Every institution that exists has its builders who established it in the first place. SIMAD is not an exception. Therefore, it is worth mentioning the role of individuals who have managed to bring out into existence this tremendous change. These public figures share similar characteristics of vision, humbleness, courage, and ambition.
H, E Hassan Sheik Mohamoud, Former President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the first Dean of SIMAD, the Founding father of the institute who, among others, has worked hard to set the strong foundation for the curriculum. He initiated a culture of transparency and created strong solidarity among the staff through merit and competence that has led the popular slogan of “SIMAD Family”.
During his term in Office, honorable Hassan Sheikh had foreseen the potential need of SIMAD for resources mainly human capital. Therefore, the authorities sent so far more than 80 recipients of a scholarship for postgraduate studies. The sponsored ones have returned and they have taken part in enhancing the overall development of SIMAD; at the same time sending a strong signal that SIMAD is a place of hard work, where talents are created.
Many norms and internal culture have been formed, in the meantime while addressing the individual. “Ustaad” for instance is widely used across the campus right now, a culture of respect and gratitude that always expresses appreciation and humbleness while serving as a team.
To make sure that his legacy does not go in vain, honorable Ustaad Hassan Sheikh instilled in the minds of SIMAD Family that this institution must exist forever and hence continuously go forward with concrete success and development. He repeatedly used to say that if SIMAD fails to exist, it is shame on me to say I used to work in SIMAD before. Among the habits that SU Family inherited from Ustaad Hassan are the culture of reading, learning, and teaching.
In his semester address to the students and staff, he used to stress that SIMAD Family and campus are peaceful and no conflict and fighting cannot take place on the campus. Since the inception of SIMAD, no conflict/violence among students and lecturers have taken place. This important achievement led by Ustaad Hassan came through setting high moral values and not stiff and strict punishments.
Ustaad Hassan left an enduring culture, shared values, vision and solidarity among SIMAD Family members that will remain forever. His stances, decisions, talks, slogans, and examples are and always will be an inspiration to all SU Family.
Farah Sheikh Abdikadir, the Former Director of Africa Muslims Agency (AMA) Office in Somalia, has been a long-serving individual who has worked hard to ensure that secondary school graduates achieve higher education at home.
From 1992 to 1999, he was working in humanitarian and helping the needy people. This assistance included providing primary and secondary education. Post-collapse of the government, the people were desperate and were not even thinking about tertiary education. However, early 1997 to 1999, the ambition of higher education came back due to the vast number of students who completed their secondary schools and were not able to study abroad.
So, Ustaad Farah had an idea that worth devoting resources; money, human and time. This idea was establishing a higher learning institute in Mogadishu.
Ustaad Farah looked similarly minded educators and found Ustaad Dhobale and Ustaad Hassan Sheikh. Proposals and plans were prepared and approved by African Muslims Agency Authority to get funding for such a noble project.
The idea turned into an institution that its reputation crossed the borders and is known all over the world. The noble characters of Ustaad Farah will remain in SIMAD. You are a role model to all SIMAD Family.
Mohamed Hussein Dhobale was one of the founders of SIMAD. He has dedicated all his time and energy in establishing SIMAD. He believed that he could serve the Somali people at a time most of the educators fled the country for their own safety. He had the dream and vision that one day an institution like SIMAD can exist amid the anarchy and chaos.
He was critical of the corrupted practices of all kinds. He inculcated to SIMAD students that knowledge without ethics and good character will destroy the person and that knowledge and skills gained from SIMAD are a double-edged sword. He used to share with students that the man who studied accounting at SIDAM to be able to embezzle the corporate and NGOs money and funds, who unfortunately realized that accounting teaches effective internal control and not how to commit fraud.
Ustad Dhobale served a number of positions at SIMAD. Remarkably, he served as the academic director. He also helped the establishment of similar institutions in Galka’yo. He was the consultant to the founders of SIMPA in Galka’yo.
He was a writer in the local newspapers and at the same time used to recite poems of the Somali poets. He used to strive to find job opportunities for SIMAD graduates by matching the opportunities and well-qualified graduates. He used to follow-up until the process is completed.
He was a man who is in control of his ego and humble for both students and staff. He used to sit with students and discuss critically and allow them to express their opinion freely. His objective was to eliminate the mental picture of dictatorship management of students and teach them to accept the opponents’ opinions.
NB: This post is part of a series posts commemorating the 18th anniversary of SIMAD University. Join us to celebrate the history that we have made together!