" that commits herself to taking action on issues including disarmament, rehabilitation, judicial reform, healthcare, regional governance, economic revival, universal education, employment creation, and, of course, women's empowerment.
Asha Abdalla was born in 1958 in Ergaro, a city on the tip of Somalia stretching into the Gulf of Aden.She spent her early childhood in Yemen and returned to Somalia in the late 1960s.
...
It was also during this time when Abdalla met her future husband.They married and immigrated to the United States.There, she led a life packed with educational and humanitarian achievements that included: a BSc from La Guardia College in New York; a Master's from the City University of New York; and the chairmanship of the Washington-based Somali Relief Agency, which also dealt with Somali refugees' welfare in the U.S.
In 2000, Abdalla - who by this time also had her American citizenship - was persuaded to attend the Arta conference where, because of her pivotal role, she was elected Member of Parliament in the TNG and then was later named minister.She hasn't looked back since, even though during the course of her work, she has received several death threats from those angry at her policies.
Abdalla credits her family - particularly her father, who died last year - for who she is today."He taught me to be honest, to be straightforward, to believe what I believe, and to work with others for good things. [He taught me] never do what somebody else tells you to do if it's not right."
She also urges women to recognize their rights and to fight for them.
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